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Your questions answered for the return to play

Why can't we play normal squash with social distancing?

The Government guidance for leisure facilities (issued on 10th July) states "Courts and halls can remain open for use as long as the activities can be modified in such a way that social distancing can be maintained throughout the activity. Individual national governing bodies will often provide specific guidance on how their sport can be played or adapted to enable social distancing which must be followed."

We therefore recommend 'Sides' as it's a modified/adapted version of the game which complies with social distancing measures, with each player remaining in their own half of the court at all times.

What else can we play apart from 'Sides'?

We’re busy working on a number of additional routines and drills for advanced players and coaches that will be released ahead of courts reopening on 25 July. Watch this space!

Can you play at more than one venue?

Yes, so long as you follow each club/venue’s guidelines.

Can two players from different households only play ‘sides’ and modified games from England Squash or can they play in any way as long as they remain socially distanced?

We recommend that all players adhere to the guidelines and only play the games and activities approved by England Squash. This is to help ensure that the infection risk is minimised and ensure that a safe social distance is maintained at all times.

Can members of the same household e.g four people play on court together?

No, you can only have two people on a court at any one time. This is to limit the number of people in the club/venue and to ensure that social distancing remains in place throughout the whole club. Clubs will have a maximum number of people allowed on site at any one time and sticking to two people per court helps them to manage this important element of the guidance.

Can two people from the same household attend a session with a coach?

Yes, provided the two people from the same household are socially distanced from the coach at all times.

Can a coach and two players be on court together?

Yes, a single coach can be on court with two players. However, we recommend that they spend as little time on court as is practical, and that social distancing is maintained at all times.

How can our club/venue or coach safely manage five players from different households?

A coach or club/venue can run a session for up to five players from different household indoors or outdoors. Those players must be spread across the courts so there’s no more than two players per court. It is for the club/venue or coach to determine whether having five players at a session is possible whilst adhering to all the safety measures in the return to play guidance. You can choose to have fewer players of course.

Should coaches and players wear face coverings?

The club/venue and those using the facilities should always follow the Government's guidelines as a minimum. Currently, wearing face masks isn’t stated in the Government guidelines and players shouldn’t wear face masks if they are exercising. However, if coaches wish to wear a face mask they should do so and they should be prepared to wear one if players ask them to.

How do we monitor and oversee our club/venue at all times?

Your club/venue will need to identify staff/volunteers/coaches/responsible members who will be at the club/venue and can ensure the relevant safety measures are adhered to.

This could mean reducing opening hours to open only when you can arrange for someone to be at the club or starting a rota system for those who are willing to take on this responsibility (responsible members). Clubs/venues should ensure that those who take on this role are fully aware of, and take responsibility for ensuring players are adhering to the guidelines. It is also important that clubs/venues inform all members of the safety measures they must adhere to and the disciplinary process for anyone who breaches the new guidelines/rules. Members should only be allowed to play once they have confirmed they have read and agree to these measures.

Can my club/venue open but choose to not follow the guidelines?

We strongly advise that if your club wishes to reopen from 25th July that they follow our guidance as our guidance is based on the Government's guidance for leisure facilities. All squash clubs and venues have a duty of care to create the safest possible environment for players and the squash workforce. The Government guidance states: "As an employer or as an operator of sports or leisure facility, you also have a legal responsibility to protect workers, volunteers, customers and users from risk to their health and safety. This means you need to think about the risks they face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them". You can find further information in the 'Thinking about the risk' section.

What happens if someone breaks the rules at our club/venue?

In the interest of keeping other members and the wider community safe, we would advise that you take appropriate disciplinary action. This could mean suspension or cancellation of their membership. All members should be made aware of the consequences of not adhering to the club’s guidelines in advance of attending.

Why do we need to keep a record of who's been at our club/venue?

The Government is asking organisations of all types to keep a record of customer and visitor information, for a limited time period, for the purposes of a COVID-19 contact tracing scheme (known as Track and Trace). Clubs/venues participating in Track and Trace should understand their responsibilities in collecting and handling the data they collect for this purpose. Clubs/venues can find further details, along with guidance and resources on our main Data Protection guidance page.

I’m an affiliated club - do I need to start paying my club affiliation fees from 25th July?

No, to continue to support our affiliated clubs and members, the suspension of membership and affiliation renewals has been extended to 1 September. We will continue to review this and provide further updates and information to clubs and members nearer the time.

Local and regional lockdown FAQ'S

On 30 July, the Government announced that households in Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire are banned from meeting other households indoors following a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Squash courts in Leicester city, Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford must remain closed.

Which areas are currently under local lockdown conditions?

To keep up to date with which areas are under local lockdown restrictions please visit the UK Government website.

Which squash activities are permitted in the affected areas?

Until the restrictions are lifted, players can only go onto court for solo squash practice, or to play with others from the same household or support bubble. Coaches can coach indoors, but only from outside the court without coming into contact with players and must continue to follow the England Squash guidance for coaching.

Please note: in Leicester City, Blackburn with Darwen and Bradford, squash courts must remain closed by law.

Can I still coach squash indoors?

Yes - but coaches must remain outside the court and must not come into contact with players. Any coaching must be with individuals or with players from the same household or support bubble. Coaches can still coach up to 5 players but, if those those players are from different households they must remain within their household, or support bubble, and must not mix with other households or with the coach.

Coaches must continue to follow the England Squash guidance for coaching.

Can we keep our bar and restaurant open?

Yes - but people from the affected areas can only visit within their household groups, or support bubble.

Can I travel from an affected area to an unaffected area to play squash with someone from a different household?

No - if you are from an affected area you must not mix with anyone from another household even if you travel to somewhere outside of an affected area. You can still only take part in household activity or solo practice outside the affected area.

I live outside an affected area but my club/venue is in an affected area, can I still play modified versions of squash with other households?

No - where a club / venue is within an affected area no players will be permitted to mix with other households (apart from those in their support bubble)

COVID-19 FAQs: Clubs | Coaches

Get in touch

If you have any questions regarding the return to play, get in touch.