This page from the Hertfordshire Volleyball Association (HVA) includes the latest information on how you should plan to partake in volleyball whilst reducing the risks associated with COVID-19. Please don't be complacent. The UK Government has allowed volleyball to return because of the meticulous safety plans and measures that have been introduced, and these must be followed to ensure the safety of all involved, so that volleyball can continue in the UK.
This page was last updated on 2 September 2020.
If you have any questions, then please contact us.
What do clubs need to do now?
All clubs must obtain the risk assessment for their venue(s).
All clubs must undertake a risk assessment for all their volleyball events and activities (e.g. competitive matches, training, beach, outdoor and social). This must be provided to the HVA as part of their annual registration prior to the start of the competitive season.
As part of this risk assessment, clubs should consider the mandatory and recommended actions from VE's indoor volleyball action plan (PDF) and detail those which are proportionate to the event or activity that is being undertaken and the venue at which it occurs.
A template for an indoor volleyball risk assessment can be downloaded here (Word). Each risk assessor should take into account factors specific to their club.
We've included some suggestions below for control measures you might want to adopt.
The Mandatory Opt-In
All participants must be made aware of the increase in COVID-19 transmission risk associated with playing volleyball even in accordance with all of the control measures put in place. They must read and understand as a minimum VE's 6v6 action plan and their club's risk assessment and acknowledge that different venues and clubs that they may visit may have different rules they must adhere to.
Every participant must actively opt-in to participate in volleyball with that club. It is up to the club to decide how to gain and record this opt-in.
Juniors should be opted-in by their parent/guardian and have the guidelines clearly explained to them.
The COVID-19 Officer
Every event must appoint a COVID-19 Officer who has responsibility for ensuring that all control measures and guidance is followed by all participants for all volleyball related activities during that event.
HVA recommend that for a match event, one person from the home team acts as the COVID-19 officer. For other activities, a single individual should act as the COVID-19 Officer.
If your venue or club's risk assessment means visiting teams need to behave in a particular way on arrival, then this should communicated to them in advance of the match. The COVID-19 Officer should remind the visitors of any venue specific rules and the club's own risk assessment control measures for match events.
If a visiting team does not think their host's control measures are strong enough, the HVA would support that team in requesting their hosts make any reasonable changes to strengthen those measures on the day. Ultimately, if individuals do not feel they can participate because of weak or poorly enforced control measures, they should not do so. Any complaints should be directed to the HVA committee as usual.
New Mandatory Time-Out
During matches an additional time out shall be included for sanitising when the first team reaches 15 points. This time-out shall be called by the officials and shall be for 60 seconds.
Officials may sanction or expel a player who deliberately spits on the ground or at another player, coughs on another player or engages in any other conduct unnecessarily which may, in the official's reasonable opinion, increase the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The Field of Play
The field of play is an independently accessible area, so usually a sports hall rather than an individual court. A large hall with several courts, each with an independent means of entry and exit, could be classed as multiple fields of play and this would have to be included in your venue or club's risk assessment.
Please seek instructions from the manufacturer on how equipment should be cleaned. Generally volleyballs should be cleaned and dried. Here is some guidance from three of the most common makes of volleyball:
- Molten (please click on the relevant product to find ball care instructions)
- Wilson: Wet wipes, regular disinfectant spray or cloth will not harm Wilson volleyballs, according to the manufacturer, because they are made of composite leather. Make sure volleyballs are completely dry before storing them.
Most teams in the HVA leagues use Mikasa volleyballs who only mention the cleaning of balls, not their sanitisation. HVA suggest it would be reasonable to follow the Wilson guidelines as both Mikasa and Wilson balls are made of composite leather. It is recognised that the frequent cleaning of volleyballs coulld be detrimental to their condition and clubs should incorporate this in to their equipment costs for the year as required.
Some HVA Suggested Control Measures
HVA have offered some suggestions for control measures you might use when completing the final match section of your club's risk assessments. These have been collated from various VE sources and through ongoing discussions between clubs.
We hope that all clubs can adopt the majority of these suggestions so we have a standard set of procedures to follow at every HVA match, but ultimately your club's risk assessment is down to your club and not the HVA. For the avoidance of doubt, our suggestions do not replace those from the government, the venue, Volleyball England or your own risk assessment.
- Social distancing should be maintained on arrival at the venue, before the match, during warm ups, at time-outs, between matches and after the match.
- The event COVID-19 Officer should make themselves known to all participants at the start of the event and should be allowed by all participants to undertake their responsibilities for the duration of the event.
- Each team should record all participants from their club who enter the field of play during the event to assist the COVID-19 Officer should UK Track and Trace needs to be undertaken.
- Players and officials should turn up in match kit ready to play. The use of changing rooms, showers and toilets should be minimised.
- The home team should minimise the number of people setting up equipment and minimise the equipment that needs to be handled. Those involved should wash/sanitise their hands afterwards.
- The scorer should set up their score table and associated equipment, which should be sanitised before and after the match as practicable.
- There is no need for anybody except the scorer to touch the scoresheet. Scoresheets can still be checked by the captains/coaches/officials and initialed by the scorer on their behalf. No copies should be distributed to either team - HVA only need a photo to update the website.
- The captain/coach should bring their own pen and rotation slips. The scorer and referee should avoid handling these.
- Each team should arrange their own bench area to avoid cross contamination. There should be a clear separation of home and away team benches. Additional benches would assist social distancing.
- Players should bring their own drinks, food and personal equipment, which must not be shared with other players.
- Each team should provide santiser gels for the use of all participants. This should not be shared between teams. Players should aim to bring their own hand sanitation gel for their own use.
- Each team should provide cleaning products for their own equipment (including volleyballs).
- Every player must wash/sanitise their hands before the warm up, before every set, during each extra 60-second time out during each set and at the end of the match.
- A nominated player should clean the single match ball before every set, during each extra 60-second time out during each set and at the end of the match.
- Teams should minimise the number of match officials. HVA only requires a first referee and scorer for league matches.
- The referee should not handle the volleyball during the event except to check it at the start of the match. Other officials and spectators should not handle any volleyballs during the event.
- The referee must not use mouth blown whistles; hand or electronic whistles should be used instead.
- Each team should use a maximum of five warm up volleyballs. These should be cleaned before and after the warm up.
- No end switching should occur during the match to avoid cross contamination of the floor and bench areas.
- No hand slapping or congratulatory high-fives between points. No pre match or post match hand shakes should occur between teams and/or officials.
- Players should avoid touching their face with their hands during play. Shouting should be avoided.
Teams should consider:
- How they will initiate substitutions to maintain social distancing.
- Who should wear facial coverings; perhaps all officials, coaches and spectators within the field of play depending on the space available at the venue.
- How the captains/coaches and scorer will deal with the presentation of rotation slips.
- How the scorer will present the scoresheet for visual inspection before and after the match.
- How they might deal differently with junior players, parents and related travel.
HVA Rule Changes
There will be no update to the published HVA rules due to COVID-19, but the following should be taken as a temporary addendum to our rules:
- Section F6. As we will not be having a KO Cup Final and because we want to provide for a longer league playing season, this rule is changed to read; all scoresheets must be presented by the end of May, else the home team forfeits the match. See K3c.
- Section K6 - additionally, the club's risk assessment must be provided to the HVA, else the clubs forfeits all matches scheduled to be played until provided.