Published 28 July 2020, updated 24 September 2020
British Canoeing has issued new guidelines to support the immediate return of canoe polo.
NEW - Latest government guidance on indoor team sports 24 September 2020
Following the latest announcement from the Government with regards to Covid-19 and tightening of measures, we have assessed how this will impact Canoe Polo.
From 24 September, people aged 18 and over playing indoor team sports must adhere to the 'rule of six', which means playing in a group of no more than six people.
Indoor matches and game play is no longer permitted in groups of more than six.
Groups of six or less can continue to play and train indoors providing they continue to follow the Covid Canoe Polo Guidelines.
The groups must also follow any local venue requirements.
Organised outdoor sessions can continue in the same way as before, clubs must still follow the Covid Canoe Polo Guidelines
Under 18 sessions are exempt from the 'rule of six' and will be allowed to take place indoors and matches for this group are allowed, they must follow the Covid Canoe Polo Guidelines and the teams must only consist of U18 players.
Further information can be found here: Sport England Advice
The guidelines for a return to canoe polo have been confirmed with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and in line with the return to recreational team sport framework issued by the government earlier this month.
The guidelines relate only to England, as policy and guidance in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is subject to the devolved governments and their respective national governing bodies.
Steve Watts, Chair of British Canoe Polo said:
"I’m excited to see the return of competitive polo with a few understandable restrictions in place which will eventually be lifted. I understand that everyone may not want to start competitive polo just yet so a reminder to clubs and players please respect an individual's decision.
“The document has taken a great deal of effort to put together and the guidelines will hopefully assist in helping you and your facility providers get you back on the water playing games as safely as possible."
The purpose of the guidelines issued is to provide the necessary mitigations in order to enable the return of competitive and recreational canoe polo, as part of the easing of social restrictions.
These mitigations will allow for canoe polo to take place whilst maintaining appropriate compliance with social distancing and permitted group sizes.
When clubs decide to return, they must carry out a risk assessment, alongside recording the procedures and checks put in place.
Areas of focus include polo activity prior, during and after, alongside the use of clubhouses and hospitality. For competitive matches and training sessions the guidelines are:
Measures outlined should be taken by players clubs, officials, volunteers, coaches, and spectators before, during and after all canoe polo activity.
The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the latest UK Government guidance on the phased return of sport and recreation and British Canoeing’s guidance for Paddlesport Clubs, Centres and Hire Providers and Returning to Events.