Management Committee Return to Play Update June 2021

In accordance with the relaxation, by the Government of Ireland, of COVID restrictions, additional clubs and players will, from 7 June 2021, be permitted to return to play in a club/training environment.  Clubs/players based in Northern Ireland have already been availing of the relaxation of restrictions in their jurisdiction, while our National Senior Squads have been back in their halls for some weeks. 

Sport Ireland has confirmed that individual training can take place and has accepted that a minimum of two people is required for there to be any meaningful participation.  With that in mind, Sport Ireland has advised that individual, physically distanced and non-contact activity can take place within a pre-defined area, within a controlled environment and without equipment sharing (e.g. balls and bats).  This should be applied in conjunction with the additional protocols laid out in the TTI document. 

In alignment with the return to play, and on foot of discussions with Sport Ireland, Version 5 of the TTI ‘Return to Table Tennis – Club/Training Environment’ is now being issued. 

There are a number of changes to the Protocols, including; 

  • Revision of ‘requirements for participants’ to include vaccinated and recovered persons; 
  • The spacing distance between tables has increased to 2.5 metres; 
  • The inclusion of the requirement for cleaning and ventilation to be in accordance with the Government of Ireland ‘Work Safely Protocol’. 
  • Clarification that players should not overlap between different groups of individuals using a hall at different times of the day – in practical terms, this means groups of individuals should start at the same time and finish & leave at the same time, rather than some players spending the entire day and/or multiple sessions or training slots in a hall, thereby overlapping with many other individuals.  Specifically, players should not be able to book into a hall for a full day or for an extended period across back to back or multiple sessions.  The purpose of this requirement is to limit exposure of an entire Club, or large numbers within a Club, due to one or more person(s) overlapping with multiple groups of individuals over a whole day or part of a day. 

We would like to remind everyone to be mindful of an overly accelerated return to play, and the risk to injury caused by extended layoff; but otherwise, to relish the opportunity to play again! 

Please note that, while there is some general permission to return to play, the restrictions involved may still prevent the return of some clubs/groups/individuals, while individual clubs or facilities may themselves decide to apply additional restrictions or guidelines to who can train and what facilities may be used.  Personal circumstances may also dictate what conditions are acceptable to individuals, who should make the decision around returning to play which best suits their own circumstances. 

Download the Return to Play Protocols below: