Can you smell the fresh cut grass? Over the next eight days, GAA fields across Laois will begin to see activity resuming. Monday the 19th of April will see Inter County teams permitted to return to training while on Monday week, the 26th of April, underage teams from across the County will see their local GAA fields opened back up for them. “Underage teams” means any registered team at U-18 level or below).
It has been a long time coming and the GAA have released information on how the situation should be managed.
Similar to the last return to play, the key control measures remain completion of the online education module and completion of the Health Questionnaire before each session
It is also important to remember that all indoor facilities must remain closed at this time, both North and South of the border.
Attendance at Underage Training
Only players and coaches of the relevant team should attend any training session. One Parent or Guardian per child (or per family if more than one child is attending from a particular family) is permitted to attend in a safeguarding /supervisory capacity involving any team in the U-18 or below age group, should they consider it necessary.
However strict social distancing and public health guidelines should be adhered to at all times. In particular, it is important that parents do not congregate in groups before or after sessions, outside of what is permitted in current Government regulations.
Any person wishing to attend our underage training or games including coaches, parents, players and spectators shall be subject to the provisions of the Code of Behaviour (Underage).
INFORMATION FOR COUNTIES
Return to training Inter County Senior Hurling and Football panels are permitted to return to collective, full contact training from Monday, April 19th.
A key message from the GAA's Covid Advisory Group is to avoid indoor gatherings wherever possible. For instance, it is permitted to use dressing rooms or hold meetings indoors, but the GAA would strongly encourage to explore alternatives or minimise usage as much as possible. Keeping the majority of interactions outdoors is the key measure to follow to ensure the safety of players and support personnel.
U20/Minor/Academy Squad Training
For clarity, Counties are asked to note that the current exemptions for underage club training and senior inter county teams DO NOT extend to U20, Minor or Academy squads; only players from a county’s Senior Panel are currently covered by the player injury scheme. Return to Training dates for underage inter county panels are contingent on further relaxation of Government restrictions – the GAA will advise further once any new information is made available.
The current relaxations to Government restrictions do not permit Challenge games to take place (unless between members of the same panel). The GAA have been advised that this will be the position until May 4th at the earliest. The GAA are seeking to have this position revisited as part of any further relaxation of Government restrictions
Use of Gyms
It is now permitted to open County owned gyms for members of the County Senior Hurling or Football panel as required. If gym work, or aspects of it, can be conducted outdoors, then risk of transmission of the virus is dramatically reduced. Ideally Gym activity indoors should be conducted on an individual basis or in very small groups.
Inter County players may also use their relevant Club Gym for individual training as long as they are following the advice in the Inter County Return to Training and Play document.