From Thursday, 24th September, organised indoor sport for over 18s will no longer be exempt from the Government’s rule of six.
The new ruling, introduced to adult indoor sport as part of a string of new measures to address the rising number of Covid-19 cases, means that indoor volleyball cannot be played by a group of more than six adults in England.
All organised indoor volleyball activities for children will continue to be exempt from the rule of six. Beach and outdoor volleyball played under Volleyball England’s Government-approved guidance can continue.
Further details and clarification are being sought on what these changes mean for indoor sport for those under and over the age of 18.
In an address to Parliament, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said these new measures could last up to six months.
Sue Storey, CEO of Volleyball England, said: “Today is National Fitness Day. How ironic that it is also the day we confirm the gut-wrenching news that adult indoor volleyball as we know it may not take place until March.
“The last few months have been incredibly challenging for everyone connected to volleyball. Now, at a time when we are developing plans to grow the sport, we are faced with another barrier to playing the game we love, and that barrier may be around until the end of the season.
“Alongside other indoor sports, volleyball makes a huge contribution to the lives of individuals, to the economy and to society.
“It creates social bonds between people of different ages, cultures and backgrounds. It keeps us fit and happy as we dart around the court to dig, block, and pancake the ball. And there are improved health and benefits to the individual and wider society through volunteering. All of this will continue to be lost in the months ahead.
“Volleyball England will follow these new rules to the letter and ensure the community adheres to them too. It will also campaign for common sense to prevail.
“Why have indoor sports not been granted the same opportunity as pubs and restaurants to introduce tighter measures to make our environments even safer? We followed a meticulous process to allow organised volleyball to safely return in July and we are eager to devise plans that would make indoor volleyball even safer, if required.
“Let us summon that spirit of togetherness that the Prime Minister spoke of to work on bringing indoor sport and all of the health, social and economic benefits that come with it to return.”
The restrictions on indoor sport for adults were announced a day after Volleyball England joined with more than 100 sport and physical activity bodies to send a letter to the Prime Minister urging him to ringfence funding for the recovery of the sector – or risk fuelling physical inactivity and related illnesses for a generation.
It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:
- Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
- Stay two metres apart where possible, or one metre with extra precautions in place.