RFL provides update on guidance for community and junior rugby league

The RFL has provided a new guidance to community clubs and junior teams during the coronavirus pandemic.

The governing body has held webinars with community clubs, foundations, match officials and the youth and junior leagues.

The RFL say the “overriding theme has been a desire to see rugby league return as soon as possible – but a recognition that this may not be possible at community level for some time” between amateur clubs.

An RFL statement read: “We must be responsible in the interim, while doing all we can to maintain engagement with clubs and the game.

“Step 1 of the recovery strategy, introduced on Wednesday and therefore applying now, states the following:

  • “People may exercise outside as many times each day as they wish”
  • People are permitted to exercise with one person from outside their own household, and “this means you should not play team sports, except with members of your own household”
  • Training sessions at community and junior clubs are not permitted
  • Activity that involves opening clubhouses, changing rooms etc is not permitted
  • The emphasis is on exercising outdoors

“Step 2, to begin no earlier than June 1, involves “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact”.

“However the strict conditions for such events to take place, involving regular testing of all participants and other detailed guidelines, are well beyond the community game.

“Similarly, the conditions introduced for the return to training for players that must precede the return of competitive sport are specific to professionals, given the level of testing and medical provision required.

“The RFL’s approach will therefore be to keep the situation under regular review – it is fluid, depending on the public health situation, with the possibility of regional variations, as well as different approaches for different sports.

“We expect the next relevant changes to relate to the possibility of exercising in small groups – again, a long way short of being able to consider a return to contact rugby league – but perhaps a return to some rugby league activity.

“We’re deliberately avoiding laying out a timetable of dates at this stage – it would only be guesswork, and might undermine the flexibility we will need over the coming months.”

The RFL say they will issue a further update next month.

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