Phase 3 Handball Guidelines – Update 27th August 2020
This is for the extension of Scottish Government exercise guidelines but not a full return to indoor Handball. The updated Scottish government advice means from 24/08/2020 it is possible for Handball training to take place outdoors with full contact for all ages within a “field of play bubble”. Outside of this the normal social distancing rules must be followed.
U12 children can take part in indoor Handball with contact. This must be in line with the Scottish Government public health guidelines. Currently, the Scottish Handball does not recommend indoor Handball for players over 12 since no indoor contact sport is allowed. We have, however, included guidance should clubs decide to train indoors.
Coaching and Instructing
Guidance for coaches and officials is available at Getting Your Coaches Ready for Sport.
- From the 3rd August 2020 restrictions were lifted on the number of households (or extended households) that can be coached per day.
- From the 24th August 2020 coaches can take organised outdoor group training sessions with a maximum of 30 people involved at any one time.
- During outdoor group training sessions appropriate risk assessed physical distancing and hygiene measures should be put in place to protect participants.
- Coaches and instructors working with children should familiarise themselves with the additional considerations developed by Children 1st: Child Wellbeing and Protection Considerations.
Handball Outdoor Activity
Organised outdoor contact Handball activity can be undertaken by all ages.
All clubs providing activity must abide by relevant SGB guidance and have a named ‘Covid Officer’ who will complete documented risk assessments and ensure all appropriate mitigations are put in place by the club before any activity is undertaken. Sportscotland have developed a COVID Officer role description and an online training course to support this:
Children aged 11 years and younger are not required to physically distance, as set out in Scottish Government guidance. This extends to organised sports activity and the field of play. Scottish Handball recommend that the maximum size of group is 30 and the duration of the activity is 60 minutes.
For older children aged 12-17 and adults a ‘field of play bubble’ can be created during organised Handball activity that allows contact whilst the activity is taking place, in effect suspending physical distancing guidelines for the duration of the activity. Normal physical distancing guidelines will however apply before and after the activity takes place. A maximum group size of 30 is allowed in the area set aside for the activity. We recommend a maximum area size of 40mx20m. Once outside of this area social distancing rules must be adhered to.
Coaches and other adults supporting organised activity should attempt to keep physically distant where possible, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such circumstances the club ‘Covid Officer’ should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.
Risk Assessment Template and other materials available from sportscotland: Getting Your Coaches Ready for Sport
Parents/guardians who are supervising their children should abide by Scottish Government physical distancing guidance and stay at least 2m away from those out with their own household. Groups of parents from different households should not congregate before, during or after the activity. The club should ensure that a drop-off and pick-up area has enough space to allow physical distancing between parents/guardians.
Handball Indoor Activity
There will be several measures required by operators of facilities. These must be adhered to in addition to the following guidelines for Handball:
- From the 31 August 2020 Handball training, activity, and competition for children up to and including the age of 11 years will be allowed.
- From the 31 August 2020 12 years and over indoor non-contact Handball training may resume subject to appropriate physical distancing measures being put in place to limit the risk of participants encroaching within 2m.
- No adult indoor contact sport should be undertaken at this time.
- Where there is likely to be close contact between participants in an organised sporting activity, mitigation should be put in place to minimise risk and keep participants safe.
- We recommend 15 players as the maximum number of participants indoors and up to 2 coaches.
- The focus should be on delivering the organised activity with as few participants as possible interacting with each other and for the minimum amount of time, whilst still allowing the activity to be run effectively
- No spectating should take place other than where a parent/guardian is supervising a child or vulnerable adult. In all cases physical distancing should always be followed.
We will send out further guidance after further announcements on the 14th September if restrictions are eased further on contact sport for older children and adults.
You should follow Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing, and hygiene. Information on the Scottish Government’s approach to managing covid-19 is available at www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ .
This document provides some general guidelines to be followed alongside government advice. Each person is responsible for their own personal hygiene.
- Stay home, if you feel sick, even with mild symptoms
- Check for COVID-19 symptoms every day
- Check body temperature daily
- Stay home if anybody in your household presents with symptoms
- Stay home if anybody in your household has been tested positive (at least 14 days)
- Risk assessments should be carried out and documented for all activities and facilities. Consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure participants are protected.
- Check travel guidelines and plan your journey accordingly
- Come dressed for exercise and bring your own Handball
- Clean all equipment (Handballs, Goals, Markers) prior to and after use.
- Wear a mask in areas where it is not possible to physically distance
- Do not shake hands with anyone
- Cough and sneeze into the crook of your elbow
- Perform adequate personal hygiene such as washing your hands regularly
- Spitting is not allowed at any point
- Children aged 11 years and younger are not required to physically distance at any time, as set out in Scottish Government guidance.
- If indoors, from 31st August, those 12 years and over must physically distance at all times. No adult indoor contact sport should be undertaken at this time.
- If outdoors, for those over 12 years of age taking part in an organised handball session, a ‘field of play bubble’ can be created, in effect suspending physical distancing guidelines for the duration of the activity. Normal physical distancing guidelines will however apply before and after the activity takes place or when taking breaks.
- Coaches, officials, parents and guardians should continue to observe physical distancing when involved in outdoor children’s activity as a coach, official or spectator
- Where access through an indoor space is provided it should be for one person at a time, ideally with a one-way system in operation. Participants should ensure not to make contact with hard surfaces such as door handles and move through the area without stopping or congregating at any time.
- Further information on physical distancing guidance is available at Staying Safe and Protecting Others.
- Clean Handballs regularly during the activity
- Clean your hands with sanitizer
- Leave immediately after the activity has finished
- Change and shower at home
- Clean all your equipment (Handballs, Goals, Markers) after the activity
Health, Safety & Hygiene
- Prepare for activity with equipment ready and in the right place aiming for there to be no contact for participants with doors, gates, fencing, and goals wherever possible.
- If you are using a pop-up goal, ensure that the same person puts it up and takes it down
Hand sanitisers should be made available where possible, but the participants should be encouraged to bring their own
- Cleaning of handballs, goals, hand, and respiratory hygiene are core measures to be implemented and provision should be made for these.
- Ensure access to first aid and emergency equipment is maintained.
- Ensure that first aid equipment has been updated appropriately for the COVID-19 pandemic and first aiders have appropriate training.
- In the event of first aid treatment being required it is recognised that a suitably qualified person, coach or supervising adult may require to attend to the injured participant. The ‘Covid Officer’ should consider processes for managing this as part of their risk assessment. This could include but not be limited to:
- Provision of suitable PPE
- Training of coaches/supervising adults
- Presence of one parent/guardian being required at the activity for children/vulnerable adults.
- Cleaning of equipment, hand and respiratory hygiene are core measures to be implemented and provision should be made for these.
- A checklist for health, hygiene and cleaning considerations and actions is available here: Getting your Facilities Fit for Sport
Detailed guidance is available at:
Guidance for participants
The following guidance can be used to support participants. Consider using it in the context of before, during and after the activity.
- Stay up to date
- Scottish Government information is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland .
- Be aware that guidance can change, and restrictions may be reintroduced - ensure you have checked the latest version of guidelines for your activity.
- Travelling to and from an activity/sports facility
- Please check before you leave that toilet facilities will be available at the sports facility.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home. Information on hand hygiene is available at: Health Protection Scotland: Hand hygiene techniques .
- Where possible avoid using public transport and adhere to Scottish Government physical distancing and travel guidelines.
- Arrive as close as possible to when you need to be at the venue/sports facility and allow others to leave before you enter. If you need to wait, then do so away from the facility and clear of any entrances or exits.
- Take your own hand sanitiser to the sports facility and use regularly throughout the activity.
- If driving, park your car in such a way as to facilitate physical distancing.
- Avoid touching fixed equipment including gates, fences or benches.
- After completing your exercise/activity return directly to your car (if appropriate) and leave.
Scottish Handball Association is currently working in partnership with sportscotland and Scottish Government to provide up to date and relevant guidelines to all our members. When we receive new or updated information, we will ensure this document is updated and our members are notified promptly.