Club Re-Opening FAQs

The EPSB has provided answers to a number of Frequently Asked Questions by 147 Club members as set out below.

Why is the EPSB limiting the number of people playing on each table?

We are following the current UK Government Guidance about meeting people from outside your household within an indoor setting.

Clubs must conduct risk assessments that carefully consider their snooker table layouts to determine how many tables can feasibly be in use to allow safe social distancing.

From 17 May 2021, snooker facilities will be able to reopen subject to the restrictions in place on social contact at that point, i.e. in indoor areas, people will be able to meet socially in a group of six, or with one other household (in a group larger than six).

Players will be able to play singles or doubles.

When can local league team matches start up again?

We have produced some guidance to support local league team matches to restart from 17 May 2021.

Please see our dedicated COVID-19 guidance page for further information.

When can junior coaching groups start up again?

While government guidance is allowing under-18s to return to all forms of sport from 12 April 2021, we acknowledge the complexities for clubs wishing to open solely for organised junior sessions.

Clubs should consider all legal and insurance-related implications and must consult with their Local Authority and Health and Safety Executive before taking the decision to run any junior sessions from 12 April 2021.

There is further guidance on running such activities available on the government website.

We have produced some guidance to support junior coaching groups to restart.

Please see our dedicated COVID-19 guidance page for further information.

When will EPSB competitions resume?

Should the easing of restrictions proceed as planned, it is our aim to complete the outstanding 2019/20 national competitions in the summer of 2021, with the new season commencing in approximately August 2021.

This is subject to sector-specific guidance for indoor sport and our ongoing assessment of government guidance.

Can referees participate again?

Refereeing can recommence from 17 May 2021.

Referees or markers must maintain social distancing at all times and follow the club and player Covid-19 protocols.

Gloves should be worn, which must be washed or disposed of after use.

My club is not based in England.  Can these guidelines be used at my club?

Wherever your club is based, we are happy for you to use our guidelines as a ‘guide only’.

However, clubs in other locations should seek guidance and full compliance with local laws, and health and safety rules, and check with their national federation.

How should we maintain the cloth on our snooker tables under COVID-19 measures?

There are different options for maintaining the cloth to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Ironing

Ironing the table is an effective tool.  Clubs should increase the regularity of ironing. Temperatures of over 75 degrees Celsius will kill the virus.

Clubs should iron the table with the usual regularity at a normal temp of between 140-160 C at the normal frequency.  In addition, clubs should introduce additional ironing (after each session) at a lower temp (100-120 C) so that the cloth is not prematurely deteriorated.

Sanitising

Alternatively, clubs may consider the use of a mist sanitiser.

This needs to be carefully considered so as to avoid products that may damage the cloth or could be flammable, such as those containing isopropyl alcohol and de-ionized water.

There are some specialist mist sanitisers available on the market for snooker cloths.  These can be applied very quickly and easily between sessions.

The baize may be sanitised after each session where ironing the table is not considered an option.

Affiliated clubs can find out more via our 147 Club members page on Facebook or by visiting our supply partner page.

Re-cloth

Clubs may also consider a new cloth; cloth manufacturer Strachan has recently introduced an antiviral snooker cloth – 6811 Tournament Antiviral.

Please see our supply partner page for further details.

Should players wear face coverings in snooker clubs?

As of 24 September 2020, a wider number of settings require people to wear face coverings under the latest UK Government guidance.

Players must wear face coverings upon entry to any snooker premises.  Once at a designated snooker table this face covering may be removed, at the players’ discretion, to eat, drink or participate in snooker or billiards.  Face coverings must be put on again whenever leaving the designated area.  Exemptions apply.

We have taken the view that face coverings can be removed to participate in snooker or billiards because this is a recognised sport and, as such, meets the following exemption within the government guidance, which states:

“There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering…

    • if you are undertaking exercise or an activity and it would negatively impact your ability to do so”

This is guidance only and clubs must also continue to consult their Local Authority and Health and Safety Executive for approval of their club Covid-19 secure protocols.

The government guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities may help clubs to consider these risks.

What time should our club close if we provide indoor hospitality?

From 17 May 2021 there will no longer be a curfew concerning indoor hospitality provision.

For clarity, the UK Government’s roadmap states the following:

“In Step 3 [no earlier than 17 May 2021], all but the most high-risk sectors will be able to reopen. In all sectors, COVID-Secure guidance will remain in place and premises must not cater for groups larger than the legal limits. Sectors which will reopen include:

a. Indoor hospitality, with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.”

Can my club open sooner than 17 May 2021 to provide outdoor hospitality?

Yes. Clubs with outdoor hospitality areas should have the opportunity to open those outdoor areas from 12 April 2021.

Such outdoor hospitality will have no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks, and no curfew. The requirement to order, eat and drink while seated (‘table service’) will remain.

Clubs providing such outdoor hospitality will not be able to open their snooker facility until 17 May 2021 at the earliest.

Clubs must continue to consult with their Local Authority and Health and Safety Executive in respect of reopening their facilities.

 

Updated 18 March 2021.