Guidance on restarting junior snooker clubs
These COVID-19 guidelines apply to England only. They have been produced in line with UK Government announcements on the easing of lockdown restrictions, and the subsequent UK Government guidance for providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities and providers of out-of-school activities.
They should be followed in conjunction with the EPSB’s English Snooker Facilities Re-opening Guidelines.
Affiliated snooker clubs in England that wish to run out-of-school junior sessions can proceed from 12 April 2021, provided the club can offer a COVID-19 secure environment and the sessions are led by a WPBSA Snooker Coach.
This guidance is for clubs and coaches who provide snooker and billiards activities for children (up to age 18), as well as their staff and volunteers.
Coached sessions for children are now possible for group sizes of no more than 15, plus coach(es), in accordance with the Department for Education’s guidance for providers of out-of-school settings.
Evidence continues to confirm that children can be susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19) infection although a range of analyses suggest that children’s susceptibility to infection appears less than adults. The evidence is stronger that pre-school and primary aged children are less susceptible to infection than adults and more mixed for secondary-age and older children.
Clubs and coaches must read and follow the recommendations provided by two key documents produced by the UK Government, as follows:
While we know that social distancing can be maintained during snooker and billiards, it is vital that clubs and coaches follow the guidelines set out in these documents.
Below, we have summarised some of the key points that apply directly to organised snooker and billiards activities for junior players.
Please read through all these documents carefully before planning and delivering your junior sessions.
Coaches must consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission.
A thorough risk assessment must be undertaken/updated by the coach in collaboration with the snooker club. Appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are protected.
Clubs and coaches should work together to consider the space around their snooker tables, the capacity of the club, limited entry, staggered arrival and departure times, hygiene and social distancing measures in line with the current UK Government guidance and our EPSB Covid-19 Guidance.
Pre-attendance Symptom Check
All coaches and participants in your sessions should undergo a pre-attendance self-assessment for any COVID-19 symptoms using the information on the NHS website before leaving home.
No-one should leave home to participate in snooker or billiards if they, or someone they live with, has symptoms of COVID -19, including:
– A high temperature
– A new, continuous cough
– A loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste
If individuals demonstrate any such symptoms, they must follow the NHS guidance on self-isolation.
NHS Test and Trace
If a player you have coached develops symptoms of COVID-19, that player should be directed to follow the NHS test and trace guidelines.
To support NHS test and trace, coaches should keep a temporary record of session attendees for 21 days, and assist NHS test and trace with requests for that data if needed.
Maintaining Social Distancing
Social distancing between players, and between the coach and players should be maintained at all times, in line with the latest UK Government advice on staying alert and safe (social distancing)
Coaches, staff and volunteers must use appropriate protective measures.
Coaches should ensure social distancing measures are emphasised to participants at the start of each session, and that they are clear on how they should maintain social distancing before starting each activity.
Adaptations to coaching activities and how coaches provide feedback/instruction will be needed to ensure social distancing guidelines can be safely adhered to.
Attendees should be advised to limit their interactions with anyone outside the group they are attending the venue with (e.g. players on another snooker table or in a different coaching group).
If coaches feel that their youngest groups would be unable to reasonably maintain social distancing, they should consider prioritising sessions with older children first for commencement.
Health, Safety, Hygiene and Equipment
Ensure usual access to first aid and emergency equipment is maintained. Guidance on delivering first aid during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the St John Ambulance website
Clubs, coaches and attendees need to consider hygiene and equipment use very carefully to protect everyone and minimise the risk of transmission. The EPSB’s English Snooker Facilities Re-opening Guidelines provide more detailed guidance on the behaviours and processes to follow.
A parent/guardian or carer is permitted to attend and is not counted as part of the maximum group size, but should remain away from the snooker tables and limited to one person per child where possible, with social distancing observed while watching the session.
Coaches can advise parents/guardians or carers to read the UK Government’s guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The coach and snooker club should liaise to ensure an agreed approach to activity that is feasible to deliver safely, which should be communicated to all attendees in advance, on arrival, during and after the session.
Coaches should make attendees aware in advance that undertaking any activity, including snooker and billiards, has the potential for increased risk of transmission of COVID-19, and advise attendees to read the UK Government’s guidance on staying safe outside your home.
Clear instructions should be provided to participants ahead of the session so that they know which table to report to.
Updated 18 March 2021.