Ready to Return latest statement

Paul Stimpson

Publish date:

** This page was last updated at 9.30am on Friday, September 11 2020.

Table tennis activity contributes to many health, social and economic benefits across the country and many of us will be missing the game, however it is vitally important that when activity is resumed, it does not compromise the health and safety of individuals or communities.

We will aim to respond to any changes promptly but we may have to wait for the Government to provide the precise details of their guidance and advice. We are, however, looking at various scenarios that we might find ourselves in and considering how table tennis can return safely.

Resumption of sport and recreation activities will be based on objective health information to ensure they are conducted safely and do not risk increasing the spread of Covid 19, taking into account the following factors.

  1. All decisions about resumption of sport and recreation activities must take place with careful reference to Government, Sport England and Table Tennis England advice.
  2. International evidence to date is suggestive that outdoor activities are a lower risk setting for COVID-19 transmission. There is a lack of data on risks of indoor sporting activity but, at this time, the risk is assumed to be greater than for outdoor sporting activity, even with similar mitigation steps taken.
  3. All activity must, at a minimum level, follow the guidance and advice outlined by Table Tennis England, Sport England and the Government. Clubs, leagues and community venues will need to factor in their own playing environments and make decisions that are right for their own club, league or community of players.

Five stage process

It is still unknown at this time how long each of these stages may last, but we have included several guidance documents, templates and posters to support clubs, leagues and coaches re-starting.

We continue to work through government guidelines and will take learnings from the return of club activity in stage 2 to determine how the remaining stages look. From the 27th July we have moved into stage 3 of the ready to return roadmap and as part of this phase we will be preparing further guidance and advice for leagues to support a return to local league play.

A guidance document for local leagues to consider is available and we are currently advising that we will be in a position to move into stage 4 (local leagues able to re-start) from September 1, 2020.

Please see the current guidelines and timescales connected to the return of local and national competitions by clicking here.

We will continue to provide more information, guidance and advice on each of the stages below as and when appropriate.

Stage 1 – Play and exercise at home and limited outdoor play

  • Practice and table tennis activity can take place at home with members of your household
  • Cardio and exercise that can be done whilst meeting social distancing guidelines is encouraged
  • Groups of six can now meet for exercise, if social distancing guidelines are maintained – click here to see the Sport England advice on this
  • Playing on outdoor tables if with members of their household or one other person only. No more than two people at any one time should be playing on the same table, unless with members of the same household
  • One to one coaching is permitted outdoors. From June 1st, one to coaching with an under-18 or vulnerable adult can now take place if a parent/guardian/carer is present and maintains social distancing – click here to see the Sport England advice on this
  • Online learning via video calls
  • No table tennis activity in clubs/leagues and no one to one/private coaching sessions to run indoors

Click here to view the Stage 1 guidance on Member Engagement and Planning for the Future

Stage 2 – Limited club activity (from 25th July)

  • Some local club activity may be able to resume with restrictions in place, connected to hygiene, social distancing and space available. Facility templates are currently being developed to help guide clubs and leagues on their own spaces
  • One to one coaching indoors would likely be possible again
  • Competitive play is likely to be restricted to ensure a healthy and injury free return for participants and to ensure minimum restrictions are met
  • Play on outdoor tables continues with restrictions in place

Click here to go back to the Ready to Return section

Stage 3 – Preparing for localised competition

  • Local competitive opportunities may look to resume with certain restrictions in place. In preparation for a time when competitive play may resume, we will be providing some ideas for clubs and leagues to consider

Click here to view Stage 3 guidance on preparing for a return to league table tennis. This is also downloadable at the foot of this page.

Stage 4 – Local competition resumption (where we are now)

  • Leagues and competitions may resume with limited restrictions in place
  • It is expected at this stage that some restrictions in stage 2 may start to be lifted

Stage 5 – Restricted national competitions

  • Club, league, community and competitive play resumes with some restrictions in place
In reviewing all of the stages outlined, we will factor in the following key areas and provide appropriate advice and guidance in each area:

  • Welfare, health and safety of participants
  • Workforce – advice for volunteers, coaches, officials
  • Re-engaging your existing members – including factoring in how different groups may respond to returning to play differently
  • Attracting new members
  • Advice/best practice from other clubs and leagues

Click here to visit our coronavirus advice page

Table Tennis England’s Be TT programme will be allocating funding support for table tennis activity to clubs, leagues and volunteers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – click here for more information.

National Competitions

Table Tennis England has announced a framework for confirming national events and leagues, plus a refund policy, as we continue to plan for the 2020/21 season. Click here to find out more.

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