Swim England issues training advice for water polo clubs as guidance is updated

Swim England has updated its guidance on over 18s competing in indoor team sports for water polo clubs – and indicated what adult training can take place under the new tiered restrictions.

The latest measures introduced by the Government means that over 18s in tier two (high) and tier three (very high) areas are not able to participate in indoor team sports with people from outside their household or support bubble.

George Wood, Swim England Sport Development Director, said: “Whilst it is disappointing that the Government introduced these additional restrictions on our adult water polo players, we are keen to try and help those affected remain in the water.

“Our aim is for them to continue to develop their skills in a safe manner that complies with the new Government guidance so they are ready when indoor team sports for over 18s can continue once more.

“It is important to stress again that under 18s are not affected by the latest restrictions and can continue as before.

“College and university teams are also exempt, as are disabled participants.”

In tiers two and three, sports that require social interaction ‘cannot be played indoor with anyone outside of their household or support bubble’.

For example, an individual over the age of 18 could only play indoor tennis with their household / support bubble as this requires social interaction with the opponent and shared equipment.

Sports that can be done individually, such as archery target shooting, can take place socially distanced although participants should not interact with one another before, during or after the activity.

Complete risk assessment

George added: “Training activities in water polo such as passing the ball to one another should not go ahead.

“Activities that can be done individually whilst maintaining social distancing measures and not sharing equipment could include shooting into an empty goal where players would retrieve their own ball or individual drills with the ball.

“Swimming fitness training for water polo is permitted as long as Swim England’s Return to the Pool guidance for swimming is followed and social distancing is maintained.

“For all activities planned, it is recommended that clubs complete a risk assessment to help minimise the risk of transmission if undertaking such activities and clubs should follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool guidance.”

Different tier three areas may put in place alternative restrictions based on the result of the local authorities discussions with central government and so it will be important to take note of any specific local measures.

It is the responsibility of clubs to ensure that they and their members comply with the guidance, do not exceed its limitations and maintain distancing before, during and after activities.

To view the latest guidelines, click here and download the Water Polo Return to Team Sport guidance.