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COVID-19: FIH issues guidance to ensure playing fields are ready when restrictions end

May 7, 2020
With the majority of countries around the world continuing to use social distancing or lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are some countries where restrictions are beginning to ease. 

Hockey fields across the globe have seen little to no activity for several months, meaning that certain steps may need to be taken in order to ensure they will be fit for use when restrictions are eventually lifted, and the possibility of training and matches becomes a reality.

With the assistance of the European Synthetic Turf Council (ESTC) and the FIH Medical Committee, the International Hockey Federation’s Quality Programme for Hockey Turf has created a guidance document designed to enable facility operators to develop a re-commissioning plan for their playing fields. These guidelines will help to ensure that the playing surface will be ready for action when the restrictions finally come to an end.

Whilst stressing the importance of checking national regulations before undertaking any maintenance work to avoid any unnecessary risk to individuals, the document offers guidance on the importance of clearing surface debris, such as leaf litter or bird and animal droppings, whilst also giving solutions on the removal of weeds, moss and algae that may have become established in the turf during this time of inactivity.  

The document also offers crucial advice regarding the safe elimination of potentially harmful bacteria from watering systems, as well as guidance given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to sports event organisers planning mass gatherings, in the context of the COVID-19 global health pandemic. 

To download the document, please click here

Like all of you, the FIH hopes that everyone will be playing hockey again soon, but only when it is safe to do so, in accordance with national health regulations and guidance. With a little forward planning, you can ensure that your hockey field will be ready for action when the time comes.  

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