COVID-19 UPDATE: Clubs buoyed by Government announcement

Source: qrl.com.au


Clubs buoyed by Government announcement

01/07/2020


Community rugby league clubs across Queensland are now gearing up for the return of full-contact training and competition matches following yesterday’s Queensland Government announcement.


From midday Friday, July 3, clubs can engage in contact training as well as competition matches in a major boost for junior and senior participants throughout the state.


With Stage 3 brought forward as part of the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the QRL has today distributed an updated Handbook and MEMO to leagues and clubs.


Importantly, this communication provides the most up-to-date information on crowds and venue management.


While restrictions relating to the total number of people who can attend a venue has eased, there is still a requirement for physical distancing (one person per 4m2) off field.


QRL managing director Robert Moore applauded the Queensland Government for leading the recovery process that led to yesterday’s announcement. 


“In many cases, the announcement makes a return to play more practical and manageable for community rugby league volunteers,” Moore said.


“The unprecedented nature of the public health crisis has certainly presented unique challenges, but we’ve been fortunate to be part of the QSport Field Team Sports Group that has greatly assisted our return to play bid through the submission of a sport and recreation industry COVID-Safe Plan.”


Moore also acknowledged the work of QRL regions and operational staff, as well the many “patient” rugby league participants and volunteers who had embraced the new protocols.


“We recognise the impact that our game has on many communities and the prospect of an imminent return will be met with excitement across the state,” Moore said.


As announced last week, the QRL is working collaboratively with all leagues and clubs to provide financial support.


Pending Clearances 24/06/2020


The QRL would like to thank all clubs currently working through the process of Return to Play and acknowledge the difficult decision some clubs/leagues have made in deciding not to return to play in 2020.  


To support all clubs and participants, it is essential all clearances/registrations are approved in the My Sideline database prior to competitions resuming.   


The following advice is provided to all clubs to support a safe return to competition, while maintaining an equitable distribution of players across clubs for the 2021 season: 

  • All clearances requests entered prior to June 1 will require actioning at the appropriate level prior to June 28

  • All clearance requests not actioned prior to this date will be auto-approved by the relevant QRL or league administrators

  • All clearance requests entered post June 1 for clubs and teams not participating in 2020 will only be approved as a ‘portability’ clearance that will expire on October 20. Requests made will be actioned within a time frame agreed by the local league

  • All players accepted to participate on a portability clearance will be covered under the insurance policy of the secondary club

  • All new registration requests should be processed prior to the participant engaging in training or competition, noting the QRL will not be enforcing a June 30 deadline for new registrations in 2020 

Any exemptions outside these guidelines are at the discretion of the relevant region manager. 


Return To Play Handbook updated

04/06/2020

Following today’s approval of the Sport Industry COVID Safe Plan, the QRL have updated their Return the Play Handbook


The Plan was presented to the state’s chief health officer and was a collaborative effort by 13 Field Sports in Queensland, led by Hockey Queensland CEO Alison Lyons.    

 

The approval is positive news for community clubs, noting there has been an increased allowance in the number of participants permitted at venues during Stage 2 of the Return to Play Roadmap. 


Full details are included in the attached MEMO; and the updated version four of the QRL Return to Play Handbook can be accessed here


Live Q&A on returning to play

03/06/2020


QRL regional general manager Glenn Ottaway, following last month’s successful Q&A chat on QRL platforms, will host another live session this week.


Tomorrow, June 4, from 6pm until 7pm, Ottaway will be joined by Gallagher Queensland sport team leader Terry Berryman to answer any questions on returning to play community rugby league, following the recent release of the QRL guidelines and handbook.


To watch and interact, like Queensland Rugby League on Facebook.


Stage 2 brought forward and what that means

02/06/2020


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday announced Stage 2 restrictions had been brought forward from June 12 to Monday June 1. 


This means as at midday small groups of 20 participants per venue at one time can begin training under the following conditions:

  • Conduct training under the principle of ' get in, train, get out' 

  • As per the QRL Return to Play Handbook,  these sessions are:

  • Skill training using equipment including kicking, passing, catching, no tackling/wrestling

  • Small groups only (no more than 20 athletes and staff combined)

  • Only at club facilities or other club approved venues


  • Each club executive has signed off their individual club plan that supports compliance with the QRL Return to Play Handbook

  • Has communicated with all club members advising them of the club’s return to play protocols and the expectations of them attending the venue prior to the resumption of activity

  • Training will only be available to participants who do not have cold or flu symptoms. Importantly, as participants may be asymptomatic, they should not be training if anyone they live with has these symptoms

  • Practices of personal hygiene and transmission are followed and;

  • Practices of physical distancing are followed

The QRL is part of the QSport Field Team Sports Group that has submitted a sport and recreation industry COVID Safe Plan to the Queensland chief health officer’s office for consideration and sign off, which is expected to be responded to by June 4. 


If approved this could see numbers increased to allow more participants to train at each venue and will require the QRL Return to Play Handbook to be updated; this update and any future updates will rescind the previous version of the document. 


It is understood these restrictions are an additional burden to volunteers and in some circumstances not currently achievable due to volunteer resources, but we encourage you to reach out to your local QRL staff member for assistance or clarification of the these guidelines prior to making a decision on 2020 participation. 



Queensland Government COVID Safe Restart Plan

25/05/2020


It is important as the current Queensland Government’s restrictions are being relaxed, we build on the progress we have made - listen to the health advice, maintain a safe distance from others and keep up good hygiene.


The Queensland Government has committed $51.3 million through its Sport and Recreation COVID Safe Restart Plan to help everyone get ready to re-start community sport and recreation to coincide with Stage 2 of the Queensland Roadmap.


Below are the range of options available to assist clubs and organisations to get going again:

  • $14 million COVID Safe Active Clubs Kickstart – funding to purchase hygiene supplies, products, training or equipment to allow clubs to return to play, this funding can also be used for operational needs such as utilities and bills. This will see up to 7000 clubs receiving grants of up to $2000

  • $10.8 million Active Industry Fund – funding for 77 state level sporting organisations and industry peak bodies through existing arrangements

  • $15.5 million Active Restart Infrastructure Recovery Fund - grants for minor works and support up to 3000 clubs to purchase revenue generating equipment to help them return to play

  • $11 million FairPlay vouchers - vouchers of up to $150 for around 73,000 young Queenslanders to participate in physical activity opportunities and support families experiencing hardship due to COVID-19

The application guidelines will be released online via www.covid19.qld.gov.au/returntoplay. For more information, email SR_Covid19@npsr.qld.gov.au.


QRL prepares protocols in consultation with leagues

21/05/2020


QRL regions will next week lead a process with key stakeholders to assess and provide feedback on the proposed ‘Return to Play’ protocols.


This will include consultation with all leagues as well as sample clubs and associations from throughout the state.


QRL regional general manager Glenn Ottaway said the review process would be a critical step forward in the ongoing quest to reboot community rugby league in 2020.  


“The importance of this process is to ensure our volunteers are aware of the requirements and can hold some initial discussions with their members on any risks associated with the return of rugby league,” Ottaway said.


“This will in turn give us an indication on the number of leagues who believe they have the capacity to facilitate a practical and safe return to training and competition for their members.”


The overall Guidelines can be accessed here and a detailed handbook for clubs, leagues and associations will be submitted for approval by the QRL Board on Friday, May 29, prior to public release.


These resources have been developed with the health and wellbeing of participants and the general safety of the community as a priority. 


It is also acknowledged that achieving a return to play will require an increased commitment from volunteers, participants and any individuals attending venues.


Further clarification on community rugby league return 13/05/2020


How and when community sport returns is a major talking point as the country wades through the COVID-19 health pandemic.


For people who love their footy in Queensland, the focus is very much on when community rugby league teams can return to training and possibly competition in 2020.


Here at the QRL, we understand the league community has many questions during such a period of uncertainty, which is why regional manager Glenn Ottaway took the time to engage with members across the state on Monday night.


On the line: Glenn Ottaway


His online chat on QRL platforms was viewed by more than 11,000 unique viewers, with the high level of engagement during the broadcast indicating a large cross section of community rugby league was represented.


In addition to the chat, the QRL Regions have distributed surveys to clubs, leagues and players.


This information is being collated to give us a better understanding of the needs and current thinking of our stakeholders.


Ottaway praised volunteers for their efforts so far.


“It has taken a significant commitment from clubs / leagues already to remain patient and to keep members engaged,” Ottaway said.


“There is no doubt that any possible return to play in 2020 will require further commitment from volunteers to ensure guidelines are satisfied.” 


Here is a summary of the key points from the online Q&A:

  • QRL are required to prepare guidelines specific to rugby league for submission to the state’s CHO for approval. We will consult via the South East, Central and Northern regions before these guidelines are submitted for approval

  • The key guiding document for the QRL and all sport is the Road Map

  • Activity in Stage 1 is recreational only and does not include organised community sport.  Return to training for community sport is not included until Stage 2 (June 12). This return is dependent on the above guidelines for rugby league being approved. Any club directed activity at this stage is not covered by insurance and would be in breach of the Government restrictions.

  • We are currently working with Government on seeking greater clarity around some of the restrictions/conditions listed in the Road Map. Included in this are the ongoing requirement for physical distancing, the restrictions on total numbers able to attend venues and the possibility of a staged return in areas where there has been limited or no reported cases of the virus


QRL outlines initial steps to support community football return 07/05/2020


Queensland Rugby League Region managers and chairs met yesterday to discuss plans for a possible resumption of community sport in Queensland. 


This was following the recent release of the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport. 


It has been confirmed through State Government that this Framework has been endorsed as the road map for a return to community sport in Queensland. 


The QRL will continue to work with State Government and the QRL chief medical officer on developing guidelines specific to rugby league that will need to be endorsed by the state’s chief medical officer.


These guidelines and any forthcoming endorsement will allow us to forecast possible return dates, competition structures and the associated costs such as insurance.


The three levels for rebooting sport as detailed in the Framework provide a general guide for the gradual return to full training and competition.  


Progression through the levels will require government approval, including the easing of current restrictions around home confinement, movement and social gathering.


As has been the case in all previous decision making, the health and wellbeing of participants and the general safety of the wider community will remain the priority.


Further details can be accessed here.


Further to this, QRL regional general manager Glenn Ottaway will also be available online via a live chat room next week with the day and time to be advised.


Response to NSWRL Announcement re Community Rugby League

22/04/2020

Message from Rugby League Brisbane League Manager, Scott Dunshea:

Hi All,

Some of you may have read reports today regarding a recommencement of Community Rugby in NSW from mid-July.

The proposed date that has been presented by the NSWRL is contingent on a review and subsequent relaxation of current Health Orders across NSW that are restricting community activity. There is no guarantee of Rugby League or any community sport resuming until such time as the Government relaxes these Orders. At present, they are very similar to the Orders that are restricting activity and interaction in QLD.

The current QLD Health Order in place for QLD is current up to and including May 19. This order specifically limits movement/travel, social gatherings and enforces home confinement for non-essential activity.

As such the most recent advice from the QRL (https://www.qrl.com.au/news/2020/04/01/qrl-boss-praises-volunteers-as-door-remains-open-for-community-league-return/) remains current. As per this advice, we are continually reviewing the latest Health Advice and Government restrictions specifically relating to QLD, and will provide further advice in consultation with our Regions and QRL Board as required.

We appreciate everyone’s patience through this time. Understandably we are all very keen to have Rugby League back in communities as soon as possible. We will continue to update all stakeholders as new advice comes to hand and our staff will continue working on contingencies for Rugby League competitions in 2020 based on restrictions in place and most importantly local needs.

Regards


QRL Hours of Operation Update 02/04/2020

Message from Rugby League Brisbane League Manager, Scott Dunshea:

Hi All,


Like all business across the country the QRL have been affected by the impacts of COVID-19. As such there are some temporary measures the QRL have put in place during the period of uncertainty. All program related decisions to date have been communicated via the QRL Website and this has included the cancellation or postponement of many QRL events, carnivals, competitions and programs. Further to this, the QRL will enter a period of compulsory closure from the 6-17th of April where all staff will be on a period of annual leave, noting that some staff may be required to take additional paid leave beyond this period. On return to work (from Aril 20), all QRL will return on reduced hours. This will see all staff working Monday to Thursday, with office closures occurring across the state on Friday’s. At this stage this arrangement extends to the end of May.

We understand that the required response to the COVID-19 pandemic is causing disruption to everyone. Please be assured that our staff are committed to supporting you through this period as best we can. We greatly value your contribution as volunteers in the game and wish you a happy and safe Easter break.


Regards


Community Rugby League - Suspension Extended

01/04/2020

Please see attached media release statement and memo for updated advice on Community Rugby League Competitions for the 2020 season.


Community Rugby League - Available Stimulus Packages

27/03/2020

As the COVID-19 crisis impacts on the overall national economy, all levels of government will continue to consider and release stimulus packages to support national, state and local interests. 


The QRL will continue to monitor all information relevant to our affiliates and distribute accordingly. 


Similarly, QRL staff will be available to support clubs, leagues and associations in assessing individual eligibility and completing necessary application forms. 

Here is a summary of the current packages that may be applicable to QRL affiliates.


Community Rugby League Training and Insurance

24/03/2020

As state and federal governments continue to increase restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings as a strategy for reducing the spread of COVID-19, it is critical all QRL affiliates continue to adhere to advice provided.


The QRL understand this is an extremely difficult time for our communities and we appreciate the tireless efforts of our volunteers in supporting the rugby league family and wider community across the state.


Here is an update on training and competition suspensions and club, league and association insurance.


Should you have any questions please make initial contact with the relevant QRL staff member in your area.





Representative Programs and Carnivals

24/03/2020

Queensand Rugby League has today confirmed the cancellation of all major representative programs and carnivals for the 2020 season.

At the forefront of this decision is the health and wellbeing of the rugby league community, in particular our athletes, coaches, team personnel, officials, volunteers and staff.

As all programs require a considerable amount of travel, close contact and are supported by large audiences, the potential impact on our people was deemed too great for events to proceed as scheduled.

The full list of cancelled events is as follows:

  • State Junior Carnival

  • Central Crows Junior Carnival

  • Hill Stumer Carnival

  • NQ Junior Championships

  • 47th Battalion Carnival/s (including Under 18s and Under 20s)

  • All Outback Programs (including Cultural Exchange and Outback v NQ United)

  • Senior A Grade Championships

  • Under 18 SEQ v PNG Exchange

While the QRL understands the frustrations of participants who have been preparing and planning for these events, the game felt it was in the best interests of all stakeholders to provide as much notice as possible to assist suppliers, event partners and attendees.

In light of this announcement, the QRL will contact all relevant suppliers and partners to these events in due course to make suitable arrangements / cancellations.

With the current suspension on all community rugby league activity across Queensland, the QRL will continue to support leagues and clubs through this unprecedented period.

Consultation with relevant stakeholders on other participation events that are supported by the QRL, like the QMC and QPICC, will be ongoing with the relevant hosts.

New information regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is received daily and the QRL is committed to supporting all communities throughout the state in slowing the spread of the virus.


2020 QRL Competitions Update

17/03/2020

The Queensland Rugby League can provide an update on the status of its Statewide Competitions, community football and representative programs following tonight’s board meeting.


After careful consideration in relation to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, the QRL has suspended its Statewide Competitions and community leagues, effective immediately.

In addition, all junior regional events and state carnivals will be postponed indefinitely.

QRL Managing Director Robert Moore said the four QRL Statewide Competitions would be suspended until June 5, and all junior and senior community rugby league until at least the first weekend of May.


While some community competitions are yet to kick-off, the four statewide leagues commenced at the weekend with 25 games played across the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.


Should circumstances allow, the QRL will work with its clubs to facilitate the return of these four competitions mid-year.


Such a scenario would provide the opportunity for all Intrust Super Cup clubs to play each other once before the scheduled 2020 finals series, in addition to the results from Round 1 fixtures which would stand.


Similar fixture models, in line with the proposed date for the return of premiership games, are currently being looked at for the BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.


Moore said the board had considered all aspects of the current situation in consultation with its operations teams and clubs.


“This public health emergency we’re working through is unprecedented; and the health and safety of our participants is a priority, along with the welfare of Queensland communities,” Moore said.


“The decision to put our Statewide Competitions, community leagues and representative programs on hold takes into account all the relevant information provided by the National Rugby League, public health authorities and the government.


“Ultimately, it is our responsibility to implement procedures that don’t place players, volunteers, staff and other stakeholders at unnecessary risk.”


Approval for clubs to hold training sessions during this period is an ongoing matter, as the QRL is seeking further advice from its chief medical officer, Dr Roy Saunders, as well as Queensland health authorities.

The Queensland Rugby League can provide an update on the status of its Statewide Competitions, community football and representative programs following tonight’s board meeting.


After careful consideration in relation to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, the QRL has suspended its Statewide Competitions and community leagues, effective immediately.


In addition, all junior regional events and state carnivals will be postponed indefinitely.


QRL Managing Director Robert Moore said the four QRL Statewide Competitions would be suspended until June 5, and all junior and senior community rugby league until at least the first weekend of May.

While some community competitions are yet to kick-off, the four statewide leagues commenced at the weekend with 25 games played across the Intrust Super Cup, BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.

Should circumstances allow, the QRL will work with its clubs to facilitate the return of these four competitions mid-year.

Such a scenario would provide the opportunity for all Intrust Super Cup clubs to play each other once before the scheduled 2020 finals series, in addition to the results from Round 1 fixtures which would stand.


Similar fixture models, in line with the proposed date for the return of premiership games, are currently being looked at for the BHP Premiership, Hastings Deering Colts and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup.


Moore said the board had considered all aspects of the current situation in consultation with its operations teams and clubs.


“This public health emergency we’re working through is unprecedented; and the health and safety of our participants is a priority, along with the welfare of Queensland communities,” Moore said.


“The decision to put our Statewide Competitions, community leagues and representative programs on hold takes into account all the relevant information provided by the National Rugby League, public health authorities and the government.


“Ultimately, it is our responsibility to implement procedures that don’t place players, volunteers, staff and other stakeholders at unnecessary risk.”


Approval for clubs to hold training sessions during this period is an ongoing matter, as the QRL is seeking further advice from its chief medical officer, Dr Roy Saunders, as well as Queensland health authorities.


RUGBY LEAGUE BRISBANE COVID-19 STATEMENT 17/03/2020

At the discretion of the Rugby League Brisbane Board and in the best interest of our community it has been decided to suspend all RLB Club training until we have received further direction from the Queensland Rugby League. We will be communicating with you regularly and hope to have decisions on future training and all competitions by tomorrow morning at the latest.


Please see excerpt from the below statement from Glenn Ottaway (Regional General Manager - Queensland Rugby League). Competitions and Training • At this stage, the hosting of competitions and/or trial games are at the discretion of the relevant Local League. As this is a rapidly changing situation further advice will be provided during the week commencing 16 March which may result in all QRL Sanctioned Competitions being suspended.



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