Looking beyond Lockdown

As Squash starts to emerge from the Coronavirus lockdown, we’ll be collecting news from across the globe …

Read on to check out the news and guidelines they come available …

Egypt : Clubs reopening in June – with restrictions

WSF : Getting back to Squash

The World Squash Federation has published guidelines on how to get back to ‘normal’ in various stages …

WSF Covid-19 Recommendations

New Zealand moves to Level 2

New Zealand has reportedly contained and coped with the outbreak better than anyone, and on 13th May moves to “Level 2” (4 was ‘Eliminate, 3 was ‘restrict’ and 2 is ‘reduce’) which means the reopening of facilities within some fairly strict guidelines.

More on the Squash NZ Covid response     |  Club Activity Toolkit (very useful)

Turin “Coni Dossier” puts Squash in ‘Very High Risk’ category

With some countries publishing guidelines for when squash gets back, and others actually starting play, hopes of a quick and full return are possibly premature, with a report from the Polytechnic University of Turin suggesting more caution may be needed.

Called “Restarting Sport Safely”, the 400 page report was commissioned by the Italian National Olympic Committee and looks at the potential to spread the virus in over 300 sports. Sports governing bodies each completed a questionnaire covering all the risk factors, and the findings were used to produce a ‘league table’ with a risk score (0 to 4) allocated to each sport.

Report from IiFattoQuotidiano

Factors at the bottom – how’s your Italian ?

The amount of contact between players, the distances between them and the protection measures likely to be put in place had a significant bearing on each sports’ score, and squash fared badly … example scores :

0, no risk : golf, tennis, horse riding, fishing, sailing.
1, low risk : swimming, cycling,
2, average risk : water polo, beach volleyball
3, high risk : football, fencing.
4, very high risk : rugby, boxing, volleyball, basketball, squash

Other sports on the list have reacted – Water Polo claiming to be the least dangerous team sport, and Volleyball dismayed to be in the ‘most dangerous sports’ category.

The confined space, the proximity of the players to each other, heavy breathing and sweating helped to contribute to squash’s rating, but that won’t be much consolation to squash if governments and authorities use the list to help decide when to allow sports out of lockdown …

Malaysia – restrictions eased in Sabah

Hong Kong – squash centres open, plus limited competitions

No change in England … yet

Swiss Squash Clubs to reopen on 11th May !! 

It’s a great headline, but as countries such as Switzerland, Germany and USA start looking at easing restrictions and what might this mean for Squash Clubs and Players, the Swiss, US and Canadian guidelines make it certain it’s not going to be squash as we know it for a while yet

Meanwhile in Israel, Arthur Caplan reports on 7th May :   

I am pleased to tell you that Israel’s two largest squash clubs, the ones in Herzliya and Ra’Anana, renewed activity today.

Health precautions were in force but play was possible and demand was most encouraging.

Less encouraging news from the Netherlands via Milou van der Heijden :

Read on to check out the guidelines – we’re adding as they come available …

Switzerland

In Switzerland they’re looking at reopening sports clubs, with the guidelines adapted for a specific club, SIHLSPORTS.  In Germany the association is getting ready to publish their guidelines, and US Squash has developed a four-stage plan.

In brief, we’re looking at pre-booking visits to the club to control numbers, temperature checks and hand sanitisation on entry, restrictions on the types of play that is allowed, no showers and no bar/socialising, with departure from the club very shortly after ‘playing’.

Here’s some extracts from the SIHLSPORTS implementation …

Full Swiss Document (German) Swiss Squash-specific Guidelines

  Report from SquashNet (German)

USA

Meanwhile, US Squash has also issued guidelines for clubs when the time comes to reopen – here’s extracts from that …

Full US Squash report and Document

Swiss on court routines – video examples of what you can do

Squash Canada issues Guidelines for Clubs and Players

Here’s hoping we can all get back on court as soon as it’s safely possible ! We’ll update this with new guidelines and openings as we see them …