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FA guidance for grassroots football during Covid-19 now allows for training for groups of up to six people including a coach




Youngsters could soon return to some form of football training according to the latest round of guidelines issued by The Football Association.

All grassroots games and coaching were halted back in March at the start of the coronavirus outbreak at the same time as schools closed to the majority of pupils.

The change in the rules could enable small groups of players to train again together
The change in the rules could enable small groups of players to train again together

Since then budding players have been left honing skills in their gardens, more recently in outdoor spaces with a family member or in some cases with virtual fitness and skills training conducted online with their clubs or coaches.

But on Monday (June 1) as thousands of children also returned to the classroom, The FA issued updated guidance for grassroots football which could enable qualified coaches and small groups of players both over and under the age of 18, with social distancing, to now reunite.

The announcement may prove popular with parents who have needed to keep children and teenagers occupied and active at home for the last 10 weeks during lockdown.

And it's also not the only outdoor activity to begin the process of welcoming back children to their hobbies - with riding stables and water sports centres also amongst those now resuming lessons with instructors.

During stricter lockdown measures football was only permitted to be played between members of the same household
During stricter lockdown measures football was only permitted to be played between members of the same household

In a statement, published on its website, The FA said that, consistent with the latest government advice, football training or fitness activities in 'groups of no more than six, keeping 2m apart at all times' would now be allowed.

Stringent hygiene measures would need to be followed, the rules go on to say, including good hand washing before and after playing whilst keeping any sharing of equipment to an absolute minimum.

Physical contact is also not permitted with players requiring to be 2m apart meaning that no games - either small sided training or full matches - can be played.

If training boys and girls under the age of 18 those in charge must, says The FA, carry out risk assessments, seek consent from parents and ensure they are in sight of another adult such as a parent or another coach who would not need to be included in the group of six.

Groups of six, including a coach, can now meet for socially distanced fitness or coaching sessions
Groups of six, including a coach, can now meet for socially distanced fitness or coaching sessions

There is also provision within the latest rules for coaches to organise a training session that has two or more groups of six (including the coach) involved in the session, as long as the groups of six are kept separate and everyone throughout abides by social distancing.

The relaxation of rules to allow for some football training at grassroots level follows confirmation that Premier League games are also set to resume on Wednesday, June 17.


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