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Message from Pete Ackerley.

This weekend sees another huge milestone in our Return to Play journey, as our contact formats in England resume league competition. After such a long break from playing the sport we all love, I’m sure everyone involved is excited to finally get back on the field.

However, as social distancing restrictions remain in place for now, please also remember to be cautious and take a common-sense approach to minimise risk wherever possible.

To support clubs, we’ve updated our Return to Play guidance for contact football in England to add an appendix containing a check list of things to think about when organising and participating in contact games and tournaments.

We’ve also had a number of questions relating to face coverings in the team area during games, and on managing spectators.

Face coverings
The reason we introduced guidance on face coverings in the team area was to help protect you and reduce the risk of an outbreak of Covid-19 within your team. During the flow of the game we think it might be hard to remember about social distancing. Those of you with large squads may also find the sideline a crowded place at times.

However, following feedback and further discussion we have revised our guidance to make face coverings “recommended” rather than required. This reflects current government guidance, but we still strongly encourage teams to consider this simple precaution. We have also made clear this is something for teams to manage and not for officials to penalise.

You can find updated guidance on face coverings and our other Covid-19 rules adjustments here –

Spectators are permitted to attend games and tournaments but again, the watch words here are caution and common sense. While social distancing restrictions remain in place, if you are not confident of your club’s ability to adequately manage spectators, we recommend you consider discouraging them from attending games.

Otherwise, please work closely with your venue to understand their capacity and any additional restrictions they may have in place, agree how many spectators may safely attend your event and put a plan to manage spectators at your games and tournaments. You should also clearly communicate to spectators that social distancing is still required.

I wish all our contact teams in England a safe and enjoyable return to competition.


More information and support

For additional information, please visit

If you have any questions, please contact: – for general Return to Play, Covid-19 safety and other off-field activity related questions – for coaching queries – for questions relating to BAFA team or individual membership – for queries relating to mixed or women’s adult flag football – for queries relating to U11,U14 or U17 flag football – for queries relating to adult contact football – for queries relating to women’s adult contact football – for queries relating to university football – for questions relating to U16/19 contact football