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Covid- 19 Frequently asked questions (updated 14 April 2021)

How do we fit playing equipment in a Covid-19 secure way?
We have worked with BAFCA to create guidelines to manage this safely. These can be found as standalone guidelines here and are now included as an appendix in our updated Stage 4 and Stage 5 guidelines for England and will be included in all guidance for other nations going forward.

I live in Wales, and my club is in England – can I travel to practice now?
Yes – as long as you are currently registered with a club in England you may now travel cross-border to participate in activity within England.

Can my team in Wales travel to England to practice – either with another club or by booking a pitch in England?
At the moment adult organised sport is not permitted in Wales until at least 26 April. As a National Governing Body of Sport, we cannot condone looking for loopholes that go against the spirit of the rules, and we request our clubs in Wales remain patient until 26 April when they can resume organised activity.

When will schedules be confirmed?
Schedules for some formats of football have already been issued. Others will follow as soon as possible. We are still finalising some groups for adult contact and U16/U19 contact formats, for example. Once these have been confirmed our commission leads will contact clubs directly to confirm.

What is happening with fees? Will there be refunds, and what about coaches?
The fees as they currently stand for 2021 remain unchanged from the 2019-2020 period and are available on the BAFA website here. However, as previously communicated, we are reviewing these fees once we have finalised competition groupings and will look to see where it may be appropriate to adjust fees for this year. This will be looked at on a competition-by-competition basis, and also take regional differences into account where appropriate.

I’ve already bought a membership – if the fees change will I lose out?
No. Should any fees be adjusted, members who have already purchased a playing or coaching membership for this season will receive a partial refund that reflects any adjustment in fees.

What about coaches – will they receive any refunds this time?
Yes – if competition fees are adjusted and refunds made, this will also be reflected for coaching fees where appropriate too.

Should I wait to see if fees change before registering with BAFA?
No – in order to participate in American football activity, you must be registered with BAFA. If there is any adjustment to fees agreed, you will receive a partial refund.  Please make sure you are registered before returning to practice.

My membership says it expires on 30 September, but I’ve been advised my format’s competition will still be underway after this point. Will I need to register again?
No – all memberships and team memberships will be extended to 31 October to take this into account. Playing memberships for women’s adult contact competitions will also be extended into November to reflect their slightly later playing calendar.

For modified contact, do we need to split into groups of 6+1 coach throughout?
No – you only need to do this for the elements of your practice where you are undertaking contact activity. However, you must not exceed the maximum number of participants per pitch area as detailed in our guidance for your format and nation.

Will there be changes to how we organise games this year to make them safer?
We will share game and tournament management guidance as part of our Stage 6 Return to Play guidelines. These will reflect current home nation government requirements in place at the time.

Should BAFA clubs be using lateral flow testing?
At the moment lateral flow testing is not a requirement at grassroots sports level. This is not something mandated or suggested by the DCMS, nor something we are requiring or recommending as an NGB currently. This is not only due to the additional cost it would impose on clubs but because clubs should be following our detailed mitigations to minimise risk of transmission instead. Should clubs wish to conduct independent lateral flow testing in addition to following our required mitigations, we recommend you engage with your local public heath team on best practice first and to see if any government supported schemes are available in your region.

Will BAFA introduce a requirement to be vaccinated?
At the moment no approach has been agreed or communicated on ‘vaccination passports’ at government level. BAFA will continue to review the situation, and should this become a recommendation for grassrooots sport, we will communicate any requirements to members. We think this is very unlikely at this stage however.

Do we have to monitor car sharing?
Car sharing is currently not recommended in England, Scotland or Wales. While you don’t need to monitor it, you should not advocate this as a club or as a solution for team travel. Please encourage people to follow the safe travel guidance for your home nation.