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Guidance for Competition – COVID-19 Strategic Framework

Updated 19 July 2021


Competition Guidance


• At Levels 0-3, inter club competition can take place subject to the specific guidance at each level.

• Event organisers and competitors should be aware of their local area protection level and associated restrictions which may be in place and should consider this as part of their risk assessment planning.

• Competitions must operate in a way that is consistent with other aspects of Return to Rowing guidance.

• Note: At Level 4 of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework, inter club competition is not permitted.

Guidance for levels 0-3

1. All competitions must abide by this Scottish Rowing guidance and have a named ‘COVID Officer’ who should ensure completion of documented risk assessments and ensure all appropriate mitigations are put in place. Contact details of COVID officers should be submitted to the Scottish Rowing office. This can be the club COVID officer.

2. Operators and organisers should where relevant, as part of their risk assessment, consult with and obtain agreement from those bodies that they would normally require agreement from to run the competition. Where the competition would require a licence from the local authority under existing Civic Government legislation, this must include agreement from local Environmental Health Officers.

Other bodies depending on the type, location, and scale of the event, may include the landowner, Community Council, the transport police, or other body responsible for the safety of the public.

3. Spectators are not permitted unless:

3.1. where supervising a child and/or vulnerable person or

3.2. where a competition or event is organised and takes place at premises whose entrances and exits are controlled for the purpose of crowd and capacity management in line with Scottish Government (COVID-19): events sector guidance and (COVID-19): calculating physical distancing capacity in public settings.

4. It is recognised that it may not always be possible to prevent people from spectating [at a competition or event] in a public space such as a park. In such circumstances, the organisers are required to consider mitigating measures as part of their risk assessment/management plan with an emphasis on Guidance for Competition – COVID-19 Strategic Framework
Competition Guidance discouraging, where possible, informal spectating. Any such measures should be clearly communicated by the organiser prior to the competition or event which may include, amongst other things, the displaying of notices around the venue to remind club members and the general public to follow Scottish Government guidance.

5. For clarity, where informal spectating does take place organisers are not expected to enforce government guidance on members of the public in places not under their control.

6. For the purposes of this guidance a competition is a planned and organised group of one or more events involving competitors from more than one club. An event may be a race or series of races leading to a final decision (whether based on times or side-by-side racing) or a set of skills-based challenges.

7. Test & Protect: Competition organisers must record the contact details of all participants, volunteers & staff at competitions for the purposes of contact tracing. Further information on Test & Protect can be found in this guidance.

8. On-Water Competition

8.1. Event organisers may run closed or open events.

8.2.Open events will only be sanctioned by Scottish Rowing where the event organiser can demonstrate the event will be COVID compliant.

8.3. Closed events are restricted to private matches between two clubs, events open to only school or university clubs, or invitational events of up to 4 clubs when approved by the Scottish Rowing Board. See rules E2 of the Scottish Rowing rules of racing for further details.

8.4. Competition organisers wishing to run open events should contact the Scottish Rowing office (office@scottish-rowing.org.uk) a minimum of 20 working days before the opening of entries for the event. Please note: You do not need to have a fully formed event plan before contacting us, we encourage organisers to get in touch at the earliest stages of planning their events.

8.5. Competition should only be offered for boat classes permitted in the Return to Rowing Guidance. Guidance for Competition – COVID-19 Strategic Framework Competition Guidance

9. Participants in closed inter-club competitions (run under Rule E2 of the Scottish Rowing rules of racing) are strongly encouraged to have a Scottish Rowing Membership. Scottish Rowing membership provides public liability insurance for individuals undertaking rowing activity. Insurance provided through individual club membership may not provide cover for inter-club competition.

10.Indoor rowing competitions are not governed by the Scottish Rowing Rules of Racing, but event organisers planning to run an indoor event should first contact the Scottish Rowing office (office@scottish-rowing.org.uk) a minimum of 20 working days before the opening of entries for the event.

11.Physical Distancing

11.1. Physical distancing in line with Scottish Government guidelines must be in place before and after a competition takes place with participants and support staff asked to immediately vacate the event site after they have completed the competition.

11.2. No formal presentation ceremonies should take place during or after an event and the focus should be on reducing numbers in attendance at any one time.

11.3. Coaches and others supporting organised activity should attempt to keep physically distant where possible, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such circumstances the responsible ‘COVID Officer’ should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.

11.4. Where an employee is involved in running the competition, relevant work placed risk assessments and consultation should take place in advance of any activity being undertaken. See the Businesses, workplaces and self-employed people section at Scottish Govt: Covid-19.

11.5. Parents/guardians who are supervising their children should abide by Scottish Government physical distancing guidance and stay at least 2m away from those out with their own household. Groups of parents from different households should not congregate before, during or after the activity.

12.Participant numbers and duration of competition

12.1. In outdoor competition, an event site should be defined that is a single well-defined area encompassing the area which competitors and race officials use Guidance for Competition – COVID-19 Strategic Framework Competition Guidance to prepare for, administer, or take part in the competition. This would include areas such as:

        1. The body of water used for racing
        2. Any areas used by competitors to prepare their equipment
        3. Launching/landing stages
        4. Areas used to store equipment used in the competition
        5. Any facilities (e.g. toilets, changing rooms) accessed by participants

12.2. In indoor competitions, the event site is a designated part of the facility which is set aside for use by competitors and officials for the competition.

12.3. The competition organiser should consider how they will ensure compliance with all COVID guidelines within the event site. They should also consider how the event will impact the area around their event site (for example, gatherings of spectators) to ensure the event does not pose a risk to public health.

12.4. Where multiple host venues are used for the same competition (for example, multiple boathouses on the same stretch of river), each venue should have its own defined event site that is not accessed by competitors from other venues.

12.5. The event site should only be accessed by those taking part in the competition.

12.6. At Level 0-3 when participating in organised rowing competition, government guidance permits the formation of bubbles. The bubble size for each level is set out in the Sport & Physical Activity Restrictions table and at Level 3 includes coaches, officials and other support staff.

12.6.1.The purpose of a bubble is to: allow those within the bubble to field different combinations of crews; allow for sharing of equipment; facilitate communication between individuals within a bubble.

12.6.2.Physical distancing should be maintained except when preparing to race (e.g. rigging/derigging/moving equipment pre/post race) or within a crew while out on the water.

12.6.3.Each bubble should be given a dedicated space on the event site and individuals should remain inside a designated space for their bubble when not racing or accessing facilities (car parking, drinking water etc.)

12.6.4.Bubbles should be assigned in advance of the competition and communicated to all involved.

          1. An individual bubble can be made of any combination of competitors, coaches, support staff, officials and others as necessary to run the competition.
          2. An example set up for rowing competition at Level 3:
          • Individual bubbles for each club (or combined bubbles for smaller clubs) that includes all their competitors, coaches & other volunteers.
          • A bubble for umpires.
          • A bubble for the race control officials.

12.6.5.An individual can only be in one bubble per day.

12.6.6.Crew boats must be made up of individuals from within the same

12.6.7.Crews are not deemed to be mixing whilst on the water, and crews from multiple bubbles may be on the water at the same time.

12.6.8.See the section below on “Health, safety & hygiene measures” for information on how first aid and water safety cover can operate at an event with multiple bubbles.

12.6.9.Event organisers should pay close attention to how people will move around their event site and how they will prevent individuals from different bubbles mixing. Event organisers must consider:

        • How they will control access to the event site.
        • How they will mark out areas on the event site for each bubble.
        • How they will use signage to facilitate the management of bubbles and people flow around the site.
        • How they will manage “pinch points” – e.g. launching and landing, toilets, changing rooms, parking (etc) and how these will be accessed by individuals in different bubbles in ways which prevent mixing of bubbles.

12.7. Once an individual has completed their activity, they should immediately vacate the event site and are then subject to normal household rules.

13.While physical and social distancing can be suspended during competition, organisers should still put mitigations in place to reduce the number of contacts and the closeness of contact during competition where possible.

14.The total number of competitors at any competition should be risk assessed by clubs and determined by factors including:

    • The permitted bubble size at that level
    • The permitted event size at that levelGuidance for Competition – COVID-19 Strategic Framework Competition Guidance
    • Where a competition might take place with competitors based at more than one site (for example, on a river with multiple boathouses), the session limit applies to the number of competitors in the whole competition, across each site.
    • The availability of sites for bubbles to launch and land boats from.
    • The amount of space available to house competition bubbles.
    • The logistical challenges presented by increasing numbers of competition bubbles and individuals.
    • The available space on the water.
    • The available space for parking

15.Virtual events which are run as either live competitions over the internet or as submission-based competitions can operate with no limit on competitor numbers provided competitors are competing from their own home. Where a virtual competition involves venues with multiple competitors, each venue should individually follow the guidance in this document.

16.The focus should be on delivering the competition with as few participants as possible in attendance at any given time, whilst still allowing the activity to run safely and effectively. Competition should be designed and organised to minimise the amount of time participants are on site and the number of interactions they have with other people while they are there.

17.Spectating, other than by a parent/guardian or coach should not be permitted.

18.Availability of indoor facilities and catering/hospitality during competition should be in line with guidance provided within the relevant section of this document.

19.Health, safety & hygiene measures for all activity should be in line with guidance provided within the relevant section of this guidance.

19.1.Competition organisers should ensure that there is a sufficient level of safety cover for the activity, number, and level of competence of participants.

19.2.Risk assessment should aim to minimise risk of capsize and/or need for rescue considering competency, conditions and class of boat.

In the event of first aid treatment being required it is recognised that a suitably qualified person, coach, or supervising adult may require to attend to the injured participant. The event COVID Officer should consider processes for managing this as part of the risk assessment.