Guidelines for returning to play (updated 12.10.20)

In England from 14th October, there are different guidelines dependent on which Covid Alert Level is in place where you are.  For High and Very High CovidAlert levels, exercise classes and organised sport can continue to take place outdoors. These will only be permitted indoors if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with or share a support bubble with.  For Medium Covid Alert Level, Indoor play is still allowed in line with the rule of 6.

Remember, indoor activity is higher risk* than outdoor activity, so our recommendations are slightly different for each.

The purpose of this update is to highlight that Government Guidelines need to be followed first and foremost.  Then Venue Guidelines should be followed.  Then, the pickleball guidelines should be applied.

These guidelines have been updated to reflect the differences for INDOOR and OUTDOOR play and should be used in conjunction with a good degree of common sense.  

•If you have symptoms or feel sick,  Stay at Home
•If anyone in your household has symptoms, Stay at Home
•People at increased risk from corona virus or shielding or living with someone who is shielding should think carefully about the risks
•Anyone playing must understand that they do so at their own risk.
•Following the guidelines below, will hopefully reduce the risk.

Club Play.  If your venue is happy for pickleball to return and you can manage play to meet the guidelines, there is no reason why your club can’t resume play.  Bear in mind that you will require a designated Covid-19 Officer responsible for ensuring guidelines are met (see example INDOOR Risk Assessment here and OUTDOOR Risk Assessment here) during the session and that player groups of 6 do not mix.  Think through how you will manage the pre-booking process so that you can manage numbers.  Think through how you will group players together to ensure players of like skill play together and manage player expectations.  For drop-in groups, you might have to work with the venue to figure out a way to manage the sessions.

Understand the risks and play safe everyone.  

Don’t forget to ensure that you have a good warm up before you start exercising and if you haven’t been doing too much exercise recently, take it easy to begin with.  

If you are not used to playing singles, take a look at the content on how to play singles here.

Singles can be very energetic, so you might want to start with skinny singles to begin with!  If there is a disparity between the skill levels of you and someone else in your household you might want to consider adapting the game to even things up a bit.  For instance, if someone is younger and more mobile, that person should cover both sides of the court and the other person one side of the court.  If someone is a higher rating than their opponent, they use normal scoring where they only get a point on their serve.  The other player would have rally scoring where they earn a point if they win the rally, regardless of who serves.

*Indoor is higher risk than outdoor due to the potential for higher risk of exposure to respiratory droplets. Ventilation is a factor.  A crowded indoor space with poor ventilation is higher risk than a sparsely populated indoor space with open windows.

SE England Pickleball Bootcamp

Sadly the Roberto Donati bootcamp has had to be cancelled due to the Corona Virus.  We hope to reschedule in 2021.

IPTPA Teach the Teacher

The July workshops have been postponed as Roberto Donati will not be travelling to the UK due to Corona Virus.  We will try to reschedule when international travel opens up again and pickleball can be played.

SW Pickleball Festival

The SW Festival committee have had to cancel the event as the venue will be closed.  A communication has been sent to all registered players and full refunds have been issued.

Mallorca pickleball holiday

This holiday is cancelled until next year.  All attendees have been written to  and all fees will be refunded.

2020 English OPEN & Bainbridge Cup

With very heavy hearts, after countless hours of planning and preparation, the largest pickleball tournament outside North America, our eagerly anticipated 2020 English Open & Bainbridge Cup is cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control – the Corona Virus pandemic.

We have debated announcing a postponement rather than cancellation, but the reality is no-one knows when life will be back to normal.  We don’t know when we could secure the venue and we don’t know when travel will be free flowing again.

We will process player refunds, of all event fees, dinner fees and £30 of the £35 registration fee over the next 30 days.  We have advised our partners and sponsors, all of whom have been understanding and supportive and pledged to be part of our event when it is rescheduled.

We hope that players can get refunds for travel and accommodation but cannot be held responsible for any loss.

The English OPEN & Bainbridge Cup is run by a group of volunteers that were staging the tournament for the love of the game and for benefit of players.  We are not a commercial business and all decisions that we make is with the primary interest of our fellow pickleball players’ health and safety. 

Your Questions Answered

Q.  Why have you made this decision now, rather than waiting longer to see if the tournament can go ahead?

A.   This week alone we have had numerous withdrawals from North America.  We anticipate that more players will withdraw due to countries being at different stages relative to the fight against the virus.  The Bainbridge Cup relies on having players from Team North America versus Europe and we fear that withdrawals will mean that the event will be diminished.

Q.   Why have you decided to cancel the tournament rather than postpone?

A.   It may well be that it will take longer for air travel to get back to normal and we wouldn’t want to preclude offering a local tournament before the rescheduled English Open & Bainbridge Cup.  We feel that cancellation affords players greater flexibility to decide whether they want to (or are able) to enter again if they so wish.

Q.   I have already withdrawn from the tournament will you be refunding my registration fee? 

A.   Yes, if you have withdrawn due to the Corona Virus, we will refund you £30 of the £35 registration fee.

Q.  How long will it be before I receive my refund? 

A.   We will attempt to process all refunds within the next 30 days.  As we have over 700 registrations to process on two systems (pt.com and Paypal), we ask you to be patient.

Q.  When will you reschedule the EO & Bainbridge Cup for?

A.  There are two factors that will influence when we reschedule the tournament for.  International travel must be back to normal and the availability of the venue.  We have already asked the venue to start to look at availability for next year, but they have a lot of events looking to reschedule their events.

Q.  We prepaid a non-refundable rate to the DeVere Orchard Hotel for our room, will we get a refund?

A.  The DeVere hotel currently appears to be issuing refunds for prepaid bookings up to 30th June when citing cancellation of event due to the Corona Virus.  We suggest that you write to the DeVere stating that the tournament has been cancelled due to the Corona Virus and ask that they consider refunding due to the extenuating circumstances.   If they respond that it is non-refundable, we suggest you hold off cancelling and check again in another week or so when they may have extended the refund period.

Q.   I would like to donate some of my fees to pickleballEngland.  How can I do that?

A.  We have now processed all player refunds.  The easiest way to make a donation is via our Donations page here:  https://www.pickleballengland.org/donate/