2021 Play Safe & Competition Planning
We want to ensure that play in 2021 can take place in a safe and friendly environment. We want teams to enter in confidence that we have an approach in place for play to take place in 2021 following the cancellation in 2020 due to Coronavirus and the continuing situation into the future.
We also want to ensure we can continue to support junior golf in your county, the response from the counties has been immense as the need for funding of junior golf has never been in greater demand.
With that in mind we want to share what we could and may do in 2021 so you can enter the 2021 competitions with confidence
What we plan we could do in 2021 to respond to Covid-19 guidance
We aim run the 2021 competition as close to normal as possible but reserve the right to implement changes to enable play with Covid-19 restrictions in place.
It is not possible to plan for all events however it is intended the following details should allow for the competition to be played and for clubs, teams and participants to be aware of actions we may take in 2021.
All clubs entering teams must ensure that their course remains ‘Covid Secure’ at all times during the competition and that teams and team members strictly abide by all government guidance and England Golf Play Safe requirements at the time of play.
The committee will disqualify any team or club with immediate effect if provided with any evidence of non-compliance to of government or England Golf guidance.
The committee may introduce at any time the following types of changes, these are indicative and the committee may deploy different methods than those detailed in response to government and England Golf guidance.
Teams should enter knowing they can satisfy the current published competition rules and not based on speculation of possible in-flight changes. We are sharing these possibilities so you understand how we plan to run the competition if we need to make adjustments in response to Coronavirus based restrictions.
The committee may introduce such changes at short notice, team captains must keep their teams informed of changes and act quickly to changes.
Types of changes to respond to Future Coronavirus Guidance & Restrictions
These are an example of some of the types of changes the committee could deploy during the competition to allow play and competition to continue in the event of changing guidelines around coronavirus from the Government and England Golf
Changes to the conditions on team member and team eligibility
For example the number / ages / handicaps of players in a team could be changed in response to government restrictions, these changes could be limited to a specific round or for multiple rounds.
Changes to the duration of permitted play for rounds
- Rounds may need to be played in shorter or longer periods of time than in previous years. For example we may reduce the duration permitted for later rounds in the competition.
- These changes could be announced at short notice, in response to government guidance and they may impact planned games and matches. Changes to durations and last days of play could differ by each zone in early rounds.
The format of the competition
It is difficult to state how it could change but the committee could action this change in order for play to continue within the current government and England Golf guidance. Where possible any format changes would aim to be limited with an intention to return to the standard format as soon and as fairly as possible.
Teams playing their matches must follow all current Play Safe guidance from England Golf and the Government. It’s not possible at this time to state exactly the impact as advice could change, these are some of the things teams and players may have to consider depending on the guidance.
Team Captains may need to exchange playing order and game results over the phone with their opposition and team captains to maintain compliance with social distancing and group contact limits
Teams may be restricted in how they can socialise before and after the match. They must follow the guidance in place at the host golf club
Players will need to follow all current hygiene advice
Team Captains & Players must ensure they follow all current track and trace procedures in place for the host club.
Preparing the 2021 Competition Draws
In preparing the competition draw the committee will look at all government and England Golf guidance, which is in place at the time, Jan-March 2021, this may mean we have to make some changes which could be different from previous years like…
How we group and zone in early rounds
- The ‘zoning/grouping’ of earlier rounds may follow tighter geographic and county boundaries, which may allow playing during local restrictions, allowing for changes ‘in the zone’ if required
- It could be more probable in the draw that clubs entering multiple teams could be drawn against each other in earlier rounds
Last Days of Play
- The publication of draws could be delayed and last days of play revised
- The publication of last days of play for all rounds may not be possible at the start of the competitions.
The competition’s finals may need to take a different approach based on restrictions at that time.
What if play isn't possible at all?
We will do whatever is possible to ensure the competition is played using the methods above, but we recognise that it may not be possible to play if Covid-19 restrictions and guidance from England Golf do not permit the competition to conclude in 2021.
If the organising committee cancel the 2021 competition due to Covid-19 restrictions we will
Give all teams a choice;
- Donate their entry fee to support junior golf in their county
- Refund the entry fee
- Combination of the 2, with a partial donation & refund
In 2020 Entry was cancelled and teams supported junior golf development with over £7,000 being donated to junior golf
If some rounds have been played the ‘choice’ of refund amount could be proportional and eligibility based on draw status. i.e for teams only still ‘in’ the competition.
If a team chooses to withdraw from the competition their entry fee is non-refundable regardless of the reason. The entry fee will still be part of the junior golf funding donation.
Refunds will not be offered if the competition is changed in response to Covid-19 guidance or restrictions and play still continues. Rule 14 provides provision for change in response to Covid-19 guidance and restrictions.
How exactly any of changes would be implemented would be communicated and decided by the committee in response to the situation at the time of change with the aim of continuing play where it is safe and within government and England Golf guidelines of the time.
We will ensure guidance is provided to all Team Captains in the competition and that they are updated of any change via email with details also shared on this website.
If you have any feedback or suggestions on our planning please share them here