COVID-19 - TOWA Advice
Date of Issue - 5 November 2020
Following the Government announcement imposing new restrictions in England between 5 November and 2 December our advice is that during this period, no outdoor group training should be taking place in accordance with the regulations published by the Government.
We realise that this will be disappointing following the recent good news that the TOWA had received after being given clearance to be able to restart Training and Competitions but as of today we will again have to stop Training & Competitions to help in keeping everybody safe and well.
This position will be reviewed on or around 2 December as soon as the Government makes further announcements.
Date of Issue - 21 October 2020
The TOWA has finally received the good news from the Department for Digital Culture, Media & Sport that they have approved the Competition Procedure & Risk Assessment that the TOWA had to submit to the Government for review. As such England Tug of War is now on the list of Team Sports that can restart Competitions in England.
This is obviously very good news, even though it comes a bit late for the 2020 Outdoor Season. But it does give us the confidence that we will be able to hold our Competitions next year, (notwithstanding any local restrictions put in place by the Government).
Resuming Tug of War Training
Our updated training advice and procedures to be adopted by all tug of war clubs is provided as a downloadable PDF document below. Please note this advice is only for OUTDOOR training, as presently it is not possible to train/compete Indoors with the Government restrictions in place.
All Teams MUST appoint a Covid Officer that will ensure the Training Advice is followed. Can you please send the name of your nominated Covid Officer to the Officials & Records Secretary / Hon.Gen. Secretary ASAP so that Track and Trace can be carried out if required.
Additionally any team/training facilities that are situated in locations that are in a Level 2 or 3 Restriction Area because of Covid-19 will also need to follow the current Government advice for those Areas.
Please note the Approved Competition Procedure, which is provided as a separate PDF document below contains additional information that is not necessary for Outdoor Training only, so please do not get this mixed up with the guidance for training above.
With regard to outdoor competitions in 2020 and further to previous communications on this subject where the possibility of holding some competitions later in the year, the TOWA has resolved not to hold any competitions until next year given the limited number of positive responses we had from teams wishing to participate or hold an event.
All indoor competitions for the remainder of 2020 have been cancelled.
The TOWA has resolved at its recent committee meeting to roll the 2020 fixture list over to 2021. Please could all clubs who were scheduled to host an event in 2020, please confirm in writing to the TOWA Secretary that they are happy for their event to go ahead in 2021 and that their venues are available.
Date of Issue - 21 July 2020
In the TOWA update provided on 13th July (available further down this page) a Government Website was referenced:
On this Website it is stated the following is required before a Sport can return to Competition:
"Each individual sport will submit to the government (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) an action plan and any related guidance, demonstrating its mitigations, how it plans to operate, and any adaptations required. The sport specific action plan and risk mitigation proposal must recognise that practice may need to be adapted or curtailed and this information communicated to participants swiftly, if the overall threat level or community prevalence of COVID-19, dictates or if it becomes apparent that a specific sport carries a high level of transmission risk. Each sport will provide an assessment of the transmission risk that a return to competitive recreational activity represents based on three key variables:
- Droplet transmission: The risk associated with each action in an activity based on duration and proximity of participants. By using the framework, sports can determine the risk of actions in their matchplay environment – anything, for example, from tackling, to bowling, to re-start – which will then determine the overall level of risk of taking part in that sport.
- Fomite transmission: The risk associated with the handling and transfer of equipment in the sport
- Population: The number of participants likely to take part in the proposed activity plus known risk factors of participants with underlying health conditions or high risk groups, who wish to participate
Date of Issue - 13 July 2020
This update is provided following recent announcements relating to the further lifting of restrictions on July 4th.
The Government have published various additional pieces of guidance which can be found at;
The TOWA have considered this advice and have extracted from that advice some pertinent points which can be found in appendix 2.
This information is based on the government guidance issued prior to the announcement on Thursday 9th July – and further guidance issued on 10th July which we are currently assessing, however the TOWA felt it important to give this update in the Interim.
Key points we have considered;
- From 4 July, up to two households are permitted to gather in groups of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors, provided members of different households can follow social distancing guidelines. Otherwise, gatherings of more than 6 people indoors or outdoors continue not to be permitted, unless this is essential for work purposes.
- Social distancing guidelines should be followed between people from different households wherever possible. From 4 July, this means a distance of 2m between people from different. households, or 1m plus mitigations (such as face coverings or avoiding face-to-face contact) where 2m is not possible. Other examples are of the "plus" part of the new one metre guidelines are:
- Sit or stand side-by-side, rather than face-to-face
- Keep windows and doors open to improve ventilation
- Wear a face covering in crowded indoor environments
- Avoid talking loudly
- Don't sing
So, in essence nothing much has changed for us. It is still only six people that can meet to do physical exercise until such time that our guidance changes further.
Can we train on the rope?
We now consider that it is possible to have limited numbers training on the rope, please see appendix 1 for guidance that MUST be followed if you wish to train on the rope.
In a committee newsletter circulated to all club secretaries in June, the TOWA asked clubs three questions;
1. Do any teams feel they want to partake in any outdoor events later this year?
2. If so, would teams consider extending the season further into September than current fixtures show?
3. If there were enough positive responses to question 2 would any teams be prepared to host a competition in September?
Of those who have responded to date, we had four clubs who said they were interested in competing this year, and based on those responses received so far, there is no point in the TOWA in conjunction with any club trying to organise any competitions should the restrictions be eased further later on with only limited interest.
If you are interested in taking part in a competition but didn’t reply, this is your last chance to do something about it. Please can all clubs ensure that they respond to the above questions to the TOWA secretary by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Date of Issue - 04 May 2020
Following our last notification to you on the 23rd March, we said we would give you a further update in early May, this correspondence is that further update.
As you will almost certainly be aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a further impact on Tug of War with the World Games being postponed to 2022 and the World Championships in Getxo has been postponed to 2021. In addition, we have been informed, with regret, that it has become necessary for the British and Irish Championships in Longford, Ireland, in August to be cancelled. Unfortunately, GENSB, due to be hosted in the Netherlands, has been postponed or cancelled, final details are still being developed.
Again, since our last notification, the Government extended the ‘lock-down’ by a further 3 weeks until at least the 7th May. Our initial statement was to cancel all events for a 12-week period, which took us to the first week of June, nevertheless, we also took the decision to postpone the National Championships from June to a later date. Clearly, as we have stated before, this is all very much dependent on the Government strategy as announced from time to time.
According to the media, the Government are planning to make some announcement on the ‘exit’ strategy from the ‘lock-down’ next weekend (9th/10th May). From the intimation given by the Government press briefings, the Executive Group do not believe that there will be any sports activities / gatherings any time soon, probably beyond our original 12-week period, and possibly none at all throughout the summer months. Nevertheless, we will await further Government guidance and then provide you all with our interpretation of that in regard our events.
So for now much has changed internationally, but we remain as we were with everything on hold. We will report to you again when we know more, but at the latest in early June.
Nevertheless, due to the uncertainty of if or when we may resume, while recognising that you are not training as a team at the moment, however, it remains imperative that you register your pullers as normal by the 20th May 2020 so that we are prepared should we be able to restart the season.
Date of Issue - 26 March 2020
Following the e-mail that was distributed to the TOWA Membership on Monday 16th March, as noted in that correspondence, the Executive Group held conference calls to discuss the best way to continue running the TOWA during the problems that we are all experiencing caused by the COVID -019 virus and the advice given by the Government.
Firstly, all Tug of War Competitions run by the TOWA have been cancelled for 12 weeks initially, and this will be reviewed, during this period, to decide if this length of cancellation needs to be changed either way.
The General Committee have agreed the most efficient and effective way to run the TOWA through this difficult period while we are unable to have meetings, is for the Executive Group to do this using e-mails and conference calls, as necessary, to reach decisions for the good of our sport.
The Executive Group is as follows:-
Chairman – Peter Dyer
Hon.Gen.Secretary – Michael Copper
Vice Chairman – David Kitchener
Officials & Records Secretary – Gavin Corden
President – Michael Callaghan
If there are any items that the Executive Group believes need a wider input and hence a vote by the General Committee then this can be done by e-mail. Reports, for the original April GCM will be issued as normal, with additional items from the Hon Gen Sec that were to be discussed at that meeting. This will give Committee members an opportunity to raise any issues from those reports or additional information, as they feel necessary, which the Executive Group will do their best to address.
The current 12 weeks Competition cancellation period means we will not be able to hold the AAA’s Championships on the date advertised in the Handbook. We also believe it means the Outdoor National Championships will be adversely affected by the cancellation period. (Grove Extravaganza have now contacted us to state they have had to cancel their event on the 20th June).
Based on Government information, as indicted earlier, the term of the current or similar restrictions is unknown and therefore we are unable to give any specific restart date for competitions, however, we will look to continue the season as soon as the Government begins to lift the current restrictions. As stated earlier, this will be for a minimum of 12 weeks, during which time we will review the position and provide a further update to the membership in early May.
The latest advice from the Government is that only essential travel should be undertaken and groups should not comprise of more than 2 people, and this means Team training is not advised. Teams should follow the current advice given by the Government at all times going forward during this time.
We can hold the AAA’s Championships at a Competition later in the season, assuming the current situation has been successfully resolved.
Having considered the situation with the Outdoor National Championships, we can advise that they will not take place in June. With the current uncertainty we can only advise that as and when restrictions are lifted, we will look at future dates to hold the National Championship, in conjunction with the Championship Secretary, that will give teams time to prepare for the event.
Teams should continue to register their Club Members as per usual and this should be completed by the date originally required to enter the Outdoor National Championships, 20th May 2020. The rule stating a Team must attend 6 TOWA permitted competitions prior to the Outdoor National Championships to be eligible to represent England will not apply this Outdoor Season. Mandated events after the National Championships will still apply, depending upon the date the Outdoor Nationals can be held.
The National League / Youth+Ladies League will not be applicable this year as there will not be enough events to complete it.
Clubs / Organisations that have already paid for TOWA Competition Permits that will be cancelled will not have to pay for their Competition Permits in the 2021 Season.
Any Club / Puller Registration fees paid will be reviewed by the General Committee later in the Season to see if they need to be refunded, depending on how the current situation finally affects the TOWA this season.
We currently have no information from Ireland regarding the Outdoor B&I Championships or from TWIF regarding the World Outdoor Championships and so have to assume these Competitions will go ahead until we are advised otherwise. As soon as we are made aware of any changes we will inform you. Therefore, the date for the Outdoor National Championships will need to be arranged to ensure Teams can attend these Internationals, assuming they are held.
The TOWA will publish further updates in due course as and when further information and Government guidance is available
Date of Issue - 16 March 2020
As per our previous notice in regard COVID-19, we have been monitoring the situation and in deed the government’s advice. You will all have no doubt seen or heard the Prime Minister’s statement late this afternoon, bringing about a dramatic change in strategy, stating that “the UK should avoid “non-essential” travel and avoid unnecessary contact with others. Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places such as pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues’ It is suggested this could be for 12 weeks or more.
The Executive Group of the TOWA consider this leaves us with very little option but to cancel or postpone all competitions and meetings with immediate effect, possibly for 12 weeks. The Executive Group will be discussing this week what the impact of this position is and options for the remainder of the season. We will share these with you as soon as we can.
Date of issue - 14 March 2020
The TOWA Chairman has made the following statement:
The Tug of War Association has been monitoring the ongoing situation regarding the Cornavirus (COVID-19) and continues to do so. Our position is clear in that we will follow Government advice, including self-isolation if feeling unwell. This advice can be can be found on the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response as well as many other locations. All pullers, officials and supporters and officials are advised to follow this advice.
The current position for Tug of War events, is to go ahead, additional precautions can be taken if wished, such as touching arms rather than handshaking at the end of a pull or just giving three cheers and clapping the opposition off.
For Clubs hosting events can you please ensure there are adequate hand washing facilities, however, it is the responsibility of each Club to ensure they have suitable and sufficient hand cleaning materials.
Should Clubs feel they want to cancel an event the TOWA will not stand in their way, however, we would request that you do so with at least one weeks’ notice to enable teams to plan.
For events that are being staged in conjunction with a show or other public event, the organisers should follow the guidance and decisions of the primary event organisers, unless instructed otherwise.
Where events do take place, clubs that intend to attend should advise the organisers of their intention to attend the relevant event so that the number of teams attending can be established and organisers can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with an event if it looks like there will be insufficient numbers of teams attending.
This subject will be discussed by the General Committee at the 4th April General Committee Meeting and any additional information will be advised following that meeting, unless any further Government guidance is issued or further social distancing measures are to be introduced by the Government.