Coronavirus: State of play for Cornwall sport – Falmouth Packet

Sport across the country has ground to a halt over the past two months due to the coronavirus.

Some sports have seen competitions and league seasons either brought to an early end or cancelled completely, other sports are allowed to be played provided strict guidelines are met, while others are in limbo as to when they can resume.

Here is how the situation currently stands for several sports.

Football

The non-league football season was suspended in early March, before being controversially declared null and void on March 26.

Several cups, including the Cornwall Senior Cup and Walter C Parson League Cup could be completed later this year, with the South West Peninsula League having set provisional July dates for the League Cup’s remaining fixtures.

The 2020/21 season is due to begin in August, although this could be delayed.

Rugby union

The grassroots rugby season was brought to an end in March, with the RFU using a best playing record method to determine final league positions.

This meant that Redruth narrowly missed out on promotion and Falmouth avoided relegation.

The new season is scheduled to begin in September, although this could be delayed.

Cricket

In a partial easing of some lockdown restrictions, the government are now allowing people in England to use outdoor cricket facilities as often as they wish with members of their household, or one other person while staying two metres apart.

The ECB maintains the position that all recreational cricket remains suspended until further notice, with the 2020 Cornwall Cricket League season due to have begun on April 18.

Golf

Golfers in England were allowed to return to the course on May 13, provided strict guidelines, which included the banning of rakes in bunkers and preventing balls from dropping below the surface of the green into holes, were followed.

Clubhouses remain closed, with England Golf awaiting further guidance on the opening of professional shops and driving ranges.

Several tournaments on the professional European and Challenge Tours have been cancelled, with the next event due to take place in Austria in July, although this is subject to change.

Cornish golfer Rhys Enoch, who is 14th in the Challenge Tour rankings, finished tied 11th on -13 on his most recent tournament appearance back in February, while fellow Cornishman Harry Hall, who is 161st in the European Tour rankings, last played in early March.

Hockey

In accordance with government guidelines, outdoor hockey pitches can now be opened and the sport can be played by two players (each from different households) under social distancing guidelines, or between a household group.

Whether coached or uncoached these sessions must be covered by suitable insurance, while equipment should ideally not be shared.

The 2019/20 West Club Women’s Hockey League was suspended on March 16, with all outstanding games cancelled on March 30.

The league announced on April 15 that it would use a percentage points method to determine final standings, which saw Falmouth’s first team crowned champions of Premier Division 2B and promoted to Premier Division 1.

There is no word on when the 2020/21 season may begin, with the league committee saying in April that “there are no guarantees we will be able to start the season in September”.

Tennis

Tennis courts were permitted to reopen in England as of two weeks ago, following a relaxing of lockdown restrictions.

The Lawn Tennis Association has set out guidelines for venues, coaches and players, which include marking your own tennis balls, not sharing food/equipment, and a maximum of two people per court, unless a group of four players are all from the same household in which case they can play doubles.

Local Tennis Leagues and singles box leagues/ladders can be played as long as they adhere to the guidelines in place.

Sailing

Following the government’s announcement on May 10, unlimited outdoor activity is permitted in England including all forms of boating.

All forms of water sports practised on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft are allowed, although clubhouses must remain closed.

Commencement of the racing season will be reviewed in the light of government advice on social distancing, although the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club has held a Virtual Spring Series online.

Gig rowing

The biggest event in the gig rowing calendar, the 2020 Pilot Gig World Championships, was a victim of the coronavirus, with the event, due to have taken place on the Isles of Scilly between Friday, May 1 and Sunday, May 3, being cancelled in March.

Next year’s championships are due to take place from Friday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2.

The last gig rowing event to have taken place was the Three Rivers race on March 7, with Caradon’s Ann Glanville winning the ladies race and Looe’s Currah’s Pride winning the men’s race.

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