The Bundaberg hockey competition is weeks away from getting under way with players already hitting the turf for training.
Bundaberg Hockey Association president Des Barritt confirmed the season will be up and running from 11 July.
“We’ll have a senior men’s and senior women’s competition, and for the juniors there will be a under 16s, under 13s, and under 11s competition,” he said.
The return of competitive hockey comes with a few COVID-related caveats.
“We’ve got to record everyone who comes in and there will be sanitation stations,” Mr Barritt said.
Under the current guidelines 100 people will be allowed at a hockey game, including players and officials.
“There could be an increase in that number if we can have separate zones and depending on the size of the ground, but at this stage we’re working on the 100,” Mr Barritt said.
“Unfortunately with players, officials and volunteers that means we won’t be able to have too many spectators.”
Those aren’t the only changes administrators have had to cater for, and the competition will be reduced to a shorter season.
“This year, it’s going to be a shortened season, so only eight weeks of fixtures, plus two weeks of finals,” Mr Barritt said.
“Previously we ran our games with a 10-minute break in between, but what we’ve had to do is spread them out a bit further through the day and allow time to sanitise.”
“It’s what we’ve got to do to get back on the field.”
Hockey players have been awaiting news of a restart since March when play was temporarily halted.
Mr Barritt said only one round of hockey was played before COVID restrictions came into place, and that players were understandably eager to return.
“Teams started training again last week, and our teams' senior and junior members are all keen to get back into it,” he said.
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