BRTA Covid-19 Update

BRTA Update – May 2nd, 2020

Preparations for review of Victoria State of Emergency and Stage 3 Activity Restrictions

Dear BRTA Participant,

As you will be aware, both the State and Federal Governments are indicating that they will review the current State of Emergency and Stage 3 Activity Restrictions in the coming week.  There is no way of knowing what the outcome of this review will be, but BRTA wants to be prepared for circumstances where restrictions are lifted to some degree and some forms of tennis may be able to restart.  Our goal is to restart tennis in a SAFE, COORDINATED and PLANNED way across our Association.  This will ensure our volunteers, coaches and players are able to return safely whilst continuing to protect public health.  

To prepare the following actions have been undertaken:

  1. Regular BRTA committee meetings have proceeded via online platforms
  2. BRTA have met twice with Tennis Victoria to understand their position with regard to the resumption of tennis and their own competitions
  3. BRTA has been in regular communication with the board of Tennis Australia for advice and support
  4. We have put together a comprehensive variety of contingency plans for when competition may resume
  5. We have scheduled a number of meetings with a cross-section of clubs in the Association for after Friday 8thMay to gather input with regards to the resumption of tennis play.

It will ensure the reopening is as easy as possible to manage with clear messaging for members and the wider community.  It is important we support tennis’s reputation as a community sport leader that has adhered to both the State Government and local councils recommendations.

We would like to suggest that every club committee and coach works together to think through the following three things in preparation for any change which may be coming:

  1. What will your venue/facility owner require of you?  We recommend that you start these conversations now.  E.g. Will the venue owner require that you make one court available for community use at all times?  Will your venue owner require you to implement specific hygiene protocols?  It is likely you will need the venue owner’s written permission to reopen so raising this with them now and starting to understand any requirements they may have will speed things up further down the track – especially if you are in a council owned facility where they will have many sports to talk to once restrictions are lifted.
  2. How will you prioritise and manage court usage?  It is likely that social distancing will remain in place even when restrictions are lifted.  This might mean you are only able to open some of your courts.  In this situation, who will have to prioritise court usage?  How will this be managed and how will it be communicated?  Will someone need to be onsite to ensure social distancing and hygiene protocols are adhered to?  If so, who would this be?  If you are a volunteer run club, is this something you could come to an arrangement with a coach about?  Tennis Victoria is keen to stress the need to ensure tennis remains diverse and inclusive as we manage a phased reopening.  Please consider carefully how you will ensure everyone in your community has access to tennis as we move forward into our “new normal”.
  3. Safety remains paramount and will continue to be a top priority for a long time.  As well as thinking through the management of hygiene protocols and social distancing, this is a good time to review other aspects of safety in your clubs.  In particular, do all committee members have a current Working With Children Check?  Now would be a good time to check this and ensure everyone is up to date.  Maybe this is also a good time to review your child safety protocols and policies.  This is good practice anyway, but assuming only small numbers of players will  be allowed on court at any one time, you might want to think through the implications of parents not being able to be on site if children are in coaching.  How will you manage this so that children are safe and parents reassured?

There are no right or wrong answers to the questions poised above – and depending on the circumstances of your club, different things will be required in different settings.  We encourage you to start these conversations if you have not done so already.

When BRTA is permitted to re-start competition we will provide a list of cleaning and hygiene protocols that we expect to be followed.  We are aware that maintenance may have suffered to courts over this period (particularly this weekends wind) we will be vigilant in ensuring courts are of a suitable standard for safe play.

As an update to the BRTA situation when play was suspended:

Spring/Summer 2019/2020 Senior Weekend

Grand Finals where cancelled and the premiership was awarded to the team that finished higher on the ladder.  Trophies and pennants will be awarded at a time when we next have a senior presentation.

Autumn/Winter 2020 Senior Weekend

This season is graded and ready to start.  We will decide the length of the season and formats once we are clear on a date of resumption.

Juniors Saturday & Sunday 2020 – Term 1 & 2

Play was suspended on 14/15 March.  That was scheduled to be Round 6 of the current competition.  That weekend has been treated similar to a washout for points allocation. We will decide the length of the season and formats once we are clear on a date of resumption.

Mid-week Ladies – Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Grand Finals where due to be played 2/3/4/ June.  Play was suspended after Round 6

There will be no midweek ladies luncheon in July this year – but it is our intention to reinstate it once practical.   We will decide the length of the season and formats once we are clear on a date of resumption.

Night Tennis

Competition points have been awarded up to and including Round 5.

BRTA is aware we are holding club entry fees for seasons that have either not started, halfway through or otherwise impacted.  No club will be financially disadvantaged as a result of the suspension of competition.  A decision on financial implications will be made when we have a start date.

The following is a general sharing of information received from Tennis Victoria with regard to their competitions – Pennant, AJL, and representative team’s events.

As a general policy Tennis Victoria is planning on proceeding with all their annual events and competitions; albeit they may by necessity have to be modified formats and lengths of seasons.  Ideally, all Associations will re-start their competitions at a similar time.

The Tennis calendar each year is jam-packed with events and other commitments for our players.  To operate all events there will have to be some flexibility around timings.

Senior Pennant

May be a shortened season and/or change of format

AJL (Associations Junior League)

Associations have been asked to prepare and submit teams as usual.  The timeframe of play is mid-August to late November.  It may be that there is flexibility around match scheduling with the possibility of Sunday afternoon matches.  BRTA player nominations will open soon.

Wayne Arthurs, Frank Sedgman and Alicia Molik Cups 

Tennis Victoria hope to run all of these in the second half of the year

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