Players of all ages from hockey clubs across Scotland are back on the pitch after Scottish Hockey released updated guidelines.

Under-12s have been told that no social distancing is required before, during or after training sessions, but for adults and under-18s, the rule is that social distancing can be waived only on the pitch.

For all players there should be no more than ten people in each playing zone, but for adults these participants must be from a maximum of five households. Coaches count as one household and have been told that they must not deliver sessions, which should last no more than three hours, to more than four adult households a day. They are, however, allowed to coach more than one session a day to under 12s and 18s.

In an initial cautious return to the sport, four zones are permitted for all players training or playing, so for all, a maximum of 44 participants, ten players a team plus a coach, are allowed on the pitch. Participants should not enter another zone during play, and there should be a two-metre buffer zone between zones.

There should be no spectating within playing areas or in the immediate surrounding area.

After training or play, the established social distancing rules should be followed.

All players are urged to make sure they have washed their hands thoroughly before participating and to bring their own stick, face mask, gum shield, shin pads and water bottles. Where possible, participants should avoid public transport and avoid car sharing / polling.

There are extensive resources and guidelines on the Scottish Hockey website that provide support and direction for everyone looking to get back onto a pitch.

“These measures are designed to ensure a safe, secure return to the game we love”, said Scottish Hockey’s Communications Manager, Paul Elliott.

“We are hoping, of course, for a full return to hockey as soon as possible, but for the time being, all of us must adhere as closely as possible to the safety guidelines.”