Statement from the President on the resumption of play



London, August 7th

We have pleasure in publishing this statement from the President of the RFA:

As you are only too aware, the Covid-19 pandemic necessitated the suspension of Fives playing due to the closure of schools in the middle of March.

On 25th July, the Government permitted some lifting of lockdown rules, including those that applied to sporting facilities. In anticipation of this, a sub-committee led by Stuart Kirby had been set up by the RFA Board to establish guidelines that would allow for Fives playing to resume once schools reopened in September.

This proved to be a difficult task, as the game had to be analysed very carefully to include both on- and off-court practices, and it is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of Stuart’s group that a set of guidelines was produced within a very tight timescale. These have now been agreed by the Board and submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport for approval. The Department had previously advised us that this last step was not strictly necessary, as Government consent was only required for “team” sports. Nevertheless they agreed to review our proposals, which we welcomed as it will give a formal seal of approval and may help satisfy schools and other court owners that Fives can safely resume on their premises.

We will of course press for an early response, and will communicate the outcome widely [see below]. We are hopeful that approval will be given, although it must be borne in mind that Fives can only restart if and when the schools give their permission.

Kind regards,

David Bawtree