The League carried out a survey with all clubs to see what players preferred to do for the 2020/21 season during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 75% of players wished to commence playing as soon as possible, but some encountered a problem regarding those that they hire premises from, who must follow guidelines issued by HSE and ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) which are both costly and onerous to achieve, before they can hire their facilities to others. Schools and Colleges also have to follow Governmental and HSE advice regarding Covid-19 lettings and hiring’s, and many are declining to allow other organisations use of their premises during the Pandemic to safeguard their pupils and students. This has caused a delay in planning what we can offer under the current circumstances.
I have since sent an email to all our League Clubs mainly geared to finding out those clubs who still have premises that they can or wanted to use and those who do not, and know many using village halls Church Halls Community Centres and Schools are struggling to secure their Table Tennis premises. We know that Victoria Hall Ash and F/Tennis who have achieved Covid-19 requirements are likely to have some additional space and if other League clubs do not have somewhere to play we may be able to integrate those into the two venues in some way. To do this we may have to consider alternative playing formats than in the past and possibly over a longer or shorter season, and we may not have as many as 4 divisions. The goal is to accommodate as many of the 75% of League players who wanted to play now as we can.
We will keep you updated with the progress of running a 2020/21 League program as soon as we are able.