Oxford University Hockey Club has successfully appealed the University ban on sports fixtures with teams from outside of Oxford.
The guidance, which prohibits teams from travelling to matches or hosting teams from outside Oxford, was issued by the University’s Silver Group to all teams affiliated with the University. Collegiate matches are still permitted to take place, according to the rules of each college.
The Blues hockey teams are the only teams to be exempted from the ban, which was overruled due to their position in the National Leagues. BUCs leagues are not due to restart until January, and Varsity matches have been postponed for many sports.
Other University sports have also benefited from the lifting of some restrictions. Sports Federation confirmed to clubs last Wednesday that indoor sport at Oxford was now exempt from the ‘rule of 6’. In their email, they thanked BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) for pushing this through in terms of government, DCMS (Department for Digitial, Culture, Media and Sport) and Sport England approval. Individual sports should refer to guidance from their National Governing Body and get in touch with Sports Fed if they are unsure.
The Government treats University sport as ‘sport for education’ which is exempt from the restrictions of all Tiers on a sport by sport basis, with guidance issued by the National Governing Bodies (NGBs).
In light of a move into Tier 2 restrictions, the University has now said that “organised indoor sport must only take place in accordance with the appropriate guidance – in line with the exemption from the ‘rule of six’ for organised sport at higher education intuitions in all alert tiers.”
Sports Federation elaborated in an email to clubs:
“Indoor Sport – In line with the exemption for ‘sport for education’, indoor organised sport can currently continue to be exempt from the ‘rule of 6’ within all Covid alert tiers, providing activities are delivered in line with NGB guidance. If your activities happen outside of University facilities, you should check with your facility provider, to see what restrictions they require, as it may be different from internal requirements. For the time being, we are encouraging non-student members not to attend club sessions, whilst we investigate further.
Outdoor Sport –Organised outdoor sport can currently continue, within all Covid alert tiers, providing activities are delivered in line with NGB guidance. If your activities happen outside of University facilities, you should check with your facility provider, to see what restrictions they require, as it may be different from internal requirements.”
They also clarified that “these exemptions would only change in future if University committees decided that further restrictions, for Oxford University specifically, were necessary” regardless of Tier or Local Alert level.