Community clubs have already raised concerns about how the extensive new rules will be regulated, with the burden likely to fall on volunteers.
Ryde Hunters Hill District Hockey Club president Glen Castensen said guidelines would be a challenge to implement.
“The majority of these clubs are amateur clubs and run by people who do other things; volunteers,” he said. “It’s just about what is actually practical.”
St Ives dad Tim Collier has two boys at the hockey club — Kaia, 8, and Orson, 5. Orson was diagnosed with leukaemia last year and Mr Collier is concerned about his littlest one returning to hockey safely.
“I have mixed emotions about it,” he said. “On the one hand, they’re very keen to get out and run around and see their friends, but we are just really cautious.
“Like any family, all we can do is follow the guidance being provided.”
Rules from Sport Australia also state players must wash their hands before, during and after training where available, with no spitting, coughing or nose-clearing allowed.
“I have no idea how that is going to play out,” Mr Collier said. “There are kids everywhere, parents everywhere [at the club]. How that is going to look with social distancing, I have no idea.”
Sport Australia acting chief executive Rob Dalton said guidelines were developed ultimately to limit the number of spectators at each venue.
“We only get one chance to restart sport,” he said. “If we get a surge in the number of COVID cases, and we have to shut down, then that’s it for the year.
“It takes so long to get it up and running … it’s just really important we take a cautious approach.”
NSW Acting Sports Minister Geoff Lee said as per the current Public Health Orders, club players are welcome to start training within the 10-person limit. “The current Public Health Orders do not prevent any sporting organisation from resuming training,” he said.
“It is up to the sporting organisation to adapt or modify their sport, to be in line with the Public Health Orders.”
Sarah is a journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.