Following on from previous updates GAA Handball wish to advise that a draft return to sport document has now been finalised and has been forwarded to the relevant authorities and their expert panels for approval.
For clarification, no indoor sport has received clearance to return to play yet, and as a primarily indoor sport GAA Handball were required to have a separate return to sport protocol than field based or primarily outdoor sports. At present return to sport protocols for all indoor sports in Ireland are being examined by Sport Ireland and work is underway to produce recommendations for same.
Due to the confined space in which Handball is played and the difficulty in ensuring social distancing in competitive play, Handball is viewed as a higher-risk sport for the contraction of Covid -19. Also, the age profile of a large percentage of our membership who might be more vulnerable due to their age meant that additional considerations regarding the risk of play had to be considered before a return to sport protocol could be finalised.
The outdoor element of GAA Handball has been taken into consideration and is reflected in the return to play document.
Our primary concern at all times is to ensure the safe return of GAA Handball activity in the shortest timeframe possible while ensuring the safety of all our members and the general public.
We hope to have a further update in the coming days once we have received clearance from the relevant authorities.
In the meantime I hope you all are well and stay safe.
Is mise le meas,
John Kelly, GAA Handball National Manager