Update on Auckland league activity permitted under Level 2 

September 5, 2020

The extension of restrictions which limit gatherings to 10 people in Auckland has forced the cancellation of the remainder of the season for all Auckland Rugby League grades.

The Government announced last Friday that level 2.5 restrictions – which include the gathering limit of 10 – would be extended through until at least September 16 in Auckland, ruling out a possible return to play on September 12-13.

The decision – which has the full backing of the ARL Board of Directors – means all grades from U13 up are now cancelled, with mini/mod (U6-U12) grades having already been cancelled last week. 

No winners will be declared for any grades.

Auckland Rugby League CEO Greg Whaiapu said as well as running out of time to safely complete the season before the impending New Zealand Rugby League National Competitions and the start of the summer sports season, the ARL has an obligation to prioritise the health and safety of all participants.

“It’s unfortunate news to be delivering and an outcome none of us wanted,” Whaiapu said. 

“In making this decision we considered, among other things, the fact that teams have not been able to complete contact training for several weeks due to the restrictions in place, and therefore would be put at a higher risk of suffering injury if asked to return straight into games.

“While we pushed the proposed return to play date back as far as we could, the reality is there is no longer enough weeks left to safely complete our season either. 

“At this point I’d like to acknowledge the work of our clubs and the people involved with them, through what has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone.”

This cancellation applies to club grades only and at this stage does not impact planned Auckland Rugby League representative games or Kiwi Tag modules scheduled for later in the year.

Update on Auckland league activity permitted under Level 2 

August 31, 2020

After careful consideration and development of Return to Training Guidelines, the Auckland Rugby League will allow its clubs to return to training from Monday, August 31 provided they can adhere to the mandatory requirements in place.

This coincides with the Auckland region moving to Level 2 restrictions as of Monday, which allows for gatherings to have up to 10 people.

Teams can only return to training once they have gained approval from their club, who must have prior approval from the Auckland Rugby League. 

Potential return to play details for all grades – with the exception of mini/mod (U6-U12) which have been cancelled – will be confirmed at a later date, pending further Government updates on Auckland’s restrictions. 

The full list of mandatory requirements and Return to Training Guidelines can be found here and include the need for clubs to have a pre-training, during-training and post-training hygiene and contact tracing checklist on hand.

Among other restrictions, trainings must not involve contact and all participants must remain at least two metres apart at all times and in bubbles of no more than 10.

Contact tracing QR codes must be displayed at every point of entry and indoor club facilities can be open only if they meet Ministry of Health requirements.

COVID-19: All Auckland rugby league activity remains postponed until 6 September

August 24, 2020

Auckland – In light of today’s Covid-19 announcement, rugby league activity (playing, contact and non-contact training) remains postponed in Auckland until Sunday, 6 September, subject to Government review.

Although Auckland’s move to Alert Level 2 this Sunday 30 August 11:59 pm is a positive step, tighter restrictions are in place relative to the rest of New Zealand, including a ten-person gathering limit, prohibiting any rugby league activity until after a Government review on 6 September.

New Zealand – The remainder of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2 with a 100 person gathering limit; therefore rugby league activity is permitted, ONLY if clubs and facilities can abide by strict health requirements below.

These requirements include what ‘must’ be done, such as:

  • A contact tracing register must be kept for all participants and spectators and able to be accessed quickly. NZRL recommend IDMe app or the NZ Tracer app.
  • Physical distancing is required at all times, this is mandatory for those not participating on the field (2 metres).
  • As it stands, Rugby League activity must abide by 100 person gathering / spectator limit (subject to Government updates).
  • Participants should wash and dry their hands before and after playing; equipment should be sanitised and dried before and after playing. No one should be participating (or leaving home) if they show any signs of being sick, displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if required to self-isolate.

NZRL will provide further guidance regarding return to rugby league activity for Auckland when possible (subject to Government updates).

The health and wellbeing of our communities remains the priority. Please wear a mandatory face mask if taking public transport and continue to abide by the above health and safety requirements where possible.

Thank you for your ongoing co-operation and understanding during this time.

COVID-19: All Auckland rugby league activity remains postponed as Alert Level 3 is extended

August 14, 2020

In light of this evening’s Covid-19 announcement, Auckland is remaining at Level 3 for an extended 12 days; therefore all rugby league activity (playing, contact and non-contact training) remains postponed until August 26th subject to ongoing Government updates.

Aucklanders are instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement. The area covered by Alert Level 3 is the Auckland Super City – from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south.

The remainder of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2 (excluding Auckland); therefore rugby league activity (training and playing) is permitted, ONLY if clubs and facilities can abide by strict health requirements below, until further notice.

These requirements include what ‘must’ be done, such as:

  • A contact tracing register must be kept for all participants and spectators and able to be accessed quickly. NZRL recommend IDMe app.
  • Physical distancing is required at all times, this is mandatory for those not participating on the field (2 metres).
  • As it stands, Rugby League activity must abide by 100 person gathering / spectator limit (subject to Government updates).
  • Participants should wash and dry their hands before and after playing; equipment should be sanitised and dried before and after playing. No one should be participating (or leaving home) if they show any signs of being sick, displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if required to self-isolate.

Please refer to your appropriate District and Club for more specific information on upcoming competitions and fixtures.

NZRL is in close dialogue with Government and Sport NZ and will provide further guidance regarding return to rugby league activity for Auckland when possible (subject to Government updates).

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding during this time.

Auckland – August 14-16 round cancelled for all grades

August 13, 2020 

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place across the Auckland region, all Auckland Rugby League games scheduled to be played during the August 14-16 round have been cancelled and will be treated as a ‘Washout Round’.

The ‘Washout Round’ means impacted games will not be rescheduled, with no competition points awarded for the round.

As it stands the Government has placed Auckland under Level 3 restrictions until at least midnight on Friday, August 14, and even if the alert level is lowered ARL CEO Greg Whaiapu said games will not take place this weekend. 

“Given the strict COVID-19 protocols that need to be followed, there wouldn’t be enough time for clubs to ensure they have appropriate measures in place even if the alert level was lowered,” Whaiapu said. 

“With that in mind we are making the call now because we feel it is in the best interests of everyone involved, regarding their health and safety.”

Updates on future rounds for all grades will be provided at a later date, pending further Government rulings and advice. 

In the meantime, all rugby league activity in Auckland, including trainings and gatherings, is suspended.

NZRL is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to update you with the latest information.

COVID-19: Rugby League at Alert Level 2 (Not including Auckland)  

August 12, 2020 

In light of New Zealand’s move to Alert Level 2 today (not including Auckland) rugby league activity (training and playing) is permitted, ONLY if clubs and facilities can abide by strict health requirements below, until further notice. 

These requirements include what ‘must’ be done such as:  

  • A contact tracing register must be kept for all participants and spectators and able to be accessed quickly. NZRL recommend IDMe app.  
  • Physical distancing is required at all times, this is mandatory for those not participating on the field (2 metres). 
  • As it stands, Rugby League activity must abide by 100 person gathering / spectator limit (subject to Government updates). 
  • Participants should wash and dry their hands before and after playing; equipment should be sanitised and dried before and after playing. No one should be participating (or leaving home) if they show any signs of being sick, displaying symptoms of COVID-19, awaiting a test, or if required to self-isolate.  

NZRL is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to update you with the latest information, subject to ongoing Government updates. 

Please refer to your appropriate District and Club for more specific information on upcoming competitions and fixtures.  

All Auckland rugby league activity (training and playing) remains postponed until further notice, subject to Government updates. 

We appreciate this is an unsettling time, however we remain vigilant and prepared to tackle this collectively once again. 

Thank you for your co-operation and understanding. 

COVID-19: Auckland rugby league activity postponed

August 12, 2020

In light of yesterday’s Covid-19 announcements, all Auckland based rugby league activity (playing, contact and non-contact training) remains postponed until further notice, subject to Government updates.

Aucklanders are instructed to stay home in their bubble other than for essential personal movement. The area covered by Alert Level 3 is the Auckland Super City – from Wellsford in the north to Pukekohe in the south.

NZRL is in close dialogue with Government and Sport NZ and will provide further guidance regarding return to rugby league activity for Auckland when possible (subject to Government updates).

For the remainder of New Zealand, NZRL will provide further information on what rugby league looks like at Alert Level 2 shortly.

NZRL is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to update you with the latest information.

We appreciate this is an unsettling time, however we remain vigilant and prepared to tackle this collectively once again.

COVID-19: Welcome Back

June 20, 2020

Welcome back and thank you to all our loyal members, from players, staff and volunteers to all friends, families and supporters.

Your co-operation and patience throughout this challenging time has been invaluable and it has been the collective efforts of all those in our communities that has seen us reach this point.

Thank you to our Zones, Districts and Clubs for the hard work they have undertaken over this period to ensure a safe return to rugby league for all and big welcome also to any new members of our rugby league communities.

Thanks to the generosity of Sky Sport with support from OPRO and Steeden, NZRL is providing a starter pack to all kids (U6-U12) who register online to play Rugby League in 2020. The packs include a Steeden Ball, OPRO Mouthguard, Kiwis and Ferns Poster and a handy bootbag. Kids who registered before the Covid-19 pandemic will also receive a Starter Pack.

As seasons begin to kick off from tomorrow, we encourage everyone to get down and support your local club, but remember to stay home if you’re feeling unwell and continue to practise good hygiene – your health and safety is still paramount.

Once again, welcome back everyone and enjoy your return to the great game of rugby league.

#TheKiwiWay

Greg Peters, NZRL CEO

COVID-19: COMMUNITY RUGBY LEAGUE TO ENTER ‘PREPARE TO PLAY’ PERIOD, TRAINING TO RE-COMMENCE.

June 8, 2020

While the country readies to move to Alert Level 1 at midnight tonight, NZRL reiterates the fact the ‘Return to Play’ date remains Saturday, 20 June.

Although the long-awaited move to Level 1 is an exciting milestone, player safety remains paramount. The 20 June date provides the needed time for players to condition their bodies to minimise the risk of injury after a long hiatus.

It is important to note that each Zone may have staggered / differing competition commencement dates for junior and senior grades so please refer to your appropriate District for specific Return to Play dates from 20 June.

Under Alert Level 1, social distancing and contact tracing are no longer required, however, it is still good practise for Clubs to display QR codes re the NZ COVID Tracer app for those in the community who wish to continue to keep a “digital diary”.

At Alert Level 1, gathering restrictions will also be lifted, however, it is still important to continue to practise good hygiene measures using the sanitation packs provided to each club.

If you’re sick, stay home.
If you have cold flu symptoms, call your doctor.
Wash your hands.
Sneeze or cough into your elbow.
Disinfect surfaces – using sanitation packs provided to each club.
If you have underlying conditions, talk with your GP about precautions.
Isolate immediately if told so by authorities.
We once again thank you all for your continued understanding throughout the entire COVID-19 period. We look forward to seeing our rugby league communities safely return to the field again soon.

May 26, 2020

On Friday, May 29, New Zealand Rugby League will enter the ‘Prepare to Play’ phase for a minimum of three weeks, in light of yesterday’s announcement that gathering numbers permitted for grassroots sport will increase to 100 people come lunchtime Friday.

During the ‘Prepare to Play’ phase, rugby league contact and non-contact training is permitted only for clubs that can abide by the Government health and safety and gathering requirements.

Competition rugby league remains postponed during this three-week ‘Prepare to Play’ period as NZRL in liaison with the Zones and Districts aim to re-commence with competition rugby league on Saturday, June 20 (subject to change).

It is important to note the further three-week postponement of competitive rugby league provides time for players to condition their bodies from light training through to full contact, minimising risk of injury after a long hiatus, as player safety remains paramount.

NZRL also stresses the fact that clubs should not rush to return to training if they are not ready and continue to use this ‘Prepare to Play’ period to properly ensure their facility can abide by all mandatory health requirements.

These requirements include what ‘must’ be done such as contact tracing, physical distancing and hygiene and sanitation measures. Clubs will be provided with a checklist and supporting information to assist with the required return to play planning.

The ‘Prepare to Play’ period is the second phase of a three-phased approach return to rugby league; Get Ready, Prepare to Play and Return to Play. This approach is based on the Government recommendation of a considered return to community sport.

NZRL in liaison with the Zones and Districts will provide further update over the next three weeks regarding the final ‘Return to Play’ phase.

We thank you all for your continued understanding during this time and look forward to seeing our rugby league communities safely return to the field again soon.

NZRL COVID-19 Level 2 Prepare to Play Checklist

NZRL has developed the prepare to play rugby league checklist below to support clubs to prioritise and assist the safe delivery of rugby league for participants and supporters.

Club checklist_prepare to play – print version

CONTACT TRACING

Contact tracing protocols MUST be in place and able to be accessed quickly for all participants and spectators before we resume rugby league training and competition.

Contact tracing is the identification of individuals that have come into contact with people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and it is a fundamental precaution taken against the spread of the virus in the community.

REQUIREMENTS OF RUGBY LEAGUE CLUBS

Rugby league clubs who are able to open at Alert Level 2 will be required to maintain a register of participants and spectators to assist the Ministry of Health’s efforts at contact tracing.

The register

  • can be hard copy (see template below) or electronic
  • MUST record all individuals who have visited your facility.
  • MUST include the following information for each individual: Date, Time, Full name, Address, Phone & Email addresses.

Guidance issued by the Ministry of Health requires:

  • that these details should be kept for four weeks
  • the information collected may only be used for the purpose of contact tracing at the request of the Ministry of Health or local district health boards.

Care should be taken in the maintenance of the guest register, with the following issues being addressed:

  • Transparency: Individuals must be made aware of the reason for the register, and what will happen to the information.  It is suggested that the following wording be used:

“This information is being collected to assist in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be given to the Ministry of Health and/or the District Health Board on request in the event that it is required for contact tracing purposes. We will not use it for any other purpose, and will destroy it after four weeks. It will be kept here at [name of the establishment]. You have a right to access and correct any information we hold about you.”

  • Security: Keep the information safe, in a locked area and think about how to prevent individuals seeing the information provided by others on the register, e.g. could you cover the others’ details when later individuals sign in?
  • Retention and disposal: Securely dispose of the register after four weeks.  Do not just throw it in the bin.
  • Use: The sole purpose of the register is for contact tracing.  Do not use the information for any other purpose, such as building your mailing list.
  • Disclosure: Do not give the register to other parties, or let individuals flick through it.

ELECTRONIC REGISTER: NZRL recommends IDMe, a web app that provides a touch-free method for recording the attendance of all people at rugby league trainings and games. IDMe avoids traditional sign-in methods such as a Guest Book (paper/pen) or touchscreen iPad since people don’t want to touch a surface that others have touched. Also, traditional sign-in methods are normally not appropriate for facilities, events, or games where a number of people may congregate within a relatively short space of time, since they can cause queues and delay access.

See IDMe’s website http://id.idme.co.nz/about for more information – it’s free for ALL New Zealand sports organisations.

TRAINING

All players, team staff and supporters who attend training will

  • need to contact trace using one of the methods outlined above.
  • Ensure that you have a system for contact tracing that works for your facility and organisation before training commences e.g. each team manager is responsible for checking in players, team staff and supporters who attend training.

GAME DAY

All players and team staff will use online team sheets in LeagueNet as their method of contact tracing on game days.  Click here for support note on how to enter team sheets or here to watch a recorded webinar.

Supporters who access your facility, including fields and clubrooms,

  • MUST use one of the methods outlined above.
  • Ensure that you have a system for contact tracing that works for your facility and organisation before play commences e.g. a COVID champion is identified in each team and helps their team’s supporters check in. Could your “be a sport” ambassador do this?

Should there be a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case among someone who visited your facility, you should contact Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 hotline on 0800 358 5453.  Health authorities will then decide whether to contact anyone else linked to the suspected or confirmed case.

If you need any further details or have any further queries regarding contact tracing and the Privacy Act 1993 please contact the Privacy Commissioner on 0800 803 909 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 3pm).

NZRL_Contact Tracing FORM – print version

POSTERS FOR CLUBS