COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The upcoming 2021 National Indoor Tournament (NIT), presented by YOLO Sportswear, will be the first USA Field Hockey National Event held since the start of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Like most, USA Field Hockey is eager to return to play, with the health, safety and well-being of all participants as the primary focus. Safety precautions will make the 2021 NIT look and feel different than in past years, and the support and cooperation of all in following rules and guidelines will be more important than ever to ensure a safe and successful event.
USA Field Hockey will be following strictly enforced, pre-determined mandates for all NIT event weekends at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. and the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Va. Although there might be different state-regulated mandates in Pennsylvania and Virginia, USA Field Hockey has developed a set of health and safety policies that will be standard across all event weekends in both locations. USA Field Hockey will continue to closely monitor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state guidelines and recommendations and may adjust these regulations at any time prior to or during the events to protect all participants.
The following regulations are currently in effect for all NIT event weekends:
- All attendees, staff, umpires, vendors, coaches, athletes and spectators will be required to complete a daily symptom monitoring assessment. This will be done digitally through InjureFree reporting. Detailed information will be provided to the club administrator on how to register for this process.
- All athletes will be required to wear face coverings at all times including while playing.
- All coaches will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
- All umpires will be required to wear face covering at all times including while officiating a game.
- All spectators will be required to wear face coverings at all times.
- A limit of one (1) spectator per rostered athlete will be enforced with dedicated wristbands. The one spectator can differ per game/day as long as there is only one (1) spectator per rostered athlete at each game. Spectators will be limited to 25 per court. Example: A parent is not able to give his/her band to another parent of a different athlete, on a different team in order for two parents of one athlete to attend a game.
- Playing times will be allotted in waves in a set time duration.
- For example: Pools A, B and C will play game one, there will be a 10 minute break, then Pools A, B and C will change opponent and play game two. All teams and spectators will have 20 minutes to clear the courts/venue before the same process follows for Pools D, E and F, and so on (time between games may vary per tournament location).
- This allows the same teams and pools to compete at the same time to mitigate court turnover and unnecessary potential exposure.
- There will be Staging Areas where teams on deck will be held at Spooky Nook Sports and the Greater Richmond Convention Center. All team areas will be cleared before the next set of teams will be allowed on each court.
- There will staging areas for spectators to wait in at Spooky Nook Sports and the Greater Richmond Convention Center. All spectator viewing areas will be cleared before the next set of spectators will be allowed.
- Vendor Village will be available at Spooky Nook Sports and the Greater Richmond Convention Center but will be secured to manage traffic flow and ensure social distancing can be maintained while shopping. Vending hours will be posted prior to the events.
In compliance with Pennsylvania mandates, out-of-state participating athletes, coaches and spectators must present a negative COVID-19 test. Each club administrator or coach will be required to submit, at team check-in, an Attestation Form certifying all athletes, coaches and spectators attending with that club have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in the state of Pennsylvania.
USA Field Hockey will be hosting a live National Indoor Tournament Family/Spectator Informational Webinar to review all COVID-19 health and safety policies on Tuesday, February 2 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Individuals can access the webinar by clicking here.
With hosting any event, challenges and concerns inevitably arise and USA Field Hockey will address them as they do. USA Field Hockey would like to thank all participants in advance for their support and commitment to making sure all COVID-19 Health and Safety policies are strictly enforced to ensure that the 2021 NIT, presented by YOLO Sportswear, is successful.
USA Field Hockey will continue to monitor and adjust NIT health and safety policies and procedures to align with the organization’s Return to Play Guidelines, COVID-19 Action Plan and NIT Event Guide. For additional and most updated information, visit USA Field Hockey’s COVID-19 Updates website by clicking here.