• DCMS exemption for university sport

    Posted on Sun 4th October, 2020

    Since the most recent government restrictions came into force impacting indoor team sports, the EIHA have three distinct groups of teams with varying rules and regulations.


    - Under 18s who are not impacted at all and continue to follow the full Phase 3 guidance, ie up to 30 players on the ice with no restriction on player movement and no social distancing on the ice.

    - Seniors (18+) not in the elite criteria – the ‘rule of six’ applies for groups on the ice, however multiple groups of six players up to a total of 30 players can be on the ice but the different groups MUST not mix during the session.  Additionally now we can confirm that competitive scrimmage/contact in the sessions can take place in the groups of six which must not change for the duration of the session.

    - Seniors (18+) in the elite criteria – rule of six does not apply, up to 30 players involved per full Phase 3 guidance.  Clubs eligible for elite criteria must have submitted information required in DCMS guidelines and be authorised by the EIHA to operate under this level.


    The EIHA website now shows all teams at each level of the protocol for EIHA activities. The latest guidance and team lists can be found at www.eiha.co.uk/covid19/ and will be updated regularly as guidance changes and teams are authorised for the elite criteria.


    BUCS provided an update that following discussions with colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP) and Sport England, indoor sports for students across Higher Education in England are exempt from the ‘Rule of 6’ with the specific clarifications outlined below. We are aware that this now means there are different guidelines across the nations and BUCS will continue to work to try and influence agencies across all Home Nations, and will communicate further updates as required.


    The specific detail around this exemption is as follows: 

    - Over-18s are only covered by the exemption for sport for educational purposes but this does include intra-mural, training and inter-university competitions. 

    - This includes anything related to the curriculum/sport-related degree programmes. 

    - Playing for school/college/university teams is covered by the exemption both at an intra-mural and inter-university level. Communication on Term One activity, including localised leagues for indoor sport, will be shared later today. 

    - The exemption does not apply to all activity that happens to take place on the university site. i.e. playing for a university team is exempt, but another football club/league that happens to use the university facilities or is loosely associated would not fall under the exemption. It could still go ahead, but the rule of 6 would apply as with other indoor team sport. 

    - Over-18s and under-18s (who are students at the university) can play together without restrictions only where this falls under the education exemption (as set out above). If not, the under-18s are exempt, but if an over-18 joins, the rule of six applies to everyone. 

    - Whilst inter-university competition is covered by the exemption, consideration should be given as to how best to minimise exposure by avoiding unnecessary travel and mixing with teams from other institutions. Following NGB guidelines will assist in this area. 


    University clubs can therefore operate activity at Phase 3 of the EIHA guidance in England following the above guidelines and official guidance will be issued by DCMS later today via a Q and A update.