Lausanne: The International Hockey Federation in its five-stage process, devised for the resumption of the game at different levels, has said that "trans-continental competition" will be played only after a vaccine is developed to cure the coronavirus.
"These are very early days when it comes to a return to action but, within its guidance, FIH has produced a five-stage process showing the route back to something resembling normality. This starts, as has been seen in the Netherlands and Belgium, with a return to carefully managed training, still with social distancing measures in place," said the FIH in a statement.
"The next stage will be a resumption of regional competition, followed by local travel between neighbouring nations. The trans-continental competition will follow and, finally, once a vaccine is in place. It is hoped that there will be a return to normal competition," added the FIH.
The FIH has also mentioned that "there is no time scale for these stages to be reached and it will vary from country to country."
Three "PST" measures have been put in place by governments across the world -- Public gathering restrictions (P), Social distancing (S) and Travel restrictions (T).
While sports and recreational activities are gradually being reintroduced, this is subject to strict controls and regular review, taking these three measures into consideration. Hockey, as a team sport, with contact, is seen as a higher risk activity and so is subject to higher levels of control and restriction.
Within its health and safety guidelines, the FIH has included a risk assessment - produced by Dr Sean Carmody, a doctor of sports medicine at Manchester Metropolitan University. Prior to resuming any activity, all hockey organisations should carry out an assessment based on Dr Carmody's risk assessment chart.
"Even before any return to activity can be considered, facilities must be assessed. To ensure a safe environment, the venue or facility is likely to require a deep clean; watering systems may need to be flushed; and, through accessible information and signage, social distancing restrictions must be made clear to anyone visiting or using the facility," the hockey governing body said.