Return to Athletics – FAQs


How will the 1.5m distancing be managed in distance / OOS events?
We will provide event specific information in the coming weeks regarding COVID safe practices and guidelines – A Return to Competition document has been provided to the Government and we are awaiting approval. Once approved, we will share the specific information about how social distancing will work within our event space.

How do you plan to run ‘return to competition’ rounds of XCR in October when the current table (displayed in the Return to Athletics information) states Octobers limitation to competition is a maximum of 10 participants?
We will provide event specific information in the coming weeks regarding COVID safe practices and guidelines – A Return to Competition document has been provided to the Government and we are awaiting approval. Once approved we will share specific information about how social distancing will work within our event space.

It is likely we will run our Distance events in ‘waves’ to minimise the number of participants within an area. These details will be released in coming weeks once the receive final confirmation from the Government.

Will I need to get my temperature checked at events?
DHHS has advised that we do not need to conduct these tests, however, we are prepared to do so and have purchased electronic temperature checks.

Is it envisaged to use two gates at venues if available for in and out?
Where possible, this will be the ideal COVID Safe option.

How was this Return to Competition Plan developed?
We have several sub-committees (AVSL, Specialist Group) that were consulted along the process for events. Whilst we provided as much information to them as possible, The Victorian Government and Department of Health and Human Service mandate what is safe/feasible to host. This means that we must consider the COVID Safe operations first and foremost – and manage what is achievable from there.

Coaching FAQ

I am a coach, and very excited to get back into coaching my athletes. When can I do this?
Unfortunately, coaches are considered under the banner of ‘community sport’, which is not allowed in Metro Melbourne.

At present, the DHHS do not classify coaches in the same category as personal trainers. We have been advocating for coaches to be included in these Return to Sport plans set out by DHHS and will continue to do so.

Whilst this is not the ideal situation, we will continue to update our members as more information is made available.

Coaches in regional Victoria may return to coaching practices provided they follow both the DHHS guidelines and AV’s RTP document.

If a coach is a qualified personal trainer, can they train their athletes?
According to the Sport and Recreation Victoria website:

From 11.59pm on Sunday 27 September, outdoor personal training sessions are allowed. There are still some restrictions; sessions should be limited to no more than two people (in addition to a personal trainer). You cannot travel further than 5km to attend a personal training session.

The trainer should wear a face mask while providing the training, unless they have an exemption. People must be able to keep at least 1.5 metres distance from each other. Equipment must not be shared, and you should clean and disinfect equipment after use. You cannot participate in group fitness activities, including bootcamps.

I have seen other people coaching in various sports, so why can’t I?
All State Sporting Bodies have been provided with the same advice: Community Sport in Metro Melbourne is not to operate, including coaching. If you are a personal trainer – you can train your clients with a maximum of 2 participants at any one time.

I coach Little Athletics and Seniors, will there be different guidelines?
We will work closely with LAVIC to ensure there is continuity across organisations. We follow all restrictions based on State Gov and DHHS guidelines and anticipate they will do the same.

Events and Opportunities FAQ

I am a committee in Regional Victoria, can we host regional based events?
We certainly advocate for the development of Regional XCR/Cross Country events (in line with COVID-Safe practices/Victorian Roadmap steps) – And would be happy to provide specific guidance on how to set up such events.

We are always keen to include regional venues within our winter XCR season which has seen us run competitions within Geelong and Ballarat over the past few years.
These opportunities are also affected by the government guidelines, which we have to take into consideration while selecting venues: This includes but not limited to; providing a CovidSAFE environment, a safe ingress & egress process, issues with travel between Metro and Regional areas (currently AV would not be able to  travel to a regional area to run a competition currently as we are not an essential workplace). 
Please get in touch with our Sport

Delivery team on sportdelivery@athsvic.org.au for information and sign off from our team.

I want to come down to AVSL. What venues will be operating?
4 Metro and 3 Regional Venues will be operating for each round of AVSL:

Aberfeldie, Nunawading, Knox, Casey Fields, Werribee, Doncaster, Duncan McKinnon, Frankston, Ballarat, Geelong, and Bendigo

What events will be offered at AVSL and why?
We will provide greater detail around the specific events in teh coming weeks. The choice to include or exclude will be based on three factors:
1. Safety for participants
2. Participation numbers over the past two seasons
3. Ensure event value is the best it can be, encouraging people back into the sport.
If an event is not offered in AVSL. we will endeavour to have it included in specialist group meets where safe to do so.

Will the same program be offered across all venues of AVSL?
The program will be the same at all venues and athletes may be restricted on venues due to the Government guidelines (Metro athletes travel restrictions).
Athletes within each area / region will be strongly encouraged to attend their closest venue to minimise the chance of spreading the virus to other areas of the state.

I love hurdles and want to run them. Where can I do this?
Hurdles come under the high-risk category of events, as they must be managed by multiple people to set up/move. We will provide specific details about where and how hurdlers can race in coming weeks – likely HVC meets.

What is the average distance of Cross Country Events
Range in distance from 3km (junior and open) to 5-6km (open only)

How will you manage athletes handling starting blocks for sprints?
COVIDSafe processes for each event site will need to be in line with the Government guidelines and therefore will continue to evolve as further information is released. Exact processes will be distributed prior to each event to ensure it is up to date and relevant for all involved. Current Government guidelines stipulate that blocks will need to be sterilised after each event by officials.

Can I warm up before my event?
Dedicate warm up areas are allocated at each track and field + XCR venue. When we release specific event information, warm up information will be made available.

How will AVSL run?
Individuals will be able to select a ‘time’ period in order to compete at AVSL. The time period will grant you access to the track for the one hour. In that hour, you may enter into any of the four events on offer – and this will be your choice. There will be no seeding of events prior. Event time slots will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis and no wait lists will be offered.

We are preparing to set up events 100m in distance away from one another. Therefore, we can have 10 people in an event at any one time (40-50 people total in track facility). The time period allows you to be in the facility for one hour. If you can warm up outside of the facility (which we are preparing plans with local councils for), we advise doing so. We will make every effort to provide track space for sprinters to warm up within the facility.

Can I enter an event on the day?
Unfortunately, no. Due to the nature of restrictions and COVIDSafe practices, we must restrict the number of potential individuals in the space at any one time.

Can I enter a wait list if I miss out on a spot?
Unfortunately, no. We are trying to control what we can in relation to numbers of people in attendance. We are open to reconsidering this after the first couple of AVSL rounds.

How will you prevent people signing up and not showing up?
This is a risk that is unfortunate and unavoidable. We will do our best to ensure people know that they must make every effort to attend, however, we do appreciate that people may become busy, want to see family etc.

Will AV be able to support clubs with club helper duty rosters?
The officials team are currently working out how many club helpers and officials are required at event days. Once this has been finalised and distributed, we welcome clubs to contact the officials team or memberships team at info@athsvic.org.au to assist in rostering at your club.

Can I come along and watch an event?
According to the DHHS, if you are supervising a child or an individual with a disability, you will be allowed at the venue. We are making every effort to minimise the number of people in a venue as per the COVIDSafe practices. We will review this as restrictions ease.

What happens if the restrictions do not ease?
All of our plans are flexible and reliant on the Victorian Government easing of restrictions. We may need to compact the draft calendar even further, or remove events based on the COVID situation.
We will keep all members in the loop if schedules and events change.

What events will be sanctioned?
All specialist group meets will be World Athletics sanctioned meets. Performances at AVSL will be eligible for use as qualifiers for National Championships.

Can I travel to various venues once restrictions ease?
As part of our communications to members, we will promote staying close to home where possible.

Do I need to socially distance if I am running in a distance event?
All advice is to socially distance where possible.

Championship Events

Will Zatopek run this year?
Zatopek will not be run in Victoria this year. We are looking to host the 10km Championships at the State Championships in 2021.

Victoria is under strict travel restrictions. Has there been discussion about travel for interstate events?
The national events have been pushed into February and March 2021, with the National Championships running in April 2021. This is a deliberate move to minimise the issues relating to travel. We will continue to work with Athletics Australia on this issue.

When will the State Championships be held?
We have cancelled all XCR championships in 2020, and have moved all T&F championships to 2021.

Membership FAQ

Why do you need to know current athlete’s membership preferences by October 21st?
We require a decision and submission via the form by October 21st as we are re-opening memberships on November 5th, and the process is manual. That is, each AVSL package creation and refund is completed by our staff, not automatically through our system. There are currently ~600 active athlete members and we want to ensure that each of our athlete members receive the reimbursement or package they request prior to the system opening for everyone else.

I paid my and/or my family member’s membership at the beginning of the year. What happens with regards to that and do I get some kind of refund?
Yes! You may request a partial refund, a full refund or an AVSL package. Be sure to have a read of all the details provided and complete the survey on this page: https://athsvic.org.au/returntoaths/registered/.