An unusual sight - the outdoor handball courts on Michael Street closed because of the Covid-19 virus. One of the few occasions these courts have been closed in their history?
The handball community across Ireland can look forward with hope regards getting back playing in courts following the recent announcements by the GAA.
In their latest statement the GAA outlined their return to play policy and the guidelines for clubs. At the end of that statement the GAA specifically mentioned handball as part of the reopening of indoor facilities across the country. They have pledged to issue guidelines on all these facilities by next Monday.
With the expectation that the return to play offers handball the opportunity to get their sport up and running over the next few weeks, the focus then will be on GAA Handball administration to implement the necessary steps to rescue the handball calendar.
Prior to the lockdown the 4 Wall season was at its peak with the All Ireland Juvenile and Adult Singles finals scheduled for late March in Kingscourt.
These were due to be followed by the Adult Doubles championships in mid-April. The month of May was set aside to facilitate the playing of the Hardball championships which have, subsequently, been cancelled for this year.
Other competitions on the handball calendar that have been cancelled include the adult team events and the very successful Feile na Gael weekends.
In normal circumstances the Wallball and Softball seasons would be in full flight in these summer months, with activity across both codes in indoor and outdoor courts.
Big decisions will have to made regards the handball championships, with emphasis fully focussed on when, and where, the various championships take place.
Prior to that, getting courts open to members will require strict adherence to the guidelines.
While the immediate future of the sport gives optimism for all involved, there are still a number of questions that need to be answered before handball can be up and running again.
As with all sports, the health and wellbeing of all involved has to take precedence over any rushed decisions.
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