Scottish Hockey is approaching the changes to Covid-19 restrictions as an opportunity to increase our hockey activity, and begin the planning process for a return to training, following the guidelines set out within each phase of the Scottish Government road map.

Phase 3 provides us with new opportunities to increase hockey activity across Scotland, but while this is positive news we must be cautious in our approach to this, to ensure the safety or our members and the reputation of the sport as a whole.

Please ensure you read carefully the updated hockey specific guidance and fully understand the restrictions.

The guidance below is related to our return to localised friendly fixtures, and beyond, to ensure our umpires feel safe, informed and confident to return to playing a vital role within our sport.

Currently umpires are included in the player bubble (max 30 participants on pitch) so should adhere to the guidelines set out within our participant guidance.

Below is more specific guidelines for your role as an umpire. The guidelines can be downloaded as a PDF: Return to Play Umpire Guidance

These guidelines will be updated continually and umpires should check for updates prior to each match.



  • Be aware that each facility may have slightly different protocols in place with regard to one-way systems, access to changing facilities / toilets and pitch access. Please make yourself aware of these protocols prior to arriving.


  • Upon your arrival please wash / sanitise your hands.


  • We recommend that you arrive changed and ready to umpire and maintain 2m social distance during your pre-match briefing.


  • Any kit that is taken to the pitch should be kept to a minimum and placed in the designated area outlined by the club or facility provider.


  • Prior to the match starting, umpires should remind both team captains of the Scottish Hockey guidance and their responsibility to ensure members are kept safe at all times. Social distancing should be in place during this discussion. Masks may also be worn by umpires if they wish but are not mandatory.


  • If a coin toss is required, one umpire should do this with one team captain to call accordingly.


  • Should the umpires be using radios, the units and ear pieces must be disinfected prior to use.


During the match

  • Social distancing should be maintained by coaches and substitutes during the match. Should this condition not be observed umpires should remind the team captain of the Scottish Hockey guidelines.


  • If the clock is stopped for treating injuries, or retrieving of the ball from outside the playing area etc. then all individuals are to resume social distancing measures until the game can recommence. This will help to minimise the risk of transferring COVID-19 during the match.


  • Natural breaks in play, such as penalty corners, do occur and in these instances umpires are encourage to restart play as quickly and safely as possible to reduce the risk of transmission.


  • Spitting is prohibited as it poses a significant risk to other participants. Any offenders should be issued with a yellow card. The home team must have suitable kit to clean up the spit before play can continue. (Updated 17/09/20)


  • In most cases access to technical benches, suspension seating areas, and stands will not be permitted. Players serving a suspension should serve this in their respective team dugouts in line with social distancing guidelines. If dugouts are unavailable then aligning the suspended players to the 23m line would be advisable. The suspended player should return to the field of play within two metres of the half way line. Please make this clear to both teams prior to the match starting. All other existing suspension rules apply.


  • Avoid touching the ball or any other equipment with your hands, this is to reduce the risk of transmission.


  • Maintain 2m social distance if you need to have a conversation with your colleague during the game, or during your half time conversation. Any discussion with players during the game should occur with social distancing in place and any player approaching the umpire should be reminded of this. In a situation that involves multiple players, as per normal guidance umpires should advise that they will only speak to one player, and they should ensure this is at a distance of 2 metres. If a second player comes into the conversation they should be green carded. If a player refuses to maintain 2 metre social distancing during the conversation after a warning from the umpire,  then the umpire should award a green card and consider escalation if the player doesn’t ensure a gap of at least 2 metres.



  • Do not shake hands at the end of the match.


  • Any match paperwork that needs to be completed should be done using your own pen.


  • Please leave the playing area as soon as it is possible to do so via the designated one-way system, or exit gate as outlined by the club or facility provider.


  • We recommend you wash / sanitise your hands as soon as it possible to do so.


  • Ensure that any kit used is either cleaned properly when you return home or left in a safe location for a minimum of 72 hours in line with Scottish Government guidelines.


For more advice or further guidance please visit or contact Michael McDougall – Domestic Game Support on [email protected]


DOWNLOAD: Protect Scotland app