Sport NZ Level 2 Update
13 May 2020

The following information was released from Sport NZ on 12 May 2020.

Yesterday’s Government decisions around Alert Level 2 impacted the mass gathering limits previously communicated for play, active recreation and sport. Today we have clarified some of the detail around this announcement.


We can now confirm that the 10 person gathering limit does apply to all community sport, however this limit will be reviewed on 25 May. At this point, subject to New Zealand’s continued containment of COVID-19, the limits may be increased which could enable full training and competition environments to restart.

This means that from 23.59 Wednesday, sports teams can train or play subject to the combined number of players, coaches and/or officials not exceeding 10 and appropriate physical distancing guidelines being observed.

We fully acknowledge that the limit affects any play, recreation or sport environment where more than 10 people might come together including events. To support your planning, we have added some guidance below to help you understand the impact of the restriction on different operational settings.

Once again, as communicated last week, we encourage a managed return to sport and recreation with public safety first and foremost in our considerations. We don’t want sport to be the reason we go backwards in alert levels.

We are aware that this is not an easy phase as we collectively juggle public expectation and our responsibilities as public-facing organisations. This is a dynamic environment in which both global and local insights on COVID-19 are influencing decisions made here in New Zealand.

We will continue to support you with more information around level 2 as quickly as possible. More guidance on hygiene, sanitation and contact tracing is pending, and this updated advice will be posted on our web site as soon as we receive Government approval.

Guidance Around Gatherings

  • Gatherings must be restricted to a maximum of 10 people (both indoor and outdoor facilities). For sport and recreation, a gathering includes spectators, players, officials and support staff.
  • All indoor and outdoor facilities will need to restrict entry to a maximum of 10 people per group. This limit will still need to be considered in the context of maintaining the 2 metre physical distancing requirement between groups.
  • Care must be taken to avoid more than 10 people congregating at communal points such as entries and car parks, and to maintain physical distancing of 2m between groups. Phasing of activities is recommended to allow time for people to pass through these areas safely.
  • Spectators should be limited or asked not to attend for now. If spectators are permitted, in order to know who attended, it is recommended that they be asked to register in advance. Spectators should be physically distanced through seating allocation or marking out of standing areas. Areas for spectators should be clearly marked out for each court/area to prevent mingling with other groups in the same facility.
  • Gathering restrictions do not apply to professional athletes, and the officials or support staff supporting these athletes. These are considered to be controlled workplaces which means there are separate guidelines that are applicable.

Further Guidance On Outdoor Sporting Venues

  • For sports or recreational activities that take place outdoors in a large open area with multiple fields or courts, the requirements on the numbers of people applies to a single field or court, so long as this is managed in accordance with other public health guidelines and the attendees at one gathering do not mingle or interact with those from another gathering.
  • For large areas such as golf courses or ski fields, individual groups (of no more than 10 people) engaging in activities should keep physically distanced from each other. Careful measures will be necessary to maintain physical distancing between groups while indoors for example in the clubhouse.
  •  A registration point or points should be set up and clearly marked at the venue.  This is especially important for large sports fields where there are multiple entry points and fields of play.