JUST in case you’re thinking things are returning to some level of normality because of fixtures confirmed for Cork minor footballers and hurlers, they are not.
This week should have seen the delayed start of the Corn Uí Mhuirí, the Munster Post-Primary Schools Senior Football Championship, but Covid’s presence has put all second-level school sport on hold for the time being.
Six Cork schools should have been involved in the opening group games, including the derby between Coláiste Chríost Rí and Coláiste Coilm Ballincollig.
Clonakilty Community College should have played High School Clonmel, St Francis College Rochestown against Mercy Mounthawk Tralee, Hamilton High School against Pobailscoil Chorcha Dhuibhne and Skibbereen Community School against St Flannan’s.
Guidelines issued by Croke Park during the week underlined the seriousness of the situation with neither competitive nor challenges games allowed.
Training is permitted on a non-contact basis in pods of no more than 15 people.
And both UCC and CIT are also impacted as games are not permitted to take place at third level and no training sessions are allowed either until further notice.
The popular Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups in the new year must be under threat in the current climate.
And restrictions remain in place for clubs, too, with a ban on all games though under-age and adult training can take place on a non-contact basis in pods of up to 15.
Clubs and players are reminded that health questionnaires and all other relevant control measures must continue to be followed.
And the use of dressing rooms, showers and all other indoor training facilities are to remain closed for club activities.
Club gyms, though, may be opened for individuals only as long as protective measures remain in place. Players and teams must not train in groups.
Club bars that do not serve food must remain closed until further notice, but those operating as restaurants, serving a substantial meal, can open as of yesterday.
There are additional restrictions, however, including a requirement for meals to be prepared on site, inside the premises, and with a maximum of six people per table. Club bars must follow all the relevant protocols for the sector.
This is the time of year for planning Christmas events like a Poc Fada, always an attraction on St Stephen’s Day in particular, but Covid guidelines impact here, as well.
They should only be organised if they can be limited to 15 people and face coverings must be worn, hardly an attractive proposition for anyone.
The association also had news for outdoor events on GAA property like fundraisers, such as the fittest family, and again there are restrictions in gatherings of up to 15 people only are allowed.
Drive-in events may be held subject to clubs requesting extension of insurance cover from Marsh Ireland or GAA Insurance section.
However, people must remain in their vehicles for the entire duration of the event with no access to club facilities, including toilets.
Cars attending such events should only contain people from their own pod.
Meanwhile, tickets went on sale yesterday for Rebels’ Bounty, the new fundraising initiative by the county board designed to support Cork players, clubs and county.
Tickets cost €100 each and will be sold directly by clubs or online at gaacork.ie/rebelsbounty. There are 30 cash prizes, ranging from €100 to €20,000.
In April and December, the top prize will increase to €25,000 and in December, a bumper prize of €100,000 will be given away.
The first draw will take place on Wednesday, February 24 where prizes will be draw for January and February 2021.
Clare v Tipperary, Thurles, 5pm; Limerick v Waterford, Limerick venue, 4pm.
Kerry v Cork, Tralee, 7pm; Clare or Tipperary v Limerick or Waterford, venue to be decided, 7pm.
Final, venue to be decided, 7pm.
Kildare v Louth, Newbridge; Offaly v Wicklow, Tullamore; Meath v Westmeath, Navan; Laois v Carlow, Portlaoise.
Galway v Leitrim. Semi-finals: Roscommon v Galway or Leitrim; Mayo v Sligo.
Derry v Armagh; Donegal v Tyrone; Antrim v Monaghan; Fermanagh v Down.