Rounders is an inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by everyone.
It is important that collectively we ensure; we do the right thing, we are for all and we keep moving rounders forward by remembering we are in this together.
This guidance is provided to support teams, leagues and players in ensuring that the purpose of Rounders can be delivered across the entire sport. Whilst supporting perinatal and foetal health.
Rounders Playing Rule:
Rounders England does not recommend participation whilst pregnant due to the significant risk to health.
Individuals who do choose to participate whilst pregnant should seek medical consent before participating and must accept responsibility for any adverse consequences of their decision.
Being active during pregnancy has many well evidenced physical and mental health benefits and is generally safe for most pregnant people. But, knowing which activity and for how long into pregnancy is safe for you personally needs to be considered on an individual basis. For all Rounders activity there are risks regardless and whether pregnant or not, these include:
- Contact with the ball.
- Accidental collision with another player.
- Contact with the ground when fielding, especially when diving.
Depending on the pregnant person’s position on the pitch can alter the likelihood and/or severity of risk.
There are also other general potential risks that need to be considered when exercising during pregnancy that are not specific to Rounders:
- Hormonal changes leading to increased joint laxity could increase injury risk.
- Increase in mother’s core temperature can potentially affect the foetus.
- In theory, pregnancy may increase the risk of falling due to a shift in centre of gravity by the growing foetus.
- Compromised blood flow to the foetus in relation to exercises.
- Activities associated with the game, such as travel and exposure to more hostile environments carry risk.
- Complications of pregnancy carry additional risk for anyone exercising / playing sport.
Current advice recommends that all pregnant people without contraindication (Appendix One) should be physically active for 150 minutes of moderate activity.
It is recommended that the pregnant person informs their team at the earliest opportunity about their pregnancy, regardless of how long they choose to continue playing. There are events that may occur during the pregnancy that require medical treatment should anything happen, and the team are unaware.
Rounders England recommends that each pregnant person will need confirmation to continue from a medical professional. It is recommended that a risk assessment is conducted by their team in relation to their position on or off the pitch. Once the risk assessment has been completed, adaptations may or may not be required. This documentation may also be required for any personal insurance claims so a record should be kept.
If a pregnant person decides to continue to play Rounders, they do so on a voluntary basis and at their own risk. They acknowledge that they have unconditionally waived any claims (to the greatest extent permitted by law) that they may have against another player, their team, opposition, club, league and Rounders England as a result of any injuries suffered by the pregnant person and unborn child whilst engaging in Rounders.
To ensure full transparency we recommend a copy of this guidance should be sent to the pregnant person at the earliest opportunity. The pregnant person should send written confirmation to their team and league that they understand the risks and their decision to continue playing in whatever format they choose.
Adaptations to the game
It may be deemed appropriate that the player adopt the walking rounders rules for their turn if suitable. It may also be recommended that a player opt for a position which reduces their risk. The pregnant person can also choose to only engage in certain elements of the game be that training / less competitive game play. These suggestions are not exhaustive and a conversation between the pregnant person and team / league will determine any other adaptations.
These are considerations that both the pregnant person, team and league should consider to keep players safe in line with the risk assessment.
More information and evidence-based research can be found online from trusted authorities including:
Royal College of obstetricians and gynaecologists: https://www.rcog.org.uk/for-the-public/browse-all-patient-information-leaflets/physical-activity-and-pregnancy/