SINGAPORE – Unvaccinated students aged 12 and under, as well as older students who are not medically eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination, can participate in the upcoming National School Games, albeit in groups of five or less, said the Ministry of Education (MOE). Friday (March 18).
Previously, to play any sport, students had to be fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid-19, or be medically ineligible for vaccination.
In the next school term which begins next Monday, all 29 National School Games sports will resume for vaccinated students and those who have recovered from Covid-19.
The MOE said in response to TODAY’s questions that unvaccinated pupils can participate in the National School Games, “depending on their age group and type of sport”.
“For example, students aged 12 and under can participate in sports that can be played within the national five-person limit, regardless of their vaccination status,” the MOE added.
This means that people aged 12 and under who are not vaccinated can play sports in groups of five or less.
Students aged 13 and over who are not vaccinated are not allowed to participate in the National School Games, but those who are not medically eligible can do so in groups of up to five.
For vaccinated students, they can participate in team sports with up to 30 players.
The MOE said: “In line with Sport Singapore’s latest guidelines, which allow up to 30 fully vaccinated people to participate in larger team sports, the 2022 National School Games will be played in standard formats for all sports, with the exception of rugby, which will be played in a 7v7 format.”
Some team sports involving larger groups, such as football and hockey, have not been played in their standard format since 2020, when group size restrictions were put in place.
Last year, only 12 sports resumed as part of the National School Games, while 17 sports remained suspended. The sports that resumed were mainly individual sports like bowling or golf, or those involving smaller groups like 3-on-3 volleyball and sepak takraw.
The MOE added that as of Tuesday schools have already started training for these sports in their standard formats.
The ministry also said it will work with sports councils and schools to ensure the safety of students and staff, and that safe management measures will be put in place during the National School Games.
Due to the shorter competitive season, some sports will also be played only at the zonal level.
“Additionally, to help student-athletes easily return to competition, benchmarks such as bearing replacements, reduced playing time and increased rest intervals will be considered,” the MOE added.