COVID-19 RETURN TO SPORT UPDATE- PHASE 3

On August 24th, viaSport British Columbia announced that sport has moved to Phase 3 of the province’s Return to Sport plan. This means that while close physical proximity should continue to be minimized, it is permitted provided these instances are limited in duration and occurrence as much as possible.  Further, these activities should be restricted by placing teams in cohorts (basically divisions or pools) that they will remain in to limit the pool of people that are interacting with each other.

For a full read of viaSport’s Return to Play plan, please click these links:
viaSport Return to Play Guidelines
viaSport Phase 3 Sport Announcement

What does this mean for Urban Rec leagues?
This means that most Urban Rec sports will be able to be played with minimal modifications to the rules governing game-play; however, guidelines around team sizes, entering/leaving facilities, and other non-gameplay aspects of our sports will still be required to be followed in order for us to play as safely as possible!

What will be done to mitigate the risk of being exposed to COVID-19?
With the leagues that we were able to run this summer, Urban Rec was able to come up with measures that not only met but surpassed the guidelines of Island Health and the applicable provincial health authorities.  For our fall leagues, the following measures will be in place (additional measures may be added at Urban Rec’s discretion depending on the venue/league):

  • Daily health check email sent to all teams participating that evening requiring an RSVP from the team captain confirming that all participants who are playing that night can truthfully answer “No” to the COVID-19 health check questionnaire.
  • Equipment provided by Urban Rec will be disinfected between games (as well as during games if necessary)
  • Hand sanitizer will be available for participants to use
  • Minimize time at venues for participants:
    • Only permitted in venue within limited time prior to game start
    • Must leave venue promptly when game ends
  • Have entrance/exit plan for each venue in order for participants to minimize contact with teams from other game times
  • Recommend that participants wear a mask covering their mouth and nose when entering and exiting the venue
  • Participants should practice physical distancing as much as possible before, during and after the games.
  • The number of people that a player can come into contact during play will be limited:
    • Teams will have a limit as to how many players/subs can be in attendance at each game
    • No spectators may be on or near the playing surface
    • Players who are not on the playing surface will maintain physical distancing on the sidelines as best as possible
    • No huddles, high-fives, handshakes, etc. between teams
    • Teams will be placed into cohorts (pools or divisions) to begin play and will only participate within the same cohort unless reseeding is necessary
    • Cohort sizes will vary from sport to sport based on contact frequncy & intensity
      • Volleyball cohorts are 100 players
      • Soccer cohorts are 50 players
      • Basketball cohorts are 50 players
    • Should reseeding be necessary, teams will have a 14-day break between games before participating with a new cohort

What types of rule modifications for game play will be in place?
Of course, this depends on the sport, but one universal rule that we want everyone to follow is that while intermittent close physical contact is now permitted, we want everyone to minimize those instances.  Participants who do not adhere to this will face supplemental discipline which can include suspension and/or expulsion.  Regular Urban Rec rules apply for each sport with the following exceptions (additional rule modifications may be made at Urban Rec’s discretion):

Soccer

  • Teams can have a maximum of 12 players play each night (rosters can be larger, however only 12 may be in attendance for each game):
    • Each team will be assigned a designated area to use at their ‘player benches’ for their substitute players. A maximum of 5 players may be in each designated area, and they must be at least 2meters apart when they are not on the playing surface.
  • Soccer balls will be sanitized before the start of each game and between each half of play.
  • Currently no throw-ins will be permitted, kick-ins will be used as an indirect free-kick from the spot where the ball left the field of play.
  • All Urban Rec leagues are non-contact, however brief periods of intermittent/accidental contact will be permitted as per the most recent Phase 3 update published by viaSport

Volleyball

  • Teams can have a maximum of 8 players play each night (rosters can be larger, however only 8 may be in attendance for each game):
    • Each team will be assigned a designated area to use at their ‘player benches’ for their substitute players. A maximum of 4 players may be in each designated area, and they must be at least 2meters apart when they are not on the playing surface.
  • Volleyballs will be sanitized before the start of each match.
  • All Urban Rec leagues are non-contact, however brief periods of intermittent/accidental contact will be permitted as per the most recent Phase 3 update published by viaSport

Basketball

  • Teams can have a maximum of 10 players play each night (rosters can be larger, however only 10 may be in attendance for each game):
    • Each team will be assigned a designated area to use at their ‘player benches’ for their substitute players. A maximum of 5 players may be in each designated area, and they must be at least 2meters apart when they are not on the playing surface.
  • Basketballs will be sanitized before the start of each game and between each half or play.
  • All Urban Rec leagues are non-contact, however brief periods of intermittent/accidental contact will be permitted as per the most recent Phase 3 update published by viaSport