Rugby is coming back in BC, safely & slowly
Return to Rugby Plan Launched
On Tuesday, BC Rugby launched the Return to Rugby in BC plan and has invited Member Clubs and Associations to apply for sanctioning under these new terms of delivery. This newsletter will provide you an overview of what steps Clubs are taking to return safely, and how to prepare to return to the pitch as a player, coach, official or supporter.
To learn the latest information about returning to rugby, including a list of sanctioned Clubs, visit bcrugby.com/returntorugby.
The Return to Rugby in BC plan is divided into five phases, aligned to viaSport’s Guidelines (the agency tasked by Government to manage B.C.’s amateur sport system), which will allow for a gradual reintroduction of rugby activity in BC while remaining safe and responsible during this unprecedented global health crisis.
With the release of this plan, BC Rugby is entering its second phase of Return to Rugby, known as Rugby Re-Engaged. This phase will not include any inter-club or contact activities and is limited to activities that maintain physical distancing at all times, with rugby balls as the only permitted shared equipment.
The next phase, anticipated to begin in September, will see some small-sided, non-contact games (i.e. touch or flag rugby) within clubs and additional shared equipment. Inter-regional travel will only be permitted in the fourth phase, when low-contact small-sided games can be played between clubs, as sanctioned and managed by BC Rugby.
Well, this sucks but try to find your silver lining
We recognise that this slow approach is not want many were hoping to see. Everyone at BC Rugby shares your disappointment, we know that this sucks. But COVID sucks. Everyone at BC Rugby has worked hard to find a way to Return to Rugby within the constraints and responsibilities that we must meet, and your Clubs will be trying to navigate this too.
This next season, we hope that players, coaches and volunteers will support their Clubs and return to rugby, albeit limited to non-contact, small-sided games like Touch or Flag Rugby. This can be used as an opportunity to introduce more people into our sport, refine critical skills, reconnect with teammates and have fun.
Next Steps for Your Club
To Return to Rugby, all Member Clubs and Associations must apply for sanctioning. To apply, Clubs will need to complete the following steps:
Step 1: Appoint one or more COVID-19 Safety Coordinators
Step 2: Complete World Rugby COVID-19 Awareness Course for administrators
Step 3: Complete a Risk Assessment, using the template provided
Step 4: Complete a COVID Safety Plan, using the template provided
Step 5: Update the Club’s Emergency Action Plan
Step 6: Complete online sanctioning form and upload supporting documents
BC Rugby has created an online hub of resources to support Clubs through this process and will continue hosting workshops and webinars for Club leaders as well as being able to connect directly with BC Rugby staff.
We’re all in this together and we must work in concert to Return to Rugby safely for the health of our communities and the integrity of our sport.
In addition to following public health orders, when Returning to Rugby, everyone will be responsible for undertaking the following tasks:
- Once your Club is sanctioned, you will be able to register for the new season. Registration facilitates the acknowledgement of an updated waiver and ensures participants are insured to take part in any rugby activities.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay at home and you must not attend any rugby activities.
- Your Club will ask you to complete a COVID-19 Attestation which is a formal declaration that you have followed public health orders and are otherwise healthy.
- Your Club will be recording your attendance at any in-person rugby activities to facilitate COVID-19 tracking and tracing. This information shall be stored within the Sportlomo platform to ensure your personal information is all stored safely and securely.
- If you become infected with COVID-19 (confirmed with a positive test result) AND have attended any in-person rugby activities within the last 4 weeks, you must immediately notify your Club’s Safety Coordinator or BC Rugby’s Safety Manager, Brynna Walker, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Prepare to Return to Rugby
#1 Assess your risk & your household’s risk
Returning to Rugby is optional. Everyone is responsible for assessing your risk & your household’s risk before Returning to Rugby while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be active in BC communities. You should also consider the risk to your workplace, especially if you are, or anyone in your household is a health care worker or an essential worker. Factors may change over time and you should be regularly re-assessing your risk and the risk to your entire household and workplace.
It is highly recommended that all coaches, officials, team managers and therapists, as well as youth and adult players complete a World Rugby COVID-19 Return to Play Awareness course. Two courses are available, one for administrators and another for players and coaches.
All BC Rugby Directors and staff have completed at least one of the courses.
Complete the most relevant online course for you by visiting: playerwelfare.worldrugby.org/covid-19-courses.
#3 Take Care of your Mental Health
Coping with the uncertainty around COVID-19 has been challenging for everyone, and for many, this has impacted their mental health. Just like a physical injury, it takes time to restore your mental health.
To support British Columbians of all ages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Province is expanding existing mental health programs and launching new services. To learn more about the many services, almost exclusively free, visit https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/health/managing-your-health/virtual-supports-covid-19
BC Rugby will be continually updating its COVID-19 FAQ page to help with questions you may be having regarding the impact of COVID-19 on rugby activity in the province. This page also contains an extensive list of online rugby resources to help you stay engaged during self-isolation. Read Here
Thank You to our Partners & Sponsors!
BC Rugby would like to acknowledge and thank our Partners and Sponsors for their continued support of Rugby in British Columbia