From the Editor's Desk - March 2020

March 13 2020


Updates on Cancellations and Postponements; Rees Boot Match Results; Potential Changes to High School Rugby Governance: UPDATE RUGBY CANADA SUSPENDS SANCTIONED RUGBY ACTIVITY

[ed. update the Wales v Scotland Six Nations match has been cancelled.]
[ed. update Rugby Canada issued a statement which suspends all sanctioned rugby activity, details here.]

Cancellations and Postponements

Well this has been an interesting week, last Saturday and Sunday we had 40,000 people packed into BC Place to watch a tournament with teams and fans from 16 countries and this weekend there will be the sound of silence as pretty well every major sporting tournament and league in North America has been shut down due to concerns about spreading the corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) a positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus. Positive-sense RNA viruses account for a large fraction of known viruses, including many pathogens such as the hepatitis C virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus, SARS and MERS coronaviruses, and SARS-CoV-2 as well as less clinically serious pathogens such as the rhinoviruses that cause the common cold. [ed. thank you Wiki for the information.]

Bottom line, no rugby this weekend in BC or in the MLR. You can read the BCRU statement here, and the MLR statement here.

The BC government also issued some recommendations today which can be read here. It includes among other things a recommendation on travel, “We are recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Effective today, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. We know that this is a voluntary measure, but it is our expectation that people will follow this direction as part of their civic duty." There are at least five youth rugby teams from BC that were on tour during the week in Ireland, Scotland, NZ, Australia and Bermuda.

Not all rugby has been cancelled however, the Wales v Scotland Six Nations game is still going ahead in Cardiff at the time of writing. Super Rugby matches are still going ahead at the time of writing in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina, the match hosted in Buenos Aires will be held in a closed stadium due to Argentine government guidelines. Global Rapid Rugby the new league that includes teams from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Fiji, Australia, Samoa is still scheduled to kickoff Round One this weekend, again, accurate at the time of writing.

The Rees Boot match

That game went ahead this evening (Thursday) at Centennial Stadium and was won 34-0 by SMUS. We'll see if we can find a game summary but talking to Oak Bay alumni the Barbarians looked disorganized and SMUS dominated as indicated by the scoreline. There will be replays on Shaw TV next week.

Potential Changes to High School Sports are Pending

A good article by Howard Tsumara can be read here. Basically it's a plan by BC School Sports (BCSS) to take control of all 19 sports under its jurisdiction. Currently sports are run by independent sports commissions, so high school rugby is run by the BC Secondary School Rugby Union (BCSSRU). Basically the BCSSRU is run by educators who are also involved in the rugby community, if the BCSS takes over then there's likely to be more of a shift to generalized sport administrators and potentially a loss of rugby knowledge in the running of the sport. This seems to be the worry among high profile sports such as Basketball and Football as well. There's a vote on April 19th among the 460 member schools and a two-thirds vote would carry the motion for the change. Stay tuned!

Pemberton Holmes
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