Return to Sport Updates - July 2020

July 07 2020

viaSport - BC government lead delivery agency for sport programs

Return to Sport Plans for Rugby Union and Rugby League in BC: Union No Contact Until January; League a Maybe on 9s in September

[ed. updates the Rugby League RTSP is now up on ViaSport and available through their website.]

As everyone knows it's pretty quiet on the rugby front in BC right now, the question is what will happen in September? A lot depends on provincial government health regulations and specifically how ViaSport interprets those for sport through their guidelines.

ViaSport puts out their guidelines then each specific sport interprets those guidelines into a Return to Sport plan. ViaSport then links to those plans from its website.

Rugby Union have their plan linked on the ViaSport website under Rugby. There's no sign of the Rugby League plan on ViaSport, there is a link on the BCRL website but access is locked and you need to request access. We've provided it here for download.

A simplified summary is that the BCRU says your option will be touch rugby or flag rugby in the fall, no contact until 2021. The contact in 2021 will likely be 7s or 10s to start. The BCRL leaves the door a little more open with a "contact competition MAY be permitted in Phase 3 (September 2020) dependent on PHO's social gathering restrictions and contact restrictions."

Both organizations are basing this on the ViaSport guidelines which reference the "Progressively Loosen" phase which is implied to start in September but doesn't actually say that. ViaSport has been vague in it's guidelines which leaves some latitude for interpretation.

ViaSport guidelines state the current phase "Transition Measures" runs from May 19 to September but the only timeline given for the next "Progressively Loosen" phase is "Future Date TBC".

During the "Progressively Loosen" phase it states for competition, that "interclub or regional game play may be considered" and for contact states "introduction to pair or small group contact skills". It looks like the BCRL is taking those two points to mean 9 as a small group MAY be allowed contact.

Everyone is waiting for ViaSport to provide a date and more clarity around the "Progressively Loosen" phase. League is keeping the door open on options, Union seems to have shut the door - whether they'll revise their document if new information is added by ViaSport remains to be seen.

Pemberton Holmes
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