Amateur sports in B.C. move to Phase 3 of COVID-19 guidelines
B.C.'s amateur sports leagues are on the path back to the playing field following an announcement that athletes can now engage in more organized sports. In a statement Monday, B.C.'s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture said the province is moving to Phase 3 of its sports guidelines.
Under Phase 3, amateur sport activities can now include additional training, "modified" games and matches, and most importantly, league play and competitions — but within cohorts of between 10 and 100 people, depending on the sport.
The guidelines show each sport will advance at a different pace depending on what Krepaikevich called "community capacity and readiness", with sports involving more physical contact being of greatest concern.
The viaSport guidelines say that close physical proximity should still be minimized as much as possible, which mean game rules should be modified to keep participants at a safe distance, and organizers should limit the number and duration of contacts between participants when physical distancing isn't possible.
Organizers should continue to enforce physical distancing during Phase 3 in areas off the playing field, such as dressing rooms, benches and hallways, and, most importantly, any physical contact should only occur within a sport cohort, the guidelines say.
The guidelines rank each sport activity in terms of risk of COVID-19 transmission from lowest to highest based on amount of contact:
• Skill-building drills or training at home, alone or with family members.
• Group or team-based skill-building or drills that maintain physical distancing.
• Group or team-based drills that require close contact.
• Non-contact competitive activities between teams.
• Group or team-based activities that include physical contact.
• Competitive activities that include physical contact between teams.
The ministry and viaSport have provided a Sport Activity Chart that outlines allowable activities in each of the four Return to Sport phases.