Planning Assistance and Preparation for a Potential ‘Phase One’ Return to Responsible Play – Communique #1

You can access the PDF version of this document here.

‘Phase One’ – Recreational Activity and Skills Training

Dear Field Hockey BC Members

Over the past few days, Field Hockey BC has been involved in a number of digital forums targeted at an environmental analysis into what an appropriate and responsible return to play may look like, whilst of course adhering to current COVID-19 protocols, policies, and restrictions in place. As well as attending a number of informative Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) meetings, Field Hockey BC has also been invited by both Sport BC and the BCRPA to assist in helping to map out a set of principles and protocols that look to a return to recreational and skills based outdoor play. It is important here to emphasize that such an environmental assessment for a potential return MUST maintain social distancing and health and safety regulations in place and at this time ‘game based’ field hockey play is not in the frame. As an example, current areas for consideration include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Field Facility Access – Field Management Plan
  2. Facility Operations – Park Management Plan
  3. Participants – Athlete and Coach/Leader Numbers, Protocols and Checklists
  4. Sport Programming (Recreation and Skills) – Lesson/Activity Plans and Management of Equipment
  5. Activity Liability and Accident Insurance and First Aid

As a passionate organized sport community, it is evident and understandable that many of us are eager to know when and under what conditions field hockey will be permitted to return to play. Field Hockey BC’s call to our community members continues to be one for patience as we work through what must be a consistent and responsible return.

Having said that, this does not mean we wait for planning and preparation to begin and as a result Field Hockey BC will continue to work with our organized sport, recreation, governmental, facility, and health sector partners to plan and prepare for a phased return to play. Investigation into the potential parameters for a ‘Phase One’ return began in earnest this week and as well as taking a provincial lead in the development of an environmental road map, Field Hockey BC will be compiling and circulating a series of community surveys that assist our sport specific planning for each phase of a responsible return.

What we do know for ‘Phase One’ consideration is that Field Hockey BC will be required to submit a recreational/skills-based action plan that MUST be vetted by the appropriate sport, recreation, and health authority. Sports will only be permitted to return to play having secured the appropriate permission to do so and NO CONSIDERATION will be made available until the Provincial Government announces the opportunity to do so.

In anticipation of questions here, it is very likely that such a ‘Phase One’ action plan will need to be followed by everyone within our field hockey community with limited or no flexibility in interpretation. To aid such an action plan and present a fun, safe, and progressive environment, Field Hockey BC will be looking to compile a library of activity options and we will be reaching out to community members for assistance and input into the ongoing development of such resources.

As we collectively look to navigate the COVID-19 response, we continue to encourage you all to stay safe and well and where appropriate invite you to take advantage of field hockey professional development opportunities and digital resource information available. We look forward to adding to this communique in the days and weeks to come.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC                                                                                              May 1, 2020

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