Preparation for a Potential ‘Stage One’ Return to Responsible Play – Communique #3

You can access the PDF version of this document here.

Dear Field Hockey BC Members

On behalf of all involved with Field Hockey BC (FHBC), I would like to again thank the membership for its continued patience as we all navigate the complexities of the COVID-19 response. This is especially relevant to the ongoing effort being made to allow for the BC Organized Sport Sector to responsibly return to play.

Further to Communique #1 and #2 circulated on May 1st, 2020 and May 15th, 2020 respectively and in light of the recent release of the BC Return to Sport Guidelines by viaSport (link below) , I wanted to provide an update on behalf of the FHBC Board of Directors. (released June 2, 2020)

Following receipt of the industry guidelines above, the FHBC draft framework for a ‘stage one’ return to responsible play was duly updated and formally considered by the FHBC Board of Directors on June 4, 2020. Whilst agreement was reached in principle relative to the framework detail, the FHBC Board of Directors deemed it prudent to delay a formal acceptance. As a result, the current FHBC framework for a ‘stage one’ responsible return to play remains in draft format but will be circulated to our Local Sport Organization (LSO) community early next week. The intent in circulating this latest draft framework, prior to the potential for formal acceptance, is in an effort to assist community wide preparation and planning for a ‘stage one’ return (or assessment as to the feasibility to return in ‘stage one’).

In anticipation of questions as to why the FHBC framework remains in draft format and pending formal approval, two fundamental hurdles remain:

  1. The approval of junior and senior legal activity waiver templates
  2. The provision for defense cost liability insurance coverage

The position of the FHBC Board of Directors at this time is that the hurdles above need to be appropriately addressed before a formal acceptance of the framework is considered. As a result, the FHBC Board of Directors will be scheduling responsible return to play meetings as deemed appropriate and/or as new information becomes available.

I am sure that the FHBC membership would agree that it remains essential that the sport of field hockey across BC returns responsibly and with the necessary confidence and protection. As a polite reminder to membership and with reference to the Field Hockey BC COVID-19 suspension notice dated March 20, 2020, Field Hockey BC continues to direct all members and affiliated clubs and associations to suspend all sanctioned field hockey activities in the province until further notice.

As we take the necessary steps towards a potential return to organized field hockey activity, I encourage all members to remain patient and optimistic for what we all trust will be a responsible, consistent, and confident return.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC
June 5, 2020

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