Responsible Return to Play – Second Stage – Community Communique #8

You can access the PDF version of this document here.
You can download the updated version of the “Second Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework” here.


Framework Update for the ‘Second Stage’ Return to Responsible Play

Second Stage’ – The “Cohort” Model

Dear Field Hockey BC Members,

On behalf of the Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board of Directors, I am writing to provide for an important update to the second stage responsible return to play PSO framework. Following a recent update notification from viaSport (dated September 25, 2020), the previously approved PSO framework (date stamped September 3, 2020) has been updated to provide for clarity of expectation as it relates to the number of cohorts a general participant may be active within (at this second stage), what this means for PSO or NSO high performance participants, and contact tracing protocols.

In short and at this time, PSO framework field hockey participants are required to be restricted to a SINGLE field hockey cohort. The only exception is for participants actively enrolled in a PSO or NSO high performance program, where such participants are permitted to be involved in a second cohort. There is also no longer a requirement to file cohort detail with a facility operator or owner, although the collection and management of up to date cohort information remains essential.

The now updated and approved second stage responsible return to play framework (date stamped September 29, 2020) will be disseminated to LSO senior contacts, posted on the home page of the FHBC website (www.fieldhockeybc.com), and referenced through Society social media channels. As required, a copy of the updated and approved second stage framework (September 29, 2020) will also be sent to viaSport for public posting on the viaSport website (www.viasport.ca).

At this second stage responsible return to play, I once again take this opportunity to draw your particular attention to the required safety protocols, the required completion of attestation forms and management of contract tracing information, and the detail pertaining to the creation and management of the ‘Cohort’ model. It remains everyone’s responsibility whether it be planning for implementation or direct active participation to remain vigilant in the execution of safety protocols, and in doing so help to maintain a high level of participant confidence.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC
September 30, 2020

Revision to viaSport’s Guidelines for Return to Sport

The Return to Sport Guidelines from viaSport has received a small update. Moving forward, the Local Sport Organizations will not send their participant list and contact information to the facility operators as a prerequisite.

“Sport organizations are asked to update their safety plans to reflect the addition of any new activities. For contact tracing purposes, the current Public Health Office Order on Gatherings and Events requires only the user group or event organizer collect contact tracing information (first and last names, telephone numbers, or email addresses) for each participant at each
event. As part of their safety plans, however, facility owners and operators should continue to confirm that event organizers are aware of their requirements for contact tracing and other conditions for holding a safe event.”

See the message from viaSport here and access their full Guideline for more information.

Local Sport Relief Fund now accepting applications

An important step to support sport organizations in British Columbia has been taken by viaSport and the Province of B.C. This Monday they announced that the Local Sport Relief Fund is now open and accepting applications from eligible organizations until October 16, 2020. Non-profit, local and community sport organizations are able to apply for up to $7,500 in funding through this one-time grant.

View the grant guidelines and find out how to apply here. For questions regarding the grant application process or to discuss your application, please email localsportfunding@viaSport.ca.

Responsible Return to Play – Second Stage – Community Communique #7

You can access the PDF version of this document here.
You can download the “Second Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework” here.


Framework Approval for the ‘Second Stage’ Return to Responsible Play

Second Stage’ – The “Cohort” Model

Dear Field Hockey BC Members

On behalf of the Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce that the Second Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework (for field hockey in BC) has now been officially approved. The FHBC Board of Directors met on the evening of September 3, 2020 to further consider this second stage framework progression, a progression made possible following the recent release of stage two guidelines by the BC Provincial Government agency viaSport.

The now approved second stage responsible return to play framework (date stamped September 3, 2020) will be disseminated to LSO senior contacts, posted on the home page of the FHBC website (www.fieldhockeybc.com), and referenced through Society social media channels. As required, a copy of the approved second stage framework will also be sent to viaSport for public posting on the viaSport website (www.viasport.ca). Such public posting acts as the official catalyst allowing the PSO and LSO’s to move forward to implementation.

As was the case for the first stage framework, the now approved second stage framework provides guidance as to the minimum standard expected for active implementation and we once again draw your particular attention to the required safety protocols, the required completion of attestation forms, and at this second stage the detail pertaining to the creation and management of the ‘Cohort’ model. It remains everyone’s responsibility whether it be planning for implementation or direct active participation to remain vigilant in the execution of safety protocols, and in doing so help to maintain a high level of participant confidence.

LSO’s may now develop and refine activity plans and look to the necessary steps to secure appropriate facility permits for second stage implementation. Please remember that second stage activity plans are required to be posted on your LSO website for public access. As we take this next step towards a return to modified game-based field hockey activity, I wish everyone the very best for what should be an enjoyable start to a new season.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC, September 4, 2020

Provincial Athlete Pathway Review Project: Communique #5 – Final Report

Dear Field Hockey BC Members,

Please click here to access the Final Report of the Provincial Athlete Pathway Review Project. Now that the athlete pathway report has been received and approved, the next step is for FHBC to consider the report recommendations and build out an operational plan to determine areas of immediate priority and those that will be considered over time.

If you have any questions regarding the Provincial Athlete Pathway Review Project, please contact Jennifer Taylor, Athlete Program Director, via jtaylor@fieldhockeybc.com.

Framework Creation and Approval for the ‘Second Stage’ of Responsible Return to Play – Communique #6

You can access the PDF version of this document here.


Second Stage’ – The “Cohort” Model

Dear Field Hockey BC Members

On behalf of the Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board of Directors and following the announcement earlier this week from the BC Provincial Government, I am pleased to report that work has begun in earnest to complete due process towards an approval of a Second Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework for field hockey in BC. This second stage return for the organized sport sector across BC takes place within phase three of BC’s COVID-19 restart plan (apologies in advance for any confusion here), and offers the opportunity for sport to assess the viability to progressively loosen the physical distancing protocols to allow for modified or standardized game or competitive play.

The second stage responsible return to play introduces the “cohort” model which put simply allows for a progressive game play return involving greater permissible participant interaction on the field of play. Such a cohort model also allows for the same level of participant interaction in a training or recreational context. Although the framework will provide more detailed information on adherence to safety protocols, it is important to note that greater participant interaction is strictly restricted to the field of play during this second stage return and physical distancing protocols are in effect outside of the field of play boundary (especially pertinent when utilizing field infrastructure such as team benches and technical areas which is now a permitted progression from stage one). Field Hockey participant activity numbers will be progressed from stage one guidelines but will be restricted to the provincial health office ‘group of 50’ rule (allowing for up to a maximum of 49 participants on a single field facility at any one time).

Mindful that a great many of our members have already enquired as to why field hockey cannot immediately move to second stage implementation, FHBC is required to follow due process and formally approve a second stage responsible return to play framework (as was the case with the stage one approval protocol). To this end, the FHBC Board of Directors will meet formally to consider such an approval on the evening of September 3, 2020. Once approval has been obtained, the second stage responsible return to play framework will be sent to the provincial government agency viaSport for public posting and will also be posted and available for download from the Society website. Thereafter, Local Sport Organizations (LSO’s) will be able to develop, refine, and approve their second stage safety plans and move to practical implementation. It is important to note that LSO’s can choose to move towards implementation at whatever speed is most appropriate and can continue to develop responsible return to play safety plans utilizing stage one or stage two guidelines.

For those members considering a return to play, I would politely remind you to remember to register your membership prior to stepping on the field of play. It remains essential that all active participants have a valid and paid FHBC and Field Hockey Canada (FHC) membership. The online registration portal is available in the normal way from the FHBC website (www.fieldhockeybc.com).

In closing, it is evident and understandable that many of us are eager to move to the second stage of responsible return to play and I once again ask for your patience and consideration as we navigate due process to achieve this end. For many of us who have experienced the journey to date in helping to navigate the BC sport sectors COVID-19 response, it is on the one hand surprising that our sector has been given the flexibility to consider a second stage return to standardized game play, but on the other hand this provides for a return to club and league game play at a time when I’m sure most feared a winter season may have been lost. Such a fantastic opportunity comes with an even greater responsibility to do so as safely as possible for all involved and we wish everyone the very best for an exciting and optimistic opening to a new season.

Yours in sport,

Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC, August 28, 2020

FHBC Umpire Webinar – Success Through Failure

Field Hockey BC would like to invite all members to attend the Umpire Webinar ‘Success Through Failure’ on September 2, at 7 p.m, Vancouver. This webinar will be led by Lelia Sacré, FIH rated umpire, and will include the participation of the following international umpires:

Margaret Hunnaball – England
Former international umpire. Current FIH Pro League Umpire Manager and FIH Rules Committee member.

Sarah Wilson – Scotland
Has umpired over 100 international matches. Participated in numerous high level events including 2016 Olympic Games, 2018 Women’s World Cup and 2019 Pro League Final.

Lim Hong-Zen – Singapore
Has umpired over 100 international matches. Participated in numerous high level events including 2016 Olympic Games, 2018 Men’s World Cup and 2019 Pro League.

When: September 2, 2020, 7 p.m., Vancouver
Topic: Umpire Webinar – Success Through Failure
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84922534439?pwd=emxtazlEVjk4TUVUb1FBWkRsYk9Edz09
Passcode: 185081

2020 Field Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting

Dear Field Hockey BC Members,

Members of the Field Hockey Canada Board of Directors will be elected by the members at the 2020 Annual General Meeting of Field Hockey Canada, which is scheduled to be held on September 12, via a Zoom Video Conference Call.

For nomination information, or any information regarding the AGM, please contact CEO Susan Ahrens.

AGM Date: Friday 12th September
TIME: 9AM PST
CALL DETAILS: Field Hockey Canada 2020 AGM
Time: Sep 12, 2020 09:00 AM (Vancouver)
Zoom link here.
Meeting ID: 859 0324 7828
Password: 991513

Material for the meeting:
2019/2020 Audited Financial Statements
2019/2020 FHC Budget
2020-2025 Strategic Plan
Approval of 2019 AGM Minutes
Chair of the Board – Report
Governance Report

For more details, access http://www.fieldhockey.ca/about-us/governance/annual-meetings/

Framework Advancement for the ‘First Stage’ Return to Responsible Play – Communique #5

You can access the PDF version of this document here.


Dear Field Hockey BC Members,

On behalf of the Field Hockey BC (FHBC) Board of Directors and following the approval of the First Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework (for field hockey in BC) on June 11, 2020, I am pleased to report that Field Hockey BC is proactively advancing the approved First Stage Responsible Return to Play Framework with the introduction of a permissible extension to the ratio for athlete participation (maximum number of participants on a full field of play), and a streamlined ratio for the required number of associated safety officers. In this case, the maximum number of athlete participants permissible for full field activity will increase from 18 athlete participants to 32 athlete participants and the number of required safety officers will reduce by half (50% – 4 safety officers to 2 safety officers). See the PDF for a visual guide of the permissible structure on a full field of play.

As the BC Organized Sport Sector awaits formal Provincial Government consideration and associated guidance relative to a move to the second stage of responsible return to play, such advancement of stage one guidelines is seen as a proactive next step to continue Field Hockey’s responsible and progressive stance to maintain and comply with the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols. This move to adjust ratios was taken following receipt of feedback from both LSO and PSO activity leaders. Such feedback will remain ongoing and will continue throughout the staged progression towards a new  “norm” for field hockey activity. The safety of all involved in field hockey’s responsible return to play remains the absolute priority, as does the ability of our sport to comply with the necessary safety protocols.

As we all continue to navigate a progressive and responsible return to organized field hockey activity, I remind and encourage all members to take the necessary time to consider return to play activity as an exercise in social responsibility and safety for all. Let us play our part in offering an opportunity to participate whilst ensuring we contribute to flattening the COVID-19 curve.

Yours in sport,
Mark Saunders
Executive Director
Field Hockey BC, July 29, 2020

COVID-19 Response – ‘First Stage Responsible Return to Play’ Framework (amended July 29 2020)

You can access the full framework here.


The Field Hockey BC Board of Directors met on the evening of June 11, 2020 and passed a resolution approving the first stage responsible return to play framework for field hockey in BC (date stamped June 11, 2020), which can be accessed here. The approved framework provides sport specific guidance as to the minimum standard expected for active implementation in this first stage return.

Please, draw your particular attention within the framework to the participant ratios, the requirement for attestation form compliance ahead of every activity session, and the need to maintain standards of health and safety as a priority. The advice provided by the Public Health Office, viaSport, and now the approved PSO framework is intended to allow for LSO’s to develop activity plans and look to the necessary steps to secure appropriate facility permits.

Many members have already requested membership fee refunds or deferrals to the following year, and, in this case, members need to re-register with FHBC prior to active participation. All members participating in LSO, PSO (FHBC), and NSO (FHC) programming must be a registered member in good standing.