Saskatchewan to allow outdoor sports to resume games May 30
Outdoor sports in Saskatchewan can resume games on May 30.
The province announced Tuesday that outdoor sporting activities – which were originally part of Stage 2 of the provincial reopening plan – will now be included in Stage 1, which begins next Sunday.
The easing of restrictions for indoor sports remains in Stage 2 of the reopening roadmap, which is expected three weeks after Stage 1.
A number of sports are ready to go.
Brian Guebert, Saskatoon’s minor football commissioner, said flag football matches are scheduled to begin June 5 and move into football by June 10.
“We’re going to make sure our kids have a good opportunity to practice with equipment and go through safe contact to hone their individual skills that they were working on without equipment, and then we’ll get into the games,” said Guebert. .
He said there were 2,200 children eager to play games.
“It’s just another step, you know, to bring a lot of happiness to the kids and the coaches, to get back on the pitch.”
In a news release, the province said it has increased outdoor sports due to the lower risk of transmission in outdoor settings and the successful adoption of the COVID-19 vaccination effort in Saskatchewan.
“It really means a lot to our parents and our athletes,” said Guy Jacobson, executive director of Softball Saskatchewan.
“To actually return to games is huge for physical well-being, mental health, just everything.”
Jacobson said he expects around 4,500 players this season, down considerably from a normal of around 16,000 players.
He said the Regina and Saskatoon softball leagues have already set schedules and will revise them to move start dates to early June.
Softball Saskatchewan is also trying to clarify how this will work for rural teams that don’t play in leagues, but play exhibition games.
“I’m just looking for clarification there regarding travel,” Jacobson said.
As of May 30, games for outdoor team sports such as football, soccer or softball can continue with the following requirements:
- Participants cannot compete if they do not feel well.
- Players and coaches should be encouraged to screen for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving to train and play.
- League play is allowed to resume, but tournaments are not. Tournaments can be included in Stage 2.
- No interprovincial travel. Teams participating in Regional Inter-Provincial Leagues should contact the Provincial Commercial Response Team prior to commencing play.
- Capacity must be in accordance with the public health order for outdoor public gatherings for each playing surface or play area. Outdoor public gatherings are expected to expand to a limit of 150 people on May 30.
- Material should not be shared. When helmets and sticks or other equipment are shared, cleaning and disinfection should take place between each use.
- Commonly touched equipment used in play, such as a ball, should be regularly replaced or disinfected.
- Coaches, officials, umpires, umpires and players off the field are not required to wear masks outside under the public health order, but may choose to do so.
- No handshakes, high-fives, etc.
- Spectators not from the same household must maintain a physical distance of two meters.
- Spectators must remain in designated areas. Masks are not required to be worn outside under the public health order, but they can be.
- Health Canada approved hand sanitizer or hand washing stations with soap and water should be available.
- No sharing of water bottles.
- Public restrooms, where available, are cleaned and disinfected regularly, and soap and water or hand sanitizer is available.
- Contact details for coaches, officials and players should be recorded by the home team to facilitate contact tracing if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 later on.
Doug Pederson, executive director of the Saskatchewan Soccer Association, said all local soccer associations in the province have plans in place, but there is still a lot of work to do before games can be played at the start. of June.
“Everything will have to be rechecked,” Pederson said. “You have coaches, team managers, referees and support people to make sure all your safety protocols are in place.”
Pederson said he is still seeking clarification on provincial travel and tournaments.
“We actually have meetings scheduled…tomorrow morning where hopefully we can get some of these questions answered.”