As of March 20, Rugby Canada placed a nation-wide suspension on all rugby activities up to and including April 10. On April 13, Rugby Canada announced an indefinite extension of that suspension, applicable to all Rugby Canada sanctioned rugby activities. In addition to Rugby Canada’s suspension, BC Rugby also respects and follows the orders and advice of both the Federal and British Columbia Governments in our collective goals to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
1. Club Senior Competitions
- Will the BC Rugby Senior Club Finals still take place? Not as planned, no. The BC Rugby Board has voted unanimously to cancel the event hosting of the 2020 BC Rugby Club Finals due to the COVID-19 emergency. These were planned to take place on May 2 at Westshore RFC, with logistical and financial tie-ins to the HSBC Canada Women’s 7s event which has been postponed. Given the current Provincial state of emergency and health emergency in place, BC Rugby has determined that it is unreasonable to plan for an event 6 weeks away that would involve over 400 people in just the teams competing.
- What will happen to the end of the BC Rugby Senior Club season? The Competitions Committee met on March 25 and unanimously determined that there is no possibility of concluding the 2019-20 Club Season given the worldwide health emergency we collectively face with COVID-19. Therefore, the 2019-20 Club Season is cancelled. This applies to senior, age-grade, and mini rugby competitions and jamborees that were scheduled for this spring. BC Rugby is seeking guidance from World Rugby on how these cancellations may impact any disciplinary suspensions. The Competitions Committee is looking at how best to determine league winners and details will become available shortly.
- Will the Interior League start as scheduled? No. Rugby Canada’s suspension of all rugby activities up to and including June 30 impacts the start of the Interior season. Play may commence after this time if all public orders are also lifted.
- Once the Rugby Canada suspension is lifted, can we play straight away? No. Firstly, this epidemic is impacting each Province slightly differently and while Rugby Canada may lift the suspension of rugby activities, we will still abide by the Government of British Columbia’s directives to keep all BC communities safe. Secondly, as soon as we can resume contact sports in BC, matches won’t be scheduled until teams have had enough time to complete suitable training, including scrummaging, for a reasonable amount of time.
- I’m currently serving a disciplinary suspension. Can I count cancelled matches towards my suspension? No. World Rugby’s regulations, though often referring to suspensions in terms of “weeks”, have defined sanctions as “meaningful games”. Essentially this means that the suspension must be through a period that includes regularly scheduled matches and/or acceptable exhibition matches or 7s Tournaments – which need to be pre-approved by the BC Rugby Discipline Committee as being “meaningful”. With the current suspension of rugby activities across Canada, there are no meaningful games being played, so the suspensions will need to carry over to whenever rugby starts up again.
2. BC Rugby Provincial Regional Championships
- Will the PRCs take place? With the indefinite extension of Rugby Canada’s nationwide suspension of all rugby activities, the PRCs will not be able to take place as originally scheduled for June 27 to June 29 at UBC in Vancouver. Alongside reviewing plans for BC Rugby representative 15 teams, we are exploring a variety of options with regional rugby leaders. Decisions will be made and communicated no later than May 1.
3. BC Rugby Representative XVs Teams
- With the indefinite extension of Rugby Canada’s nationwide suspension of all rugby activities, all BC Rugby Representative plans are under review. Decisions will be made and communicated no later than June 5.
4. Club Junior & Mini Programs
- Will Club’s spring Junior & Mini season be cancelled? Yes. The Competitions Committee met on March 25 and unanimously determined that there is no possibility of concluding the 2019-20 Club Season given the worldwide health emergency we collectively face with COVID-19. Therefore, the 2019-20 Club Season is cancelled. This applies to senior, age-grade, and mini rugby competitions and jamborees that were scheduled for this spring.
- Will Club’s spring Junior & Mini season be extended or moved into the summer?No. The season will not be moved into the Summer. When it is deemed safe to return to play some clubs may choose to run camps or clinics.
- Once the Rugby Canada suspension is lifted, can we play straight away? No. Firstly, this epidemic is impacting each Province slightly differently and while Rugby Canada may lift the suspension of rugby activities, we will still abide by the Government of British Columbia’s directives to keep all BC communities safe. Secondly, as soon as we can resume contact sports in BC, matches or jamborees won’t be scheduled until teams have had enough time to complete suitable training, including scrummaging if age appropriate, for a reasonable amount of time.
5. High School Competitions
- Can High School Rugby matches take place? While High School classes remain cancelled in BC there will be no high school rugby taking place. Boys’ and Girls’ competitions fall under different jurisdictions, BC School Sports and BC Rugby respectively, but we will aim to coordinate our response to ensure these competitions are treated equally as we grapple with this unprecedented situation. As of March 17, BC School Sports has suspended indefinitely all spring season play.
- Will the High School Girls’ 7s Championships take place as planned? No, the Championships planned for April 16 & 17 are cancelled.
6. Any other BC Rugby Programs
- Adult Touch Leagues were planned for the summer. Will these still take place? No, these are postponed. Once it becomes clear that sport may resume, we will explore the opportunity to run these leagues pending field availability.
- NextGen Men’s 7s ID and Training Sessions were planned. When will these be re-scheduled? The extension of the Rugby Canada suspension does cancel plans that we had for this program. However, we are now looking at adapting our plans and will announce those towards the end of April.
- Will the NextGen Elite Girls 7s Tournament take place? Since this was planned to take place prior to and during the HSBC Canada Women’s 7s, this Tournament is postponed.
- Will the BC Builder Camp on April 10/11th take place? No, this camp is postponed.
7. National / International Competitions
- Are the BC Summer Games Cancelled? Yes. The BC Games Society made the decision to cancel the 2020 BC Summer Games on March 25. They were scheduled to take place in Maple Ridge in July. The next games will be in 2022 in Prince George. Visit the bcgames.org website to read their announcement.
- Will the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens take place? World Rugby announced on March 20 that this event is postponed. Visit www.world.rugby for their latest announcement regarding both the Men’s and Women’s Sevens Series and the many Test Matches cancelled due to COVID-19.
- The Summer Olympic Games includes Rugby 7s. Are the 2020 Tokyo Games cancelled? No. They have been rescheduled to take place in 2021. Visit olympic.org to read the IOC and IPC’s joint announcement on the new dates for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The good news is that all teams qualified maintain their place in the Games, which means you’ll be able to cheer on Team Canada in both the Women’s and Men’s Rugby 7s competitions.
- What’s the latest from World Rugby and cancelled international rugby? Visit www.world.rugby for their latest announcement regarding both the Men’s and Women’s Sevens Series and the many Test Matches cancelled due to COVID-19.
8. Tours In or Out of British Columbia
- We’re currently on tour outside of Canada. Can we play rugby? No. Rugby Canada’s suspension of all rugby activities applies to all registered members in and out of the country. Any team still outside of the country has been directly contacted by Rugby Canada and advised to follow the Federal Government’s advice to return to Canada as soon as possible.
- Will our team/club receive a refund for the tour sanctioning fee? Yes. Any Tour was sanctioned and is now cancelled due to the COVID-19 suspension will be provided a full refund. Any Tour that departed before the March 14 suspension shall not receive a refund.
- Will our touring side still be welcomed in British Columbia? While a travel ban remains in place and Rugby Canada continues to suspend all rugby activities, we recommend any touring side planning to come to British Columbia continue to monitor travel advice issued by the Government of Canada and consider cancelling or postponing their tour. Currently, all rugby activities are suspended up to and including April 10.
- What refunds are currently being issued by BC Rugby? BC Rugby is currently issuing refunds for the following:
- Anyone who purchased a membership on or after March 6, 2020;
- Any temporary memberships which were purchased for a forthcoming tour;
- How do I get my refund from BC Rugby? BC Rugby is currently contacting anyone who falls into the two scenarios detailed above and providing instruction on how to receive a full refund. If you haven’t been contacted and you purchased a temporary or full membership anytime from March 14, please contact our Competitions & Membership Administrator, Marga Sison at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 604-737-3065.
- What won’t be refunded from BC Rugby?Any senior player that has taken part in any rugby activity cannot be issued a refund. This is due to registration fees covering insurance which becomes effective from the date of registration.
- What refunds are currently being issued by Rugby Canada?
Rugby Canada is currently issuing refunds for the following:
- Any tours that have been sanctioned, and now cancelled;
- Any temporary memberships which were purchased for a forthcoming tour;
- Any Try Rugby events that were planned and are no longer going ahead.
- How do I get my refund from Rugby Canada? To receive a refund from Rugby Canada, a refund request must be processed through Sportlomo. If a refund is requested within 2 weeks of the registration date, an automatic refund will be issued to the credit card used for purchase. Outside the 2-week registration date, Rugby Canada will be issuing cheques to members who qualify for a refund. Please note that Rugby Canada is currently working through a number of refunds and there may be a delay in processing this. Important Note: Rugby Canada, BC Rugby and the Member Club each process their portion of the refund separately. Members who qualify for refunds will be receiving separate payments from these three entities.
10. BC Rugby Office
- Is the BC Rugby office open? No, the BC Rugby office is currently closed. However, at BC Rugby we are fully equipped for remote work and telephone or virtual meetings. Our office will be temporarily closed effective 13 March 2020 through to at least 13 April 2020 although all staff will be working remotely. During this time we will be fully connected by phone or email.
- How can I reach BC Rugby on the phone? BC Rugby utilises an internet-based phone system so our main number of 604-737-3065 reaches us no matter where we are.
11. Staying Game Ready: Players, Coaches and Referees
- Our Favourite Rugby Podcasts:
- Magic Academy
- EggChasers Rugby Podcast
- House of Rugby
- Will Greenwood’s Rugby Podcast
- The Rugby Pod
- The Left Wing
- Don’t Tell Me the Score
- Player Development Project
- Rugby Bricks Podcast
- The Rugby Coaches Corner
- The Talent Equation
- Training Ground Guru
- Refereeing Resources
- Refereeing Interactive Training Resources
- BC Rugby Refereeing Resources Page: Here
- Upcoming Online Development Sessions