June 9, 2020 – Vancouver, BC: BC Rugby, Rugby Canada and all Provincial Member Unions would like to confirm that organized rugby activities remain under a national suspension, but we’re working hard to get rugby back safely. All Unions and stakeholders, including the ‘Return to Play’ working group, continue to work diligently on ensuring a safe return to the pitch as soon as possible. The suspension is set to be reviewed no later than June 30th.
On Friday, Rugby Canada distributed a survey to over 35,000 registered players, coaches, officials & volunteers. Results of the survey will inform decisions made by the National Working Group in their development of a Return to Play plan.
Later this week, Rugby Canada will release a set of preliminary actions clubs can take in order to be ready to return to rugby activity when it is safe to do so.
“We recognize that players, coaches, referees and volunteers in some regions of our rugby community are eager to start their planning and get ready for the return of rugby,” said Rugby Canada CEO Allen Vansen. “Rugby Canada and the Provincial Unions share this anticipation with our membership, however we must continue our diligence to ensure a safe and managed return to rugby for all participants. Until that time, we urge all rugby enthusiasts to stay active within the guidelines of your Provincial Health Authority.”
Once the phased Return to Play plan has been approved by the Rugby Canada Board of Directors, the national suspension on sanctioned rugby activities will be lifted.
“Towards the end of June, we aim to have a Return to Rugby plan available to clubs that will include safety plans, coaching resources, and outlines for activities to be permitted under each restart phase,” said BC Rugby CEO Annabel Kehoe. “This will be a collaborative process with our member clubs as well as provincial and national leaders as we aim to return to our sport in a way that excites and engages players while mitigating risk and advocating safety and responsibility.”
BC Rugby has consulted with member clubs through surveys and virtual town hall meetings to inform the decisions made during Return to Play planning. Once a national Return to Play framework has been developed, BC Rugby will be adapting it to comply with the restrictions outlined in BC’s Restart Plan, as well as ensuring that we follow or exceed the ‘Return to Sport Guidelines for BC’ which were published by viaSport last week.
At this point, in order to return to activity, the steps will be:
- BC Rugby, when safe and permitted to do so, aligns their Provinces’ stage of eased restrictions with the appropriate phase of the Return to Play plan.
- BC Rugby gains approval for activity from the appropriate authorities in their Province
- Member Clubs formally apply for approval and sanctioning of activities with BC Rugby
- Final approval of applications provided by BC Rugby and access to member registration platform provided by Rugby Canada
Until such time that final Provincial approval is given and members have registered, Clubs are reminded to refrain from in-person team training sessions and training/education courses.
As the situation in BC continues to evolve and change, BC Rugby will continue its work to return to our sport in a safe, responsible manner.