Good day fellow BC Disc golfers,
As we navigate these challenging times it is imperative that we all abide by our Provincial Health Orders and the BCDS Return to Sport plan to ensure that we stay safe and our sport can be played.
We want all BC players to know that the board is committed to keeping all our players safe with our Return to Sport plan. In order to do this, we need each one of you to stay up to date with the daily updates from the provincial and local entities on the restrictions, as these are dynamic and changing daily.
The BCDS strongly encourages all BC players to only play at their local (i.e. home) course within their local community, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols and provincial health orders.
Please do not travel to other courses for friendly or league rounds.
While measures to this extent may not be included in the existing health orders, we need to set a good example and do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The BCDS realizes this this is not a part of the order, but it is what we all need to do to keep Disc golf courses open for play.
Please take a moment to review the full order and reach out to your local City, Township, Parks Board for direction on how this affects your local park/clubs.
,The current Provincial Health Order issued on 11/19/202 states the following regarding outdoor sports:
Sports games, competitions and practices
Games, competitions, and practices can continue with no spectators and no travel.
We are in via Sport’s Return to Sport Phase 3 with the exception of no spectators and no travel.
No spectators are allowed at any sport activities under the order. The only people allowed to attend sport activities are those that provide care to a participant or player. For example, providing first aid.
Travel for athletic activities
Travel to, from, and between communities for athletic activities like games, competitions, training, and practice is prohibited under this order.
BCDS Return to Sport
BC Disc Sports
The BCDS' Annual General Meeting was held Oct 14; read about the year in review and the BCDS' plans for 2020.
You're invited to join us for the BCDS' Annual General Meeting
October 14, 2020, 6:30PM via Zoom.
Quorum is always challenging, your presence is greatly appreciated.
Stay tuned for agenda.
Please send an email to register with Dan Laitsch for details to join us.
Photo credit Moonrider Productions
The BCDS has ratified its safety plan and posted it here.
Stay tuned for developments and updates; the leadership team will revisit the guidelines and provincial orders at the end of July and have an announcement 2 days after our next board meeting July 27th. We'll update you if there's anything major announced in the meantime as well.
Notable is that in-club organized play may resume with the caveats that participants are club members who live in the communities play is taking place, and all rules outlined in the safety plan are followed. Please familiarize yourself with what's to be expected.
Photo credit: Moonrider Productions
Thanks to the BCDS membership for your care and respect for each other and the communities we're fortunate to have disc golf courses in. The restraint shown putting club events, let alone tournaments, on hold is really appreciated and noted.
Please be confident the BCDS leadership team continues to monitor updates and changes to Provincial Health Officer's rules daily.
The BCDS leadership team has been working through safety planning for the resumption of insured competition in the province; a draft plan was presented at the June 29 meeting and is scheduled to be ratified at a special meeting July 6.
You'll find the proposed safety plan in the minutes - please have a look through, let us know your thoughts, and if you have any questions, please ask.
At this time, organized competition encouraging travel outside our communities remains against the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer and ultimately the law. With the ratification of our safety plan, in-club organized play may resume with the caveats that participants are club members who live in the communities play is taking place, and all rules outlined in the safety plan are followed. Please familiarize yourself with what's to be expected.
Until Dr. Bonnie Henry gives the green light, there will be no BCDS or PDGA sanctioning of events. We all appreciate members' patience with this, and know we're optimistic because changes are happening rapidly in the policies affecting organized sports in the Province.
More to come next week. Thanks everyone!
The BCDS leadership team is grateful for everyone’s continued patience. As outlined in B.C.’s Restart Plan, sport activities organized and operated by Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) can resume in a limited way. We remain in Phase 2, which specifies we are to continue to patiently focus on casual, unorganized play and training. This won’t be forever.
Two very positive developments have come about recently: 1. Return to Sport Guidelines were released by viaSport, so we have a structure to build our plan on, and 2, this past week the Province announced a Ministerial Order extending liability protection to not-for-profit amateur sport organizations for damages resulting from exposure to COVID-19. This liability protection applies as long as sport organizations are complying with orders from the provincial health officer and following viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines.
The BCDS is in the process of developing our guidelines and will be discussing our plans with the goal of ratifying them at the next BCDS meeting June 29.
We’re all looking forward to Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan, which will allow local league play following the guidelines we’re creating with these three primary focuses: 1. Safety of organizers 2. Safety of players and 3. Safety of our communities.
Requirements for running club events will include things like:
Once in Phase 4, we expect to be allowed to return to regional play using BCDS-developed rules for tournament directors and competitors.
Please get in touch with any BCDS board member with your questions, and watch for an email from us in the coming weeks with more information and specific requirements for how to safely run club events once Phase 3 is announced. We’ll be sure to continue to keep you informed via the BCDS Facebook group discussion page and here at BCDiscsports.com. Thanks, everyone!
Thank you to the BCDS membership and disc golfers in BC for continuing to be dedicated to following the protocols required by the Provincial Health Authority and being great representatives of the sport.
Competitive, organized play continues to be not allowed in the province within the current phase of reopening. We are being asked to keep our activity geared towards community participation and training rather than games and competition.
The BCDS is working with our insurance provider and the discussion of risk mitigation strategies continues.
We can confirm what the next steps will be to get us back to competitive play. First, the BCDS will create a sport-specific Safety Plan using the Return to Sport Guidelines to be released by viaSport in the first week of June. We anticipate this document will be required to include things like:
Q: What types of activities are allowed within the current phase (Phase2)?
A: Low risk activities that can occur with the following public health recommendations in place:
A: Competitive activities are formal, organized games, matches and tournaments between participants where scores are recorded and standings are kept.
Q: When is competition allowed?
A: This will vary from sport to sport. Some sports will be able to introduce in-club play or modified games during this initial phase of re-opening if they deem those activities to be low risk.
Q: Will there be a sport-specific return to sport date, depending on each sport return to play protocol?
A: Each sport will have different dates in which they will resume based on the type of sport, access to facilities, the ability to adapt to Public Health Guidelines and the development of their sport-specific plans.
Q: When will tournaments begin to be sanctioned again?
A: Once the Provincial Heath Order has been lifted.
Q: Why can’t we use the PDGA insurance instead of the BCDS’?
A: The PDGA requires us to provide corroborating documents supporting competitive play is allowed in our region. The expectation at this time is these supporting documents will hinge on approval of the BCDS’ Safety Plan.
Please note that in our current phase (2) of reopening, we’re being asked to stay close to home and avoid any travel between communities that’s not essential. We encourage you to remain active while enjoying the outdoors and facilities that have opened in small groups at a safe distance.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions and help keep your club members informed. We’ll be sure to share any new information as soon as we know.
As you're likely aware, the coordination of a return to competitive play for sports in BC is in flux.
In terms of process, one scenario that’s been proposed is that the BC government agency viaSport, in charge of coordinating return to competitive play, will come up with baseline guidelines. They’ll forward guidelines to sports groups, and organizations like the BCDS will tailor the guidelines to their particular sports. These plans would then return to viaSport, who would forward them to the Office of the Public Health Officer for approval. Once approved, the plans would be administered by the sport’s member clubs.
Corroborated by Steve Ewen's article in the Province May 18, viaSport hasn’t turned over the baseline guidelines to the sports groups yet. There’s no word on when they might be finalized, but BCDS president Craig Sheather has been in discussion with viaSport and the BCDS leadership team is due to meet Monday May 25 for its regular monthly meeting where the development of the provincial plan for disc golf will be discussed.
Weighing on the BCDS as a potential roadblock is the possibility that (per viaSport) “sport-specific plans won’t require government approval, but must be approved by your own board of directors”, which is where insurance issues come into play. As with most insurance underwriters, the BCDS' insurance policy excludes coverage related to communicable diseases and/or pandemics and liability would fall to the BCDS’ directors.
On the bright side, as outlined in B.C.’s Restart Plan, during Phase Two sport activities organized and operated by Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) and Disability Sport Organizations (DSOs) can resume in a limited way. Via Ewen: "viaSport is stressing an ability to maintain physical distancing, minimal sharing of equipment and a focus on skill development rather than competition. That suggests that there won’t be games between rival teams in the early phases." For the foreseeable future, sport will be more geared towards community participation and training rather than games and provincial competition.
Rest assured the BCDS board is gathering information, prepared to nimbly submit a plan for return to competitive play if required and in regular discussion with our insurance provider. We promise to keep you posted as soon as we know and update as our plan develops.
In compliance with our provincial health guidelines, no organized play is allowed anywhere in the Province and is therefore not covered by BCDS insurance, regardless of club membership or affiliation. This applies to club rounds, doubles and/or tag rounds that are typically covered by inclusion in the BCDS' online calendar listing. Outside of the Lower Mainland where casual play (only) is allowed, the BCDS board encourages players to follow the following guidelines:
We continue to monitor provincial and municipal guidelines for events and will update BCDS policy when orders change. We've reached out to leadership advising the Province to advocate for disc golf as a safe sport with appropriate measures. We'll continue to review and update our response monthly during our regularly scheduled board meetings.
We appreciate the patience and support of all of our members and very much look forward to coming together again as a community.
Covid-19 is top of mind for all of us. The BCDS is committed to a rigorous and proactive approach. We strongly encourage our membership to do everything we can to maintain a healthy and responsible environment for all. Please read the following letter and share with your clubs.
April 1, 2020
To: Members of the British Columbia Disc Sports
From: The president and board of the BCDS
Subject: Disc golf during a time of pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has had broad ranging impacts on BC, Canada, and the world. The BCDS board has been working hard to support members and our sport as we follow developments at the local, provincial, and federal levels. For the most current information, please visit the website of the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Government of Canada’s Public Health Services .
To minimize the spread of COVID-19, the BC government has declared a state of emergency that will be in effect through at least April 14th and the province’s public health officer has banned large public gatherings through at least May 30. All BC residents are being encouraged to engage in social distancing and self-isolation, as appropriate. Many municipalities in BC have closed recreational facilities, including disc golf courses. The BCDS board strongly supports these initiatives and urges all of our membership to follow local, provincial, and federal mandates and guidance.
We know that you want to be out playing right now; however, we need your help to set a good example for players everywhere – please take a break from heading to the course and stay home. This is something we all have the power to do in this crisis, and while it may seem like a tall task, it is the best chance we have to slow the spread of the disease. This goes for young and healthy players, as well as those considered more vulnerable.
Please remember that as BCDS members, you are a public representative of the sport and your actions in a time of crisis can have a strong positive impact on our playing community. We encourage you to demonstrate your value of the health and safety of the disc golf community, and all BC communities.
The BCDS strongly supports a unified approach to overcoming this global health crisis, and we’re asking disc golfers to join this effort, stay off the courses, follow government guidance, and protect yourselves and your communities by staying home.
If you’re lucky enough to have a practice basket at home, now’s a great time to work on your putting. If you feel like competing, join the Facebook Global Pandemic Putting Challenge. If you’re looking to maintain your throwing stroke, build a driving range in your home with a spare sheet. There are many ways we can continue to enjoy our sport while also demonstrating social responsibility and global citizenship. Please feel free to reach out to any member of your elected board with any questions or comments, and thank you for supporting the sport you love.
Craig Sheather, BCDS president, and the BCDS board