Ottawa (ON) | July 20, 2020
As restrictions continue to lift across Canada, many bowls clubs have made the decision to introduce return to play protocols that allow their members to safely get out on the greens. With provinces moving towards their final reopening stages, Bowls Canada has developed Phase 3 of the national Return to Play Framework. Phase 3 addresses safe competition formats within a club.
The BCB Return to Play Framework in its entirety represents a national standard by which bowls clubs across the country may consider reopening their doors. Recognizing that each province (and in some cases each region within a province) is at a different state of readiness and has a different set of health regulations that must be implemented, Provincial Bowls Associations will continue to work with their authorities to provide direct guidance for their clubs. Additionally, clubs will need to remain in close contact with their local health authorities regarding implementation of local standards.
In addition to implementing scheduling, sanitization and movement flow protocols onsite, club directors across the country will also want to pay particular attention to the increased needs for documentation. Daily waivers, declaration forms and acknowledgement of risk prior to play are fast becoming the new norms in this current environment. Documentation on when people arrive and when they leave, as well as proof that you are following your protocols (such as who cleaned an area, when it was cleaned, how it was cleaned, etc.), will prove critical should someone from your club test positive for COVID-19. To help ease this burden, Bowls Canada has prepared template forms that clubs can access through their Provincial Bowls Associations. Bowls Canada has also prepared a series of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Return to Play which are available on the BCB website to help clubs navigate the complexities of implementing these new Return to Play expectations.
“The Return to Play Framework may seem complicated, but that is because COVID-19 is complicated. While the safety of all bowlers is of prime concern, we are very aware that many are in the identified ‘at risk’ age demographic”, said Ian Howard, President of Bowls Canada. “All clubs in Canada must be confident in their abilities to implement their respective Provincial Health authorities’ guidelines and maintain return to play protocols to ensure the safety and well-being of their members.”
Each club will need to continue to assess the risk in their respective areas and evaluate whether or not they are able to open. The fact that a Return to Play Framework exists does not mean that all clubs are expected to open. It is understood that some clubs may feel that given their circumstances, the risk is simply too great to allow members to return to play at this time. Bowls Canada has prepared a checklist tool to help clubs assess their ability to implement the Return to Play protocols and create a plan to return to play. This checklist is available through provincial bowls associations.
If your club is ready for Phase 3 of the Return to Play Framework, please contact your Provincial Bowls Association.
For more information, please contact:
Anna Mees, Executive Director, Bowls Canada Boulingrin
About Bowls Canada
Bowls Canada Boulingrin (BCB) is the governing body responsible for lawn bowls in Canada. The BCB mission is to advance the sport of bowls in Canada. For more details on Bowls Canada Boulingrin and the sport of lawn bowls, visit www.bowlscanada.com.