BC Soccer releases Return to Play Phase 2 (government's phase 3) documents which includes allowance for game play

BC Soccer’s Board of Directors approved the Via Sport and Canada Soccer endorsed plan which allows members and clubs to prepare for modified competition in both youth and adult soccer

August 24, 2020 - Vancouver BC

Although in some cases it won’t exactly resemble what we are accustomed to, "BC Soccer’s Return to Play Phase 2 Plan - Recommendations and Guidelines” will include the ability for youth and adults to play games, both within and outside their club, and within district, or neighbouring districts.

Following the “Phase 1” return to play announced June 3rd, BC Soccer has been working closely with ViaSport while seeking valuable input from our members, to prepare how soccer will function under the Province’s wider “Progressively Loosening” stage.

The key aspect of soccer’s Phase 2 is an introduction of “soccer cohorts” which is an identified group of 50 players or four (4) teams, that will remain together for a specific period of time. Phase 2 for Soccer is the same as Phase 3 for the BC sport sector.

From a practical standpoint, this means a group of 50 players (or four teams) can play unlimited games amongst themselves, with contact.  A new soccer cohort can be created after a 2-week break. An example for league scheduling purposes, could see one cohort of four teams play each other twice (once home, once away for a total of six games).  Then a two-week break would precede an entirely new cohort group of four teams or 50 players, which could play in the same six game model.

Coaches and team staff do not necessarily need to be counted within a cohort; however distancing and field capacity guidelines will still be in effect, which may vary by municipality.

The only on-field modification during soccer’s Phase 2 is that throw-ins will be replaced by kick-ins from the touch-line in order to limit hand to ball contact.

You’ll find full details and guidelines for "BC Soccer’s Return to Play Phase 2 Plan - Recommendations and Guidelines” HERE.

Limited contact in training can commence as of today (August 24, 2020), with the earliest competitive game play being considered on September 7th.

About BC Soccer

Established in 1907, BC Soccer is the largest provincial sports organization (PSO) in BC and the third largest soccer-specific PSO in Canada with over 150,000 participants, consisting of registered players, coaches, referees, administrators and soccer leaders. As a professional not-for-profit society and a member of Canada Soccer, BC Soccer is committed to providing the widest opportunities for existing and potential participants, as well as provide support in the most effective and appropriate way for current players, parents, volunteers, member clubs, leagues, and districts.

Safe Sport Statement

BC Soccer believes that everyone involved in soccer has the right to participate in safe and inclusive environments free of abuse, harassment, discrimination, and to enjoy the sport at whatever level or capacity they participate in.

BC Soccer prepares for Return to Play phase 2

Association shares the latest information to full and associate members on next steps

August 14, 2020 - Vancouver BC.

Although autumn is still well in the distance, preparations are underway for a return to school, and also a return to sport and soccer, with some obvious differences and modifications.

BC Soccer has been in continuous consultation with its members, stakeholders, Canada Soccer, and ViaSport, on transitioning out of Soccer’s current Phase 1 return to play, and into phase 2, which plans to include contact training and modified gameplay.  These details have been reviewed and approved by BC Soccer’s board of directors and supported by Canada Soccer.

ViaSport has reviewed the details as well and pending any unforeseen modifications or alterations, is expected to be released as part of a wider sport framework for the BC sport sector through its updated “Return to Sport Guidelines”.

Until that time, it is important to understand that “modified gameplay” under the current Via Sport Guidelines still requires physical distancing between participants of 6 feet.  That distinction makes any kind of contact game-play not possible for soccer until we progress to the next phase.

Once released, BC Soccer’s “Return to Play Phase 2 Plan – Recommendations and Guidelines” is expected to include a “cohorts” model that will allow for defined groups to engage in contact training and full gameplay.

Another key announcement from the Provincial Government is the commitment to assuming liability risk for all participants, which includes both non-profit and for-profit organizations, effective up to one year after state-of-emergency measures have been lifted. For more information, read the release here and read the regulation here.

To read the full memo sent to BC Soccer Members and Affiliated Clubs, you’ll find the link HERE.

BC Soccer releases Return to Play Phase 1 documents in preparation for a return of soccer

Posted on June 3rd, 2020 by BC Soccer

Association recommendations provide a controlled, phased-in approach.

June 3, 2020 - Vancouver BC

By the time our member organizations and affiliated clubs start returning to the field, it will have been almost exactly 3 months since the suspension of all on-field soccer activity across the country (March 13th, 2020).   For all of us who love the game, it felt a lot longer and we sincerely appreciate the patience shown by the soccer community throughout this very complex process.

During the “pause in play”, BC Soccer was committed to providing regular communication with our membership, creating on-line resources, while maintaining continuous dialogue with both Canada Soccer and the Provincial Government through ViaSport.  However, the biggest priority was planning for the resumption of play.

Today, BC Soccer is pleased to finally present soccer’s Return to Play Phase 1 Plan, designed to gradually, and responsibly ease our members, affiliated clubs and the players back onto the field. The recommendations and guidelines are approved by Canada Soccer, and aligned with ViaSport’s “Return to Sport Guidelines for BC”, which were made public on Monday, June 1, 2020.

On June 2, 2020, the following documents were provided to Members and Affiliated Club to support anyone organizing soccer related activity under the umbrella of BC Soccer (i.e. sanctioned soccer activity) and combined form BC Soccer’s Return to Play Phase 1 Plan – Recommendations and Guidelines:

BC Soccer Return to Play Plan – Phase 1 - working timelines, recommendations and guidelines for all members and affiliated clubs.

BC Soccer Return to Play Plan – Phase 1 - sample sessions designed to work within the recommendations and guidelines, and we encourage our members and affiliated clubs to use, tailor as appropriate, and share with each other to support soccer activity for your organizations.

BC Soccer Return to Play Plan – Phase 1 - timelines, recommendations and guidelines for participants.

We have dedicated a new page on our website to all the documents above, along with any new information or documents related to current and subsequent “Phases” of Return to Play.”

BC Soccer Provides Return To Play Update

Posted on May 29th, 2020 by BC Soccer

Canada Soccer approves BC’s Phase 1 recommendations and guidelines

May 29, 2020 – Vancouver BC

BC Soccer has informed its Full/Associate Members and Affiliated Soccer Clubs, that Canada Soccer has approved the province’s Return to Play Phase 1 recommendations and guidelines.  The plan was also presented to our Provincial Government through ViaSport.

ViaSport has requested that BC Soccer not release our Return to Play plan until they have released their “Sport Sector Guidelines for Returning to Sport”.  It is unclear when those guidelines will be made public, as they are in the government approval process.

Once we are able to distribute our Phase 1 plan, we won’t immediately announce it publicly, in order to give our Members and Affiliated Clubs/Organizations time to review and digest the information internally.

We appreciate that this may not be the update that some were hoping for, however, we must ensure we are following the appropriate steps to ensure a safe and responsible gradual return to soccer occurs. We thank the soccer community in BC for its continued patience and understanding through this complex process.