As tournaments resume, safety comes first.
Across Canada, local and provincial regulations and restrictions that impact the return to sport are gradually being lifted in a measured approach. As the COVID-19 response varies from location to location, there can be no standard approach that applies to all Provinces, clubs and coaches. The Provincial and Territorial Archery Associations, along with Archery Canada have all been collaborating to develop a responsible return to programming. Many are eager to return to competition and have seen the changes in group gathering restrictions as reported in the media as signal to return to competition. While, this is something that all of us would like to see, it is important that where this is possible, clubs are doing so responsibly and with appropriate planning.
As of August 1, Archery Canada will once again open registration to the national Tournaments calendar, as long as they respect local and provincial health regulations and are held in accordance with PTSO return to play guidelines. In many provinces, competitions are still either restricted by Provincial regulations, or constrained to only the members of the host club. It is important that the Directors of the club are informed of the existing regulations. Safety for all is of the utmost importance and clubs wishing to hold events, may do so with strict adherence to the rules in place, and should have completed a risk assessment for their club to ensure that appropriate protocols are in place that meet with the existing health regulations and the return to sport guidelines. A template for club risk assessment has been developed by the Own the Podium Return to Sport Task Force.
Tournaments that are registered with Archery Canada will be eligible for the tournaments scores to be recorded on the national ranking list, make the scores eligible for Canadian or World Records and be listed on the Archery Canada Calendar. The Archery Canada Board has directed the High Performance programs to ensure that in 2020, no selection processes will take into account the 2020 Ranking List, since it may not be possible for all potential team members to record scores in their area. Selection polices for any teams and events in 2021 will be released in due course and modified as needed.
In the coming days, we will work with our Provincial member archery organizations to improve guidelines and address return to competitions. In the words of BC’s health minister, “Not everyone will be ready to increase their social connection or restart their businesses at the same time. We don’t expect that on one day all of a sudden everything will be open and back to normal.” It is important to exercise patience and focus on safely opening up our sport.