COVID 19 SAFETY PLAN AND RETURN TO PLAY

Following the guidance from Volleyball BC, viaSport and Worksafe BC, please refer to this document as a guideline for the measures Thunder Volleyball Club (“Thunder”) will be taking to protect our staff and participants.  

Key Guiding Principles 

  1. Participants, Coaches and Family Safety is paramount and at the forefront of all the decisions Thunder makes to safely Return to Play.  
  2. Participants, Coaches and Families involved in Thunder programs must understand and adhere to all public health restrictions and follow the structures put in place by Volleyball BC’s Return to Play. 

Return to Play Principles 

The current volleyball Return to Play phase is “Progressively Loosen.” Volleyball BC will notify Thunder of any transitions to different training phases, either reducing training opportunities or expanding, which will be reflected in program offerings. Training methods will be fluid and may change and adapt throughout the season. 

NON-COHORT TRAINING

Specifically stated, small group training. 
 1. Small Group Training
In situations where we offer small group training, and not cohorts of athletes, all small group training will be conducted in small training groups that will be the same every training session. These groups will not be mixed to limit exposure.  
  • Group sizes are limited to 6 players and 1 coach per court 
2. No Contact and 2M Physical Distance 
  • Participants must maintain physical distancing 
    • Two meters apart from one another at all times, including on court  
    • Non-contact activities only  
    • No handshaking, high fives, hugging, etc. 
    • Masks must be worn on and off the court by all participants (players, coaches, staff)
    • All training will be structured to allow physical distancing while on and off the court 
    • No competition or games that could compromise 2 m required physical distancing limit 
    • Blocking will only be permitted as an individual skill and must still adhere to 2m physical distancing requirements. 

COHORT TRAINING

All training that is not specifically listed as non-cohort (ie. private and/or semi-private etc.) will be considered training in cohorts as outlined in Volleyball BC’s “progressively loosen” phase and new return to play. We will be slowly transitioning into the new phase of volleyball. As we progressively loosen, the following guidelines from Volleyball BC are taken into consideration while keeping our athletes and coaches’ safety as a priority.  
1. Cohorts 
  • Cohorts should be created for all volleyball activities where there is contact or close proximity of less than 2 metres. ViaSport BC defines a cohort as “a group of participants who primarily interact with each other within the sport environment over an extended period of time (eg. series of events)”.  
  • Cohorts for volleyball should not exceed 100 individuals. All team players and substitutions must be included and counted in the cohort.  
  • There may be up to 12 individuals per court (six per side). 
  • Cohorts should be made up of individuals/teams of similar age and skill level.  
  • Cohort sizes are different from maximum group sizes. When members of the cohort are gathering for games or activities, gatherings may not exceed 50 people.  
  • Coaches, referees and spectators may be counted outside the cohort number if they are able to maintain physical distancing at all times. If they are unable to do so, they should be assigned and counted within a cohort.  
  • There should be 1 responsible person or point of contact for a cohort to maintain a central list with full contact information for all individuals participating within the cohort.  
  • We acknowledge that individuals may engage in multiple sports or activities. Participants are encouraged to minimize the number of cohorts that they are involved in to reduce the number of individuals with which they interact.  
2. Cohorts: Competition and Travel 
  • League play and competitive activities may occur within cohorts. Each cohort can be composed of multiple teams in order to form a mini-league or permit game-play.  
  • Regional competition is permitted in this phase: games or competitive activities occurring between clubs or individuals in a cohort within a region. In volleyball, a “region” is defined by the zones set by the BC Summer Games. It is recommended that, wherever possible, cohorts and competition are created based on these regions.  
  • Provincial competition and international travel for sport is not recommended at this time.  
  • All competitions are required to have a detailed safety plan in place.  
  • Individuals should remain primarily within their region when travelling for volleyball. Interprovincial competition and international travel for sport is not recommended at this time.  
3. Cohorts: No Contact and Off Court Physical Distance 
  • Participants must maintain physical distancing while off the court 
    • Two meters apart from one another at all times, while off court 
    • No handshaking, high fives, hugging, etc. 
    • Team benches are considered part of the on-court “field of play”. Therefore, players on the same team of the same cohort do not need to maintain physical distancing while sharing a bench.
    • Masks must be worn on and off the court by all participants (players, coaches, staff).  
  • All training will be structured to allow physical distancing while off the court 
  • Competition and games are permitted within the training cohort. 
  • When in a cohort, individuals do not need to maintain physical distancing during volleyball activities on-court. At least two metres distancing should be maintained between all participants off-court (e.g. on benches, during intermission, in locker rooms). If physical distancing cannot be maintained, masks should be worn.

Additional Safety Measures

1. Transition Times Scheduled
  • There will be sufficient time scheduled between training events to allow for proper social distancing.  
  • There will be sufficient time scheduled between training events to allow for proper social distancing.  
2. Group and Gathering Limits 
  • a. Spectators are not permitted as they increase the permitted “gathering” size. We are not permitting spectators at the training facility.  
3. Cleaning Best Practices 
  • Spacing of Player Equipment: Player equipment will be spaced accordingly to prevent close contact.  
    • Balls will not be shared between cohorts. Balls will be cleaned before and after each training session to be used with the next session at the following time slot. Balls and any shared equipment will be sanitized prior to the next training session using them. 
    • Balls may travel from court to court and will only be allowed if the courts are in the same defined cohort. Outside of that, balls must only be returned using feet, not hands. 
  • Limit Team Shared Equipment:   
    • Non-Cohort training: Team equipment will not be shared between courts and will be limited to the small group that is training. 
    • Cohort Training: The use of team shared equipment will be limited to training cohorts. iii. Shared equipment will be sanitized before and after the next training session using them. 
  • Hygiene/Hand Washing/Touching Face/Laundering: Players and coaches should practice proper hygiene,  
    • Use a government approved sanitizer and/or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol) 
    • Abstain from touching their face (mouth, eyes, or nose  
    • Hand sanitizer/cleanser will be provided for staff and participants at each session.
    • Participants will be required to use sanitizer before and after training. Athletes are asked to bring their own personal sanitizer for their use. 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • All staff will be provided with non-medical grade face masks and be asked to wear masks. Players must bring their own masks and wear them on and off the court during all Thunder programs.
  • Water Bottles
    • Athletes and coaches must bring their own water bottles to all team activities to help to reduce transmission risk.  
4. Participant Health: Participants must be healthy with no signs or symptoms of illness or underlying condition.  
  • Participants will answer a quick wellness questionnaire/self-assessment via the link provided by Thunder prior to commencing each training session. The coach will verify this step has been taken prior to allowing athletes to participate in training.
  • Participants should know the common symptoms of COVID-19 and stay away if displaying symptoms.  
  • If a participant is showing signs of cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing, they must be removed from the activity and self isolate immediately.  
  • Participants must stay home if  
    • They don’t feel well or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19  
    • Someone in their household has COVID-19 or is showing symptoms of COVID-19  
    • They have traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days  
    • Someone in their household has traveled outside of Canada within the last 14 days
    • They have been in contact with a known/presumptive case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days
  • Participants who are over 65 years, immuno-compromised, or who have underlying health conditions are deemed to be higher risk. Underlying health conditions include hypertension, diabetes, COPD/asthma, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and higher thromboembolism risk. Volleyball is not recommended for these individuals.
    • Those who live with high-risk individuals should consider their participation carefully. For more information about return to play for higher-risk individuals see page 16 of viaSport BC’s guidelines. 
5. Collecting Information for Contact Tracing:
  • Thunder is responsible for information from participants for the purpose of contact tracing.  This information will be securely retained by Thunder for 30 days from program end date.
Participation and attendance in Thunder programs may be denied by a staff member if any of the above guidelines are not being met by an athlete or spectator OR if illness is suspected. Thunder reserves the right to refuse participation in training as a measure to keep our staff and athletes safe. 

Illness Policy

(Adapted from viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines – Appendix C) 

In this policy, “Team Member” includes an employee, volunteer, participant, or parent/spectator.  

  • VBC Declaration Compliance Form: 
    • Participants and coaches will be required to fill out the Volleyball BC Declaration Compliance Form 
  • Experiencing Symptoms During a Session
    • Inform your coach or program coordinator immediately if, you feel any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite. 
  • Assessment
    • Team members must review the self-assessment signage located at the beach courts prior to commencing training to attest that they are not feeling any of the COVID 19 symptoms.  
    • Managers/coaches will visually monitor team members to assess any early warning signs as to the status of their health and to touch base on how they are regarding their personal safety throughout the workday/practice/activity.
    • If Team Members are unsure please use the self-assessment tool https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en or through the COVID-19 BC Support App self-assessment tool.   
  • If a Team Member is feeling sick with COVID-19 symptoms  
    • They should remain at home and contact Health Link BC at 8-1-1.  
    • If they feel sick and /or are showing symptoms while at work, they should be sent home immediately and have them contact 8-1-1 or a doctor for further guidance.  
    • No Team Member may participate in a practice/activity if they are symptomatic. 
  • If a Team Member tests positive for COVID-19  
    • The Team Member will not be permitted to return to the workplace/practice/facility until they are free of the COVID-19 virus.  
    • Any Team Members who work/play closely with the infected Team Member will also be removed from the workplace/practice/facility for at least 14 days to ensure the infection does not spread further.  
    • Close off, clean and disinfect their work/practice/facility area immediately and any surfaces that could have potentially been infected/touched. (Does not include sand) 
  • If a Team Member has been tested and is waiting for the results of a COVID-19 Test
    • As with the confirmed case, the Team Member must be removed from the practice/facility.  
    • The Public Health Agency of Canada advises that any person who has even mild symptoms to stay home and call the public health authority of B.C.  
    • Other Team Members who may have been exposed will be informed and removed from the practice/activity for at least 14 days or until the diagnosis of COVID-19 is ruled out by health authorities.  
    • The practice/activity space will be closed off, cleaned, and disinfected immediately and any other surfaces that could have potentially been infected/touched. (Does not include sand) 
  • If a Team Member has come in to contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19  
    • Team Members must advise their coach if they reasonably believe they have been exposed to COVID-19.  
    • Once the contact is confirmed, the Team Member will be removed from the practice/activity for at least 14 days or as otherwise directed by public health authorities. Team Members who may have come into close contact with the Team Member will also be removed from the workplace for at least 14 days.  
    • The activity area will be closed off, cleaned, and disinfected immediately and any other surfaces that could have potentially been infected/touched. (Does not include sand) 
  • Quarantine or Self-Isolate if:
    • Any Team Member who has travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self- isolate.  
    • Any Team Member with any symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self-isolate.  
    • Any Team Member from a household with someone showing symptoms of COVID-19 is not permitted to enter any part of the facility and must quarantine and self-isolate.  
    • Any Team Member who is in quarantine or self-isolating as a result of contact with an infected person or in families who are self-isolating, is not permitted to enter any part of the facility.  

Outbreak Plan

(Adapted from viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines) 

Early detection of symptoms will facilitate the immediate implementation of effective control measures. In addition, the early detection and immediate implementation of enhanced cleaning measures are two of the most important factors in limiting the size and length of an outbreak. An “outbreak” is two or more cases; a “case” is a single case of COVID-19.  

  • If a case or outbreak is reported, only the Lead of Thunder has the authority to modify, restrict, postpone or cancel activities. 
  • If staff (including volunteers) or a participant reports they are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 and have been at the activity place, implement enhanced cleaning measures to reduce risk of transmission.  
    • The facility owner will also be notified to ensure enhancing cleaning protocol takes place at public touch points within the vicinity 
    • Thunder Illness Policy will immediately be implemented, and we will advise individuals to:  
      • Self-isolate
      • Monitor their symptoms daily, report respiratory illness and not to return to activity for at least 10 days following the onset of fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and loss of appetite.  
      • Use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool at BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if further assessment or testing for COVID-19 is needed. 
  1. In the event of a suspected case or outbreak of influenza-like-illness, Thunder will immediately report and discuss the suspected outbreak with the local Medical Health Officer (or delegate.) The Thunder Illness Policy will also be implemented. 

Emergency Plan

(Adapted from viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines – Emergency Plan) 

In the event that first aid is required to be administered during an activity, all persons attending to the injured individual must first put on a mask and gloves.  

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/information-sheets/ofaa-protocols-covid19- pandemic?lang=en  

First aid protocols for an unresponsive person during COVID-19: https://www.redcross.ca/trainingand- certification/first-aid-tips-and-resources/first-aid-tips/first-aid-protocols-for-an-unresponsiveperson- during-covid