July 27, 2020
Nova Scotia Curling compiled a group of 14 volunteers from across the province to work on a Return to Play Plan that was submitted to 3 different groups (Sport Nova Scotia, Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Public Health Office) for review. We are pleased to report that the Return to Play Plan has been reviewed. We are cleared to start curling at Phase 3. This is all dependent on Nova Scotia’s epidemiology when curling commences at your club. It is the club’s responsibility to ensure they are working with the most current NS Health Guidelines.
We hope the following Questions and Answers will provide you with more context. As the 33 clubs in NS differ in size and shape, the Club must decide how best to proceed given their facility. You should expect to see inspectors at some point to ensure that everyone is following the current Public Health Guidelines and that six feet distancing is happening both inside the club and the ice shed.
We recommend that each club have their own Return to Play Plan that is available for inspection. Please remind your members that Dr. Strang, Chief Medical Officer for NS stated early into this pandemic that “this is a year of skill development, not competition”. Currently the borders outside the Atlantic Provinces are not open to travel. We will let you know as soon as a decision has been made regarding Canadian Championships.
The goal of the volunteers on this Committee was ‘how do we open the Clubs in October’. It will look different, it will be difficult for members to remember the new guidelines, it will take longer but first and foremost, we must ensure the safety of our members.
The Club will ensure all members have signed the Waivers included in the CCA Return to Play Plan (Declaration of Compliance, Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Indemnity Agreement and the Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk (Under the age of majority)) prior to entering the club for the first time this year.
Nova Scotia Curling is preparing a package of signage options for the clubs and will have information forthcoming.
As in-ice logos for six foot distancing are going to be expensive, and we are hoping this is a one year commitment, it is recommended that Ice Technicians consider placing an “X” 6 feet apart on both sides of the sheets so non-throwing curlers know where to stand.
UPON ENTERING THE CLUB:
All members and spectators are to sign in when entering the building (this means anyone who enters the building must be able to be identified with a name and phone number). This is required so that if there is a confirmed case of COVID, anyone who might have had exposure to this person would be able to be contacted.
Suggestions on how to do this;
- have one volunteer at the door
- use the draw sheet
Best practice suggests walk ways (directional signage) in the club house to ensure 6 feet of physical distancing. Nova Scotia Curling is currently working with Jet Ice to determine pricing for in-ice positions (where to stand); front door signage as well as indoor for bar, washrooms, COVID guidelines, etc.
What are the rules for rental equipment during Covid?Suggestion for this:
▪ Rent equipment out for the year
▪ Have staff or volunteer clean the equipment after it is returned
What can clubs do to increase social distancing in the ice shed?
- Consider staggered start times. Have outside sheets start at one time, with the other sheets starting 30 minutes later. Until all curlers become familiar with the new ways of entering the club, the ice shed and playing the game, all clubs should be prepared that a two hour window may not be enough for one game. No extra ends; as this draw needs to get out of the ice shed and out of the club prior to the next draw entering the Club.
- While approval has been received for 4 person curling to proceed (with 1 sweeper), further social distancing can be achieved by considering introducing Doubles or Triples leagues which would reduce the number of players in the ice shed. Both Doubles and Triples take less time to play than 4 person curling, so clubs could consider an additional evening draw to make up for the reduced numbers per draw from these formats.
What are the Covid guidelines for return to play?Each club is responsible for knowing the current Public Health Guidelines. Please refer to Return to Play guidelines provided by NS Curling and/or the link on nscurl.com
Where should hand sanitizers be placed in the club and ice shed?
- Entrances and exits to building and ice shed
- At the bar
- Home and away ends on each sheet
What options are available for keeping score?
- Designate one person to hang the score and sanitize used numbers at end of game OR
- Designate one person to record on their phone or their own pen and paper
Measuring devices during Covid?Measuring sticks have been removed from clubs for safety reasons. Teams are encouraged to determine one player at the start of the game who will decide all measures for that game.
How can teams safely meet after a game for a drink?Every club is different and set up to accommodate social distance guidelines will depend on your club situation. Be creative. For example if you have 4 sheets in your club but you can only accommodate 2 sheets of players in your bar area, consider having designated weeks (2 sheets) that can stay after for drinks and rotate this every week. Another idea is to do by colour or who’s name is listed first on the draw (XXX vs. YYY).
How will last rock and rock colour be determined during Covid?Leagues are encouraged to pre-determine last rock and rock colour to avoid coin toss. This will then determine how teams will enter the ice shed. We recommend that teams with last rock enter the ice shed first, disinfect their stones and go to the far end for practice slides. Teams who throws first then enter the ice shed, disinfect their stones, practice slides and starts the game.
It is tradition in curling to shake hands, what do we do during Covid?No physical touching is allowed. Instead a friendly smile/wave and saying (good game/curling) to each of your opposition is recommended at the start and end of the game while maintaining social distancing.
What are the rules for practice sessions or games during Covid?
- Hand sanitizing stations to be placed strategically throughout the facility
- If you have any symptoms, stay home.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm
- Check in upon arrival is required for traceability
- No hand shakes or touching
What are the rules for Wheelchair curling during Covid?Curling Canada is currently working on this.
What are the rules for stick curling during Covid?Stick curlers will follow the same social distancing protocols.
Are spectators/family/coaches allowed in the club?Spectators are allowed in a club after the last draw has gone out on the ice and are practicing social distance from others, but this depends on the size of your club house.
What are rules for junior curling during Covid?Each club will need to decide how best to offer junior curling while maintaining the current Public Health Guidelines.
Can clubs open their bar and food services?Bars and kitchen are under the protocols of https://www.rans.ca/reopening-guidelines
Are masks required?As of July 24, 2020, masks are mandatory while inside. Six foot distancing is still required.
A downloadable version of the above can be found here.
Return To Play Plan
To download the return to play plan click here.NSCurling-Return-to-Play-Final