Soccer balls got a cleaning by Azad Palani at a Langley United Soccer Association training session at Willoughby park in July of 2020 (file)

Soccer balls got a cleaning by Azad Palani at a Langley United Soccer Association training session at Willoughby park in July of 2020 (file)

Langley sports teams need safety plans before games can start again: Township

Local leagues are dealing with paperwork to get kids back on the fields

Langley Township is working towards resumption of outdoor sporting games for both adults and youth, and local teams are working as fast as they can to create safety plans and get back on the fields.

“As soon as we get the green light, we let the players and families know,” said Mark Parker, the technical director of the Langley United Soccer Association.

LUSA filed its safety plan paperwork with the Township on Thursday, May 27 and had already scheduled its first games for the weekend of May 29-30 in anticipation of getting the go-ahead.

Outdoor games are again allowed under Step 1 of the province’s four-step re-opening plan, and Step 1 officially kicked off on Tuesday.

Langley Township announced that it’s working with individual sports groups as they review updated safety plans, referencing new government guidelines.

“Some are faster than others for resubmitting them, but we are working to review and approve them as they come in,” a Township spokesperson said.

Parker said the Township had been great to work with on trying to process all the necessary permissions.

For LUSA, this means an end to the rule of distanced practices only, and only for youths, that has been in place since last November.

“We got a couple of games in the beginning of the season, and since then it’s been shut down,” Parker said.

Not all restrictions are lifting at once. The 1,600 players in LUSA, across more than 200 teams, will primarily be playing each other.

“Everything will be in-house,” Parker said. They won’t be playing teams from Abbotsford, Maple Ridge, or Surrey just yet.

The viaSport organization is working with sports groups and public health authorities and issued a checklist for leagues and teams:

• Adapt your current COVID-19 Safety Plan by applying the appropriate protocols to align with Step 1 of B.C.’s Restart plan

• Work with your insurance provider and/or legal council on risk mitigation

• Maintain communications with your stakeholders around the status of return to sport plans

• Consult your local health authority on their plans or guidelines for sport

• Connect with your facility operators and municipalities to understand the protocols they have in place

• Encourage your members to remain active while enjoying the outdoors and facilities that have opened in a safe manner

READ MORE: Indoor dining, up to five home visitors allowed in B.C. COVID-19

restart

Until the re-start plan, teams were confined to practices and scrimmages, for youths only. Indoor play will have to wait for a later phase of the plan.


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