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Contact sports allowed to return in Sask. with spectators, physical distancing
REGINA -- One day after a range of outdoor sports were allowed to resume, the province has lifted even more restrictions around sporting events.
“Effective immediately, contact sports are now allowed,” Premier Scott Moe said at Tuesday’s COVID-19 update. “Spectators are now allowed at games, so long as they follow physical distancing measures.”
Members of the Regina Minor Softball League (RMSL) were out practicing for the first time since the pandemic hit on Tuesday.
Contact in softball is limited, but Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab is still putting safety measures in place.
“You can start training within your team. You can make a small bubble of 2-3 teams, maybe up to 30-50 people depending on what sports it is and play within your bubble at a local level,” said Shahab.
“What’s special today is just to get them out playing, and get out of the house,” said Steven Macknak, player development coach with the RMSL.
According to government guidelines, if physical distancing can be maintained, playing games is allowed.
For sports where distance can’t be maintained, Shahab says “mini-leagues” should be formed in order to safely allow teams to return to playing games, while helping mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Shahab also cautioned against any travel for games or competition.
“Certainly we don’t want those transmission events jumping from one place to another, so I think some caution around interprovincial or even travel within the province will stay for the time being,” Shahab said.
Moe also said the province is working on “safe play parameters” for both participants in sport and spectators, adding the government has begun discussions on how gate driven leagues, like the CFL, SJHL, WHL and CJFL might begin.
“Dr. Shahab and his team in public health have been meeting with various associations on the safe play guidelines,” said Moe. “We’re seeing some of that put forward in the last week or so and again today, to ensure that people on the field are able to stay safe.
“All gate driven leagues much like the CFL which is ultimately the largest sporting event which we have, is there an opportunity to have these discussions on how they could work,” says Moe. “It’s a marathon.”