COVID-19 & Return to Play
Rugby is a sport with many players coming into close contact with one another for an extended period of time. Needless to say, in the era of global pandemics and social distancing, a lot of these elements are problematic.
However, the Ottawa Beavers and Banshees have been working with Rugby Ontario to follow the provincial Return to Play guidelines to ensure that we can re-engage in rugby-related activities in a safe (yet fun) environment.
As a result, the Beavers and Banshees have been authorized by Rugby Ontario to begin rugby activities by following a sliding scale of restrictions that eventually include full contact as conditions improve.
At present, the Club is in Phase 3 of 5, which authorizes activities such as non-contact drills, ball handling, fitness and flag rugby for an outdoor environment for a maximum of 75 minutes per training session.
OBBRFC 2021 Plans
The OBBRFC will be returning with Tuesday and Thursday evening training sessions starting at the end of the Ontario spring lockdown (at present, that puts us at a May 25 start). All sessions will start at 6:30PM.
Training will be centralized at Glebe Collegiate for the summer, and practices will be combine men, women and juniors (efforts will be made to separate groups into team-specific pods, as participation numbers permit), which is a great opportunity to encourage whole-of-club interaction and solidarity, as well as a cross-pollination of skills across the organization.
Training sessions will include a mix of rugby skills, fitness and flag rugby matches, and, as conditions improve with the ongoing vaccination campaigns, we hope to escalate the level of contact as the Return to Play guidelines allow.
The training will cost $75 for junior players. This is the lowest possible fee available (the Club collects no money from these fees, as it all goes towards player insurance with Rugby Ontario and Rugby Canada).
For senior players, the default dues are set at $150 for the summer. However, we recognize that many of our members are in a variety of situations such that may make the cost of rugby burdensome. We have posted two discount codes on our Join page for senior players who feel they are in such a position. This is entirely based on the honour system, but players are able to reduce their dues by $25 or $50, as they feel necessary.
In order to help welcome players back and ensure everyone has a common understanding of protocols and expectations, the OBBRFC will hold a virtual introduction and overview session on Tuesday, May 11 (more details to follow).
Frequently Asked Questions
When does this start?
Training begins with the end of the Ontario spring lockdown (looking at May 25) and will run on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for the duration of the summer.
What time does practice start? How long does it last?
Training starts at 6:30PM. At present, it is expected to end at 7:45PM given our current 75 minute cap on training, although this will be extended if/when possible.
Where is it?
Training activities will take place at the field at Glebe Collegiate Institute, located at 212 Glebe Avenue in central Ottawa. We'll be right in the centre of town so we're never too far from anyone!
What sort of activities are planned?
At present, it is expected that each training session will include a combination of rugby skills, strength and conditioning, and flag rugby games.
Who can participate?
Training is open to both men and women aged 13 and older.
What is the cost?
For junior players (aged 13-17), training costs $75.
For senior players (18+), training costs $150 for the summer. However, in recognition of the various financial hardships that many of our members are facing due to the pandemic, we have posted discount codes on our Join page that people can use to reduce their dues if they feel they need it.
It is a longstanding belief within the OBBRFC that finances should never be a reason to stop someone from playing rugby. If these costs pose a challenge for you, please contact our Registrar Shelagh Purcell so that we can identify a solution in order to get you onto the field.
Where can I register?
Registration is now live and can be accessed from our Join page.
Is the Club doing free t-shirts this year?
Always. All registered players get a free club t-shirt.
What if I want to play contact rugby?
We all want to play contact rugby, and it is always our goal to get back into it as soon as possible. But unfortunately, we are bound by the guidelines put in place by Rugby Ontario and our public health units in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19. And at present, that means no contact.
We are hopeful that we will be able to move further into contact activities pursuant to the Return to Play protocols as the provincial vaccination campaigns continues to improve the situation.
What equipment do we need?
Players should bring cleats and their own water bottles.
In order to eliminate as much equipment-sharing as possible, players will be also be issued an OBBRFC reversible pinnie to use throughout the season. Please ensure you always bring it to training so we can distinguish teams for flag games and drills, and return your pinnie at the end of the summer (if you'd like to keep it, you can pay us $20 for it).
There will be no access to changerooms and bathrooms, so everyone should arrive to training dressed and ready to play.
What precautions do we need to take?
People who are in high risk situations (ex: if they have an underlying health condition, or live with someone who is at risk) should consider opting out of training until they receive a vaccine.
Personal attestation forms will be completed for every participant ahead of each training.
Players are strongly discouraged from using carpools to get to training, and are to avoid close contact with others while at training. They must also refrain from sharing water bottles or clothing.
Hand sanitzer will be available at the entrance to the field, Please use upon entry and exit of the training area.
We will not have access to any indoor facilities, so players must come changed (and use the bathroom before training).
Although we are outdoors, masks are encouraged while not participating in training activities.
What if I want to know more?
The OBBRFC will be hosting a virtual intro night and training walkthrough on May 18 (more details will follow), and we will be sharing a full set of precautions, safety plans and requirements ahead of training.
In the meantime, everyone is encouraged to take the World Rugby COVID-19 course for Players.
Who can I contact?
All questions can be directed to our general inquiries email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will make sure your question makes it to the right person!