Posted April 9, 2021
The Government of Alberta recently announced the province is moving back to Step 1 restrictions to protect the health system and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, the current guidelines for youth sport in Step 1 remain the same and are listed below:
Limited Group Physical Activities Allowed
- Lessons, practices and physical conditioning activities are allowed for indoor and outdoor minor sports/activities and school athletics (for example, school sport activities that are outside of a physical education class or related part of the school curriculum).
- Games are not allowed.
- Maximum of 10 total individuals, including all coaches, trainers, and participants.
- Indoor and outdoor playing surfaces (for example, arena, field, court or swimming pool) may be occupied by more than one youth group, as long as 3-metres of physical distancing can be maintained between groups of 10 and the groups do not intermingle.
- Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all times:
- 3 metres physical distance for indoor activities
- 2 metres physical distance for outdoor activities
- coaches or trainers may enter physical distancing space for brief interactions with participants (for example, to correct form or technique)
- It is important to note that Volleyball Alberta has a Masking Policy, that requires masks for all VA participants, at all times, while they are indoors, including but not limited to arrival, training, game play, and departure.
- Access to change rooms must be limited, including accelerated arrival and departure, emergencies (for example, first aid) and washroom use.
On Court Considerations to Maintain 3 Metres of Physical Distance
- Teams should email processes, expectations, general information, and session drills in advance to avoid on site team meetings
- Coaches should carefully consider use of white boards, this may be difficult to maintain distance for group instruction
- Use visual guides (eg. cones) where possible as markers for athletes to understand distancing requirements
- Smaller numbers on the court at a time reduces the chances of breaching distancing requirements, a MAXIMUM of 4 athletes per side should be permitted to maintain 3 metres of distance throughout the session
- Reminder that ball carts should be approached by one person at a time, they tend to be congregation points
- No blocking against a front row attack
- No middle attacks, as most approaches from this position would cause a distance breach with the setter
- Setter should move to position 3 to set right side hitters
- Setter should not set back row attacks in the middle or right side of the court
- The volleyball court is 9 metres wide, setting up drills should have no more than 2 people across from each other as it is extremely difficult to maintain distance when athletes are in motion (eg. passing or defensive drills)
- Limit transitional movement in a drill, additional actions within drill patterns make it more challenging to maintain distance
- Smaller groups of 2-3 athletes makes it easier to facilitate drills with distancing
- Be aware of movement patterns on both sides of the court, to avoid athletes meeting at the net (eg. dynamic stretching lines)