2020 CLFHA Outdoor Leagues - Update and Notice of Cancellation of 2020 Outdoor Season

Posted by Verla Wong on May 25 2020 at 08:58PM PDT in 2019-20 Indoor

Hello All,
We hope you (and your families) are all doing well and staying healthy and somewhat sane.

As you know, we cancelled the spring outdoor season (May/June) based on current restrictions and guidelines from provincial health authorities.

We had been holding out hope that there might be a possibility of a modified summer season (July/August), again based on provincial guidelines and restrictions.

Last week, the CLFHA team reps had our monthly board meeting, albeit virtually via Zoom (isn’t everyone on Zoom these days?), and made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 outdoor season.

Calgary Recreation is beginning a soft reopening of fields beginning June 1, 2020, based on the current restrictions in place by the Alberta Government. However, there is one critical and very important RESTRICTION that will prevent us from having any outdoor league play this year :((

The City explicitly states that organized team sports are prohibited on sport fields. All league play, scrimmages and pickup games are prohibited. We do not know when these restrictions will be lifted, but it is extremely unlikely to be in time for the 2020 outdoor season to commence in any manner.

What is permitted by the City:

  • Gatherings of up to 50 people in a group are allowed in an outdoor location, as long as 2-metre physical distancing remains in place and all other health orders and no common touch guidelines are followed. (Logistically speaking, it is nearly impossible to actually play field hockey with 2-metre distancing between players. As it was, we already had challenges with the 3m rule for indoor and 5m rule for outdoor when physical distancing wasn’t even a thing.)
  • Maintaining a 2-metre distance between persons applies to all persons on or near the fields (including coaches, family and spectators).
  • The maximum gathering number includes all persons on or near the fields (including coaches, family and spectators).
  • Participants must not touch the same equipment or other device with their hands. (That includes the ball, goals/nets, and pylons/cones for field markings.)
  • Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure no intentional or accidental physical contact occurs between participants.
  • Washrooms and other amenities remain closed, until further notice.
  • Guidance for outdoor recreation opportunities is posted on, and outdoor recreation groups and businesses should also refer to Workplace Guidance for Business Owners. In addition to government orders and guidelines, sport teams and individual players must also comply with the guidelines of their sport governing bodies.

Additionally, we also have the following update from Field Hockey Canada.

  • FHC:
  • As we all consider a safe return to play, there are some pressing considerations which begin to emerge. Our insurance company, Markel Canada Limited has taken the position not to provide coverage (NO COVERAGE) for COVID-19 related claims. This is regardless of the fact that the NSO or PSO has the contagion exclusion or not. To ensure there is no miscommunication, the insurance company is stating that “regardless of the organization having the Contagion Exclusion or not, Markel will not provide defense for COVID-19 related claims or lawsuits”.
  • It means there exists considerable risk around any proposed return to play. (For us in YYC, league play is currently prohibited, as are scrimmages, but this is an important consideration for when we look at a phased back return to play.)
  • As there is currently no legal precedent to consider within our risk assessment of this situation, we need to exercise caution in our decision-making regarding a safe return to play protocol. This has impact on us all as sport organizations – from board to field level.

The FIH has also released their guidelines for a safe return to hockey.

We will continue to follow the guidance of local and provincial health authorities as well as following the phased approaches of FHBC, FHC and FIH for the measures that they are taking.

While we are extremely disappointed and saddened that we won’t be seeing all of your happy and sometimes sweaty faces on the pitch this summer, we hope that all of our collective efforts will enable everyone to stay healthy and eventually for us to have a safe and (more) worry-free return to normalcy and to field hockey.

Verla Wong | CLFHA League Coordinator |

Lisa Walpole | CLFHA President |