Pandemic Pickleball Planning
All Clubs are encouraged to have a Covid-19 Operational Plan (see below for more information on developing a plan). All clubs should consult the latest Sport NB FAQ document prior to setting up play times, tournaments, or other events to ensure compliance with the most recent updates. This document changes frequently so please consult it often as you make plans.
Covid-19 Operational Plans:
PBNB president Lisa Weir attended a meeting on June 3, 2020 with all of the provincial sports organizations, the Department of Health, and the Department of Tourism Heritage and Culture (Sport Recreation Branch) to discuss Covid 19 Operational Plans for sports clubs in the province.
Some guidelines to follow for developing your club’s Covid 19 Operational Plan from this meeting:
- The representative from the Department of Health recommended that clubs base their plans on the guidelines set out in Worksafe NB Document “Embracing the New Normal” – this will cover most aspects of what you will need in your plan.
- The most important prevention method continues to be handwashing.
- There should be scheduled routines for handwashing and cleaning/disinfecting of shared materials (such as balls). This can be determined at the club level. GNB has an information sheet on protocols for effective cleaning and disinfecting.
- Two-metre distancing is also a primary measure, however, this is not possible in all cases when playing sports, even those of a low-contact nature such as pickleball. The information shared was that brief contact is okay but every effort should be made to minimize both the intensity and the duration of contact. Also, maintain physical distancing when you are off the court and not playing. If you have a choice between outdoor and indoor play, outdoor will be the safest choice.
- Instituting screening is helpful when you cannot maintain two metres of distancing. There is a bilingual screening tool available from the GNB website.
- Masks – this was discussed at the meeting and the representative from the Department of Health explained that for many sports this is not possible and as soon as the masks become soiled or wet, they are no longer effective. You may, however, need to wear a mask to enter a facility based on the latest guidelines from the government.
- Contact Tracing – clubs should maintain a list of who is playing on which dates in the event that there is an identified case and contact tracing needs to occur.
- The facilities in which you play are responsible for the cleaning of common areas, control of traffic flow, and will have their own Covid 19 Operational plans.
- Pickleball Canada has also posted some Covid 19 tips and recommendations for club administrators, coaches, and anyone organizing pickleball activities.