New rules in place as recreational sports return
KITCHENER -- It's game on for recreational and amateur sports across Waterloo Region.
Athletes were allowed to return to play this week as part of Ontario's move into Stage 3 of its reopening plan. But, getting back into the game comes with a new set of rules.
Ultimate frisbee player Andrew Fors was happy to be back on the field Wednesday.
"Just to be outside is great," he said.
The pandemic put organized play on pause.
"It was a shame," Fors said. "It was hard to find other activities that were a bit more physical."
During Stage 2, teams could hold practice and do drills, but not play against each other. For volleyball players, that meant no spiking or blocking.
Under Stage 3, there can be games with fewer than 50 players split between the two teams. Equipment needs to be cleaned before, during and after each game.
"They got fresh frisbees that they swap in and out, just so they keep them fresh and sanitized," Fors said.
There are also no hand shakes or high fives allowed.
"Find a new way to cheer," said Trevor Shelly, general manager of KW-Cambridge Sport and Social Club. "Clap above your head, sing a song, but it is about making sure there's no physical contact."
The club has also made the decision to cancel playoffs and championships.
"It's not really about winning,” Shelly said. It’s more about encouragement and “getting out and getting active."
The club said it's happy to welcome people back, even if this year looks a bit different.
"We have 250 to 350 teams playing with us each season," Shelly said. "Obviously, this summer it's a little less, it's about 200."
Anyone who couldn't play or didn't feel comfortable coming back, but already paid, can get credit for future seasons.
"Our motto right now is, we're ready when you are," Shelly said.
Players are screened before they hit the field. Masks aren't necessary during play, but can be worn if athletes prefer.