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Sports and Activities Guidelines

For general workplace guidelines, please refer to COVID-19 Workplace Information. Operators of sports and recreation facilities (multiplexes, gymnasiums, courts, rinks, training facilities, indoor playgrounds, etc.) in Saskatchewan must be in compliance with these guidelines. The information below provides guidelines for outdoor sports and activities. Professional and semi-professional sports leagues that propose operational plans that deviate from the guidance below must consult the Business Response Team (BRT) for further direction.


1. Group and Individual Activities

Outdoor sports and recreational activities for children and adults resumed on June 22. Indoor sports and recreational activities may resume on July 6. Operators must implement measures to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. Note: this guideline is not intended to be used for animal competitions. For competitive and show events involving animals, please refer to the Racing and Rodeo Guidelines.

COVID-19 droplet transmission is much more likely when individuals are in close contact. The likelihood of transmission between individuals participating in sport, physical activity and recreation in an indoor setting is significantly higher. Transmission is less likely in an outdoor setting, where air flow is greater and there is more space for individuals to keep physically distanced.

COVID-19 can also be transmitted if someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches their face without washing their hands. Many activities involve shared equipment among participants, coaches/staff, instructors, officials or volunteers (e.g. shared baseballs, basketballs, volleyballs). The virus does not enter the body through skin; it enters through the eyes, nose or mouth when an individual touches their face. This is why regular hand hygiene and cleaning of high-touch surfaces are so important.

Each sports organization and/or facility must establish a plan for how to minimize physical contact and the risk of COVID-19 transmission between participants. The guidance should align with provincial and national sporting bodies for each activity and be at least as restrictive as provincial guidelines. This guidance is not intended to apply to professional sports teams with COVID-19 response plans.


2. Guidelines for General Operation

  • Designate one or more people to be responsible for ensuring compliance with these guidelines. This should not be someone engaged in other critical duties (e.g. referee, cashier).
  • Contactless fundraising activities are permitted.
  • Staff and participants should be given information on physical distancing and other requirements prior to attending. Staff should discourage gathering.
  • Signage must be posted to caution patrons about the risks of COVID-19.
  • Encourage participants to arrive no more than five to 10 minutes before the scheduled activity to reduce people gathering in groups.
  • Wherever possible, activities should be relocated to outdoor settings.
  • When participating in any sport or activity, contact must be minimized whenever possible. Consideration should be given to altering sports or activities to achieve minimal contact and two metres of physical distancing whenever possible.
  • Facility ventilation systems should be operational and appropriate for the activities being practised in them.
  • Facilities may need to consider:
    • Increasing air circulation and ventilation, while preventing turbulent air flow.
    • Providing natural ventilation by opening windows and doors, wherever possible, to increase air flow.
  • Remove unnecessary common items, such as magazines, brochures, etc.
  • Encourage patrons to limit their time spent in the facility, as well as maintain physical distancing when returning to their vehicles or homes.
  • Registration processes should be completed online whenever possible; however, if in-person registration is required, physical distancing and sanitizing pens between uses is required.
  • Indoor play spaces are permitted; however, increased cleaning and disinfection are required. Operators must put measures in place to ensure physical distancing of non-household members and provide access to handwashing facilities or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number). Encourage operators to post signage.
  • Food and beverage services are subject to the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines.
  • Team celebrations, banquets and/or awards should be done virtually whenever possible. In-person events must follow the Banquets and Conference Centre Facilities Guidelines, unless being held in a restaurant or licensed establishment where the Restaurants and Licensed Establishments Guidelines apply.
  • Drinking fountains must be closed. Water bottle filling stations are acceptable if appropriately and frequently sanitized.
  • Contactless payment is preferred; however, cash may be accepted where necessary.
  • Instruction is permitted with no contact and appropriate physical distancing. If physical distancing cannot be maintained or is unpredictable, a mask should be worn by the instructor.
  • One-on-one sport and activity lessons or small group lessons consisting of household/extended household members are permitted if all other mitigation criteria are met, including the requirement to maintain physical distancing between the instructor and participants.
  • Group sport and activity lessons that are not one-on-one or consisting of household/extended household members are permitted if all other mitigation criteria are met, including the requirement to maintain physical distancing between the instructor and participants, and between participants.
    • If physical distancing cannot be maintained, then the mini-league structure applies.
  • Parents and other spectators must not total more than the maximum gathering limits per the public health order per team at each game/activity as long as two metres of physical distancing can be maintained from other members of the public not included in their household group, in all areas of the facility. This may mean the total permitted spectators is less than the minimum in the public health order.
  • Spectator maximum capacity for the facility must be based on the ability of facilities to ensure physical distancing between spectators at all times.
  • Spectators should be limited as much as possible and priority given to parents and others needed to support the players, particularly for sports involving young children.
  • Discourage gatherings of spectators in common areas.
  • Spectators (excluding parents and guardians where necessary for player support) should be kept out of participant spaces (e.g. fields of play, courts, bench areas, change rooms). Refer to additional spectator requirements below.
  • All spectators are encouraged to wear non-medical face coverings at all times, except when eating or drinking while seated or in a designated area.
  • Where rental equipment is provided, it should be assigned to one person only and be laundered or cleaned and disinfected upon return.
  • Masking is required by all spectators and participants, except while participating in fitness, aquatic or sports activities – for the duration of the activity only.

3. Competition and Game Play

  • Inter-provincial and intra-provincial team/mini-league competition is not permitted at this time.
    • Certain approved border areas are exempted. Plans outlining safe team play in border cities (Creighton, Flin Flon, Lloydminster) must be reviewed and accepted by the Business Response Team and local Medical Health Officer prior to starting the season.
  • Intra-provincial competition is permitted for sports and activities where athletes compete individually, provided the number of participants does not exceed the public gathering limits and physical contact is minimized.
  • Intra-provincial travel for play within mini-leagues is permitted. Travel should be minimized to as small a geography as possible.
  • Tournaments are not permitted.
  • Competition, including play-offs, ranked and round-robin competition, is permitted within established mini-leagues and for individual sports.
  • Skills training within mini-leagues is permissible.
  • Skills training camps are permitted outside of the mini-league group as long as physical distancing can be maintained and gathering numbers are below 30. If physical distancing cannot be maintained, then a washout period of 14 days – before and after the camp – must occur before athletes may rejoin a mini-league.
  • If physical distancing is possible, physical and recreational activities may proceed as normal (e.g. programming, skills training, practice and competition), while following the guidelines for general operations, cleaning and disinfection, etc.

4. Participant Capacity and Mini-League Guidance

  • Sports played in any indoor or smaller outdoor venues are limited to the same group of 50 players/participants, such as in a mini-league.
  • Game play can resume between teams in a mini-league and must be limited to teams within the same mini-league.
  • Teams in different mini-leagues must not play each other.
  • Mini-leagues can be comprised of a maximum of 50 players or a maximum of four teams, unless:
    • If the sport is played outdoors and involves teams where 10 or more players are required per side during game play (i.e. football, rugby, soccer), mini-leagues can contain a maximum of 80 players.
    • Hockey is currently permitted up to 80 players per mini-league or a maximum of six teams.
  • Coaches, officials and volunteers who can stay out of the playing area (i.e. field, pitch, ice surface, etc.) and can physically distance from those in the playing area at all times, including on the sidelines, are not counted in the player gathering limits. Unnecessary contact with players must be avoided and two metres of physical distancing must be maintained whenever possible.
  • Mini-leagues must remain together until season or intra-season change occurs.
    • Mini-leagues can be changed within a season provided a 14-day wash-out period is performed.
    • During the wash-out period, if team participants remain the same, individual teams may continue to practise; however, no competition with other teams can be held. At the end of the 14-day period, new mini-leagues can be formed.
    • If an individual changes teams, the individual must perform a 14-day wash-out period prior to joining a new team.
  • Coaches/staff, officials and volunteers must wear a non-medical mask when two metres of physical distancing can be maintained.
  • If they are unable to maintain physical distancing, a surgical/procedure mask must be worn.
  • For individual combat sports or activities where participants are unable to adhere to physical distancing, groupings (mini-leagues) must be formed.
    • Mini-leagues should be formed between those from the same weight class or skill level.
    • Mini leagues can have up to 50 individuals.
  • Mini-leagues must be comprised of players within the same local geographical region to minimize travel necessary for training, practice and mini-league competitions.
    • In instances where a local geographical region cannot fill a team or complete a 50-person mini-league, they may join in the nearest location possible.
  • It is recommended that athletes not belong to multiple sports mini-leagues (whether community or school based). They should select one sport mini-league for the duration of each season.
  • Whenever possible, at least two metres distancing should be maintained between all individuals, except members of the same household, when out of the area of play (e.g. on benches, on sidelines, during intermission, in dressing rooms, training areas, etc.). The gathering limit must not be exceeded in these areas at any time.

5. Winter Activities

Ski Resorts

  • Maximum capacity permitted of 150 people at any one time, as long as physical distancing can be maintained in all areas.
  • Special attention must be taken to ensure physical distancing inside lodges and warm-up shacks, rental areas, lift line-ups and concessions.
  • Physical distancing of two metres must be maintained on chair lifts, T-bars and conveyor belts.
  • Facility must have line controls in place, signage and other indicators to ensure patrons can maintain physical distancing.
  • One-on-one or small group lessons consisting of household/extended household members are permitted as long as physical distancing is maintained between the instructor and participants.
  • Group lessons that are not one-on-one or consisting of household/extended household members are permitted as long as physical distancing is maintained between the instructor and participants, and between participants.
  • Pre-registration is required for all lessons. Contact information must be gathered to provide, as needed, to public health for contact tracing purposes.
  • Instructors can refer to resources from the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance or Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors to obtain additional information specific to COVID-19 mitigation measures and instruction.
  • Facility operators can refer to resources from the Canadian Ski Council and affiliates to obtain additional information specific to COVID-19 mitigation measures and skiing.

Outdoor Recreation Areas

  • This includes outdoor rinks, tobogganing hills, cross-country ski trails, snowmobile trails and similar facilities.
  • Every person who visits an outdoor recreation area must follow public health orders in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
  • People exhibiting signs of illness should not enter outdoor recreation areas. If you think you may be sick, use the Government of Saskatchewan's self-assessment tool for COVID-19 and follow the subsequent directions.
  • People not from the same household or extended household should maintain two metres of physical distancing at all times. Limit gathering with other people when entering and leaving the outdoor recreation area and supervising children.
  • Group sizes must comply with the public gathering restrictions in the public health order.
  • Ensure frequent hand hygiene for everyone before, during and after outdoor play.
  • It is recommended to carry and use hand sanitizers approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) before and after using recreational areas and equipment.
  • If rink surfaces or recreational areas are busy, come back when it's not as busy or use another area.
  • Do not share toys or sports equipment between groups.
  • Consider limiting children and other members of your household to only visiting outdoor recreational areas close to your home. This will help limit the number of people your family may come into contact with during the visit.
  • Signage must be posted near recreational facility entrances and in shacks to caution about the risks of COVID-19, as well as educate users in following the guidelines. Signage should include the following reminders:
    • Individuals who are sick should stay home.
    • A physical distance of two metres should be maintained between people not from the same household or extended household.
    • Individuals should wash their hands before and after using parks and playgrounds.
    • Avoid overcrowding. Individual groups must not exceed the restrictions on public gatherings.
  • Washroom facilities must have an increased cleaning and disinfecting schedule, ensuring soap and water or a hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) is available, as well as the proper disposal of paper hand towels.
  • Garbage bins should be emptied frequently.

6. Participant Health and Illness

  • Patrons/staff who are sick or symptomatic must not enter/participate. Participants, spectators and volunteers should use the Government of Saskatchewan's self-assessment tool for COVID-19 and follow the subsequent directions.
  • Players whose activities involve being within two metres of other players should continuously self-monitor.
  • Organizers must keep a record of attendees. All players, spectators, staff and volunteers should be provided with a sign-in on arrival option, with name, phone number and/or email to facilitate contact tracing, if necessary. Records of attendance must be retained for a minimum of one month. Where possible, do not use a common pen. Providing this information is voluntary for attendees and can only be used for the purposes of COVID-19 contact tracing.
  • If a person becomes sick, they should immediately stop participating and return home.
  • If a person becomes sick or injured, and first aid or further care is required:
    • Try to limit the number of individuals in contact with the sick person.
    • Place a mask over the individual's mouth and nose if they are not able to do so. Maintain a safe distance until the mask is in place.
  • First aid providers caring for people should follow standard precautions. Those who provide direct care requiring close or direct contact should wear a mask.
  • Following care, first aid providers should discard the mask and gloves following standard procedures and perform hand hygiene.

7. Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing must be observed at all times, with a minimum of two metres of space between individuals.
    • Players in the same mini-league grouping may be within two metres during competition, game play and practice. Intentional contact should be minimized where possible.
  • Areas of congregation (e.g. team benches, bleachers) must be set up and used in a way that adheres to physical distancing requirements (i.e. only allow every other row in bleachers, use visual cues, etc.).
  • Pylons or other markers should define the group space.
  • Schedules should be staggered and the duration of the activity should be specified to promote physical distancing and allow for adequate cleaning and disinfection between uses.
  • Wherever possible, promote physical distancing by:
    • Promoting one-way traffic flow to avoid individuals from inadvertently interacting.
    • Placing stickers or signage on the wall/floor every two metres.
    • Limiting lane use on indoor tracks to every other lane to promote physical distancing.
    • Spacing seats or assigning seating at two-metre distances.
    • Reducing capacity in each room, venue, court or ice surface in the facility.
  • Common area chairs and tables should be stacked, roped off or removed from the area to promote distancing.
  • Consider physical barriers (e.g. Plexiglas) at patron contact points.
  • Staff should wear masks when they are not separated by a physical barrier or two metres from participants. Other personal protective equipment may be appropriate depending on the task being performed (e.g. first aid or resuscitation).
  • When facility staff are transferring a participant with a disability in and out of equipment, or assisting caregivers with an activity, the staff member and the participant should wear masks whenever two metres cannot be maintained.

8. Cleaning, Disinfection and Hand Hygiene

  • Cleaning and disinfection information for public facilities and workplaces is available.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of commonly touched surfaces and shared equipment, such as vending machines, water fountain handles, doorknobs, handrails, light switches, countertops, tables, equipment handles and consoles.
  • All frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected prior to a new group being provided access to field space, including benches, dugouts, bleachers, railings, picnic areas, gates, etc.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning gymnasium floors to reduce the risk of transmission from shared objects (e.g. balls) and those who use wheelchairs.
  • Encourage participants to bring their own equipment to the facility.
  • Participant-owned equipment, including sport gloves, should be visibly clean.
  • Shared equipment (e.g. tennis balls, basketballs, bats, etc.) must be cleaned and disinfected frequently.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning gymnasium floors to reduce the risk of transmission from shared objects (e.g. balls) and those who use wheelchairs.
  • Where rental equipment is provided, it should be assigned to one person only and be laundered or cleaned and disinfected upon return.
  • Ensure that handwashing sinks are fully stocked with soap and paper towels.
  • Place an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN number) in dispensers or soap and water handwashing stations near doors, common use equipment, washrooms/locker rooms, courtside and team areas, and other high-touch locations for patrons and staff. Patrons should be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer when possible.
  • Hand hygiene should be performed prior to play and contacting shared equipment, as well as through the duration of the activity (i.e. intermissions, breaks, etc.) and at the end.

9. Conduct

  • Spitting (includes seeds, tobacco and fluids) and other similar activities increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and are not permitted.
  • Individuals must not share personal items (i.e. equipment or beverage containers).
  • Congratulatory gestures such as high fives and handshakes are not permitted.
  • Spectators, participants and players, staff, coaches and volunteers should try to minimize cheering and whistling as much as possible to control the spread of COVID-19.
  • Consider how to adapt activities to take place outdoors and modify play to decrease physical contact, whenever possible.
  • Intentional contact during sport or activity must be limited. Modifications to activities that limit physical contact are recommended.

10. Guidelines for Employees

  • Limit the sharing of objects and tools by staff (e.g. equipment, gloves) or disinfect between uses.
  • Hand hygiene must be performed between tasks.
  • Encourage staff to launder uniforms/work clothes between shifts. 
  • Employees are required to practice physical distancing at work. Avoid handshakes and any other physical contact with others. Remain two metres apart from others whenever possible.
  • If staff are unable to maintain two metre distancing from coworkers, other measures should be implemented, such as self-monitoring of personal health, supervision by Infection Prevention and Control Officers or Occupational Health and Safety in the workplace. Other appropriate measures include:
    • Staggering activities to limit the number of staff in a confined area during the same period.
    • Moving activities to another room whenever possible.
    • Altering break times to minimize the number of staff working in close quarters.
    • Staff wearing non-medical masks (e.g. cloth or other materials) or procedure masks if distancing is not possible from other staff or patrons. 
  • Ensure staff are practising proper hand hygiene and coughing/sneezing etiquette, including:
    • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer approved by Health Canada (DIN or NPN) when hands are not visibly dirty and handwashing isn't available.
    • Avoiding touching their face, mouth, nose and eyes.
    • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue, then immediately disposing of the tissue and washing their hands. If a tissue is not available, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow, not their hands.
  • Additional glove use for COVID-19 transmission mitigation is not required. If staff are using gloves, they should be changed after every interaction and when changing tasks. Hand hygiene must be performed between every glove change (hand sanitizer or hand washing with soap and water).
  • All workers, especially those in constant contact with the public, should self-monitor for symptoms and use the Government of Saskatchewan's self-assessment tool for COVID-19 and follow the subsequent directions. Facilities should review their employee illness policies to ensure staff are able to remain home when ill (as is required).
  • Stagger staff arrival and departure times, lunch times, breaks and meetings to reduce the number of individuals in one place at a given time. Designate lockers and storage spaces for individual workers
  • Ensure staff are adequately trained in new policies and protocols.
  • Workplaces are encouraged to have plans in place for increased worker absences due to illness or isolation.
  • Workplaces should have a workplace illness policy. If policies do not exist or are not in line with COVID-19 recommendations, workplaces should ensure the following:
    • Sick employees should stay home or are sent home from work if symptoms present.
    • Sick employees use the Government of Saskatchewan's self-assessment tool for COVID-19 and follow the subsequent directions.
    • If an employee has gone home sick, their work areas should be cleaned and disinfected.

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