Update on competitive calendar

 

Here is an update on the competitive season.  Squash Nova Scotia is still looking at the possibility of operating tournaments and leagues this season, but with clubs still operating with limited capacity, it is unlikely that this will happen before the new year.  Any competitive play we have will likely look different as we explore ways to limit the mingling of large groups of people, to operate within the risk tolerance of players, clubs and the province.  We will keep you updated on progress as we know more.

I also share the updated Squash Canada tentative competitive calendar

Squash Canada update on 2021 Canadian Championships

Plan to have some Squash with your Thanksgiving!

This is a golden opportunity to relaunch and re-energize our sport after the tribulations of the past few months.

Even if we are unable to invite large numbers of people into our clubs, we can still promote the sport by holding small, COVID-compliant outdoor events.

The WSF’s whole focus this year has been to create the biggest social media campaign in the history of the sport, so at least the sport is gaining significant publicity for the sport free of charge.

Please read the World Squash Day Toolkit, which was designed with COVID restrictions in mind.

https://www.worldsquashday.net/world-squash-day-toolkit/

With so much sport missing from the agenda, this is an opportunity for squash to grab some headlines, so please try to engage with your local media outlets as well as sharing posts on the World Squash Day social media pages.

We hope to see hundreds of posts this weekend of Club Ambassadors hitting a ball against a wall outside some iconic locations and by players, coaches and parents posting about why they love squash.

Please remember to add the following hashtags to your posts #whyilovesquash    #NSIHadSquashInMyThanksgiving #SquashNS #SquashCanada

 

 

Squash COVID Update – Return to almost normal operations effective 1 Oct 2020

With the premier’s announcement of relaxed rules for sport on Friday, Squash will be able to return to almost normal operations on 1 Oct 2020. This equates to between phase 5 and phase 6 on the Squash NS return to play guidelines which are linked below.

With the announcement that effective 1 Oct Sport bubbles are increased from 10 to 50 people who can participate in a sport without social distancing. This allows the return to normal operations with the following restrictions:

    • Spectators are still restricted to half the capacity of the spectator viewing area to a maximum of 200.
    • Masks must be worn indoors to and from the courts. Masks are not required on court.
    • Players from outside the Atlantic bubble will need to self isolate for 14 days before playing squash in NS.
    • Players returning from a tournament outside of the Atlantic bubble will need to self isolate for 14 days upon their return.
    • Tournaments  with more  than 50 participants including staff, will still see some restrictions as we will need to separate 50 player groups in either time or space. This might entail splitting events between facilities, or running events on more than one weekend or splitting divisions by time in the same facility on the same weekend. This will create additional challenges for tournament organizers. Potential tournament organizers should contact the undersigned to seek advice before planning larger events.
    • Leagues will need to restrict division sizes to 50 players or less.

To be explicit the following types of activity are authorized starting 1 Oct 2020:

    • Team play (up to 50 players in a division vice 10 previously)
    • Courses, Coaching programs and other activities which require more than 10 people on a court at once (limit raised to 50).

Venues are encouraged to update their policies to allow normal play for most activities with the exception of complying with spectator limits, requirements to wear mask within the facility and special provisions for larger tournaments of over 50 players and staff.

Remember that facilities will implement the more relaxed rules at their own pace consistent with their approval processes and level of risk tolerance so please be patient.

Remember to practice safe sport:

    • Respect – Facility rules
    • Prepare – Book in advance
    • Screen – Don’t play if you are exhibiting symptoms.
    • Play – Wear a mask to and from the court, come prepared to play including bringing water/sports drink. Don’t wipe hands on court surfaces during play
    • Sanitize on completion of play
    • Masked Spectators/team members allowed to watch within the revised gathering limits (50% of the normal capacity)
    • Exit the facility after play.

For reference the general return to play guidelines for players and venues are attached  for Players and Facilities/Coaches and Organizers.

Phil Jourdeuil

President of Squash NS

Upcoming Squash Canada Coaching Webinars

Elevating High Performance Juniors to
College/International Level of Squash
Date: Wednesday September 16th, 2020 – Noon to 1PM EST
Presenter: Andrew Thompson, Head Squash Pro (Toronto Lawn Tennis Club)
To Register – Click Here (Cost: $15.26)

Gender Equity In Squash –
Join The Conversation, Build Awareness & Grow Our Sport
Date: Thursday October 1st, 2020 – Noon to 1PM EST
Presenter: Tara Mullins, Squash Canada Project Lead for Female Engagement & Gender Equity Programs
To Register – Click Here (Cost: FREE)

Don’t Be A Kids Last Coach
Date: Tuesday October 20th, 2020 – Noon to 1PM EST
Presenter: Glen Mulcahy, Paradigm Sports
To Register – Click Here (Cost: $15.26)

Competitive Calendar Updates

Regrettably, Squash Canada has taken the decision to cancel all of the rescheduled Fall national championships due to lingering COVID-19 restrictions and concerns.  The 2020 Canadian Mixed Doubles, the 2020 Canadian Junior (Closed) , The Canadian Senior National, the Canadian Masters and the Canadian U23 championships have been  cancelled. There were still existed too many restrictions in effect such as no competition yet permitted in current Phase, limits on the number of people allowed in the facility and 14-day quarantine requirements for people returning to as many as eight provinces/territories.

Given the current uptick in cases in the certain parts of the country, SC has also postponed the 2021 Canadian Junior Open from Dec 2020, with plans to hold it in early summer 2021.

Given this information, and the dearth of open courts in the province, and the continued uncertainty over the opening of the courts at SMU, it is with sadness that I am officially cancelling the 2020 NS Open and the 2020 Atlantics.

Please note that the Board is looking at how we can look at providing some opportunities for sanctioned play and limited tournament play, however given the current public health constraints, whatever competitive play opportunities we can present will look different.  As part of that we are putting together a survey to get an understanding of what you feel about return to competitive play and your safety.  This will be sent out next week.

Given this the Board voted unanimously on Thursday to extend existing memberships for a further 120 days.  This has the effect of extending memberships that were in place on 15 Mar 2020 for a total of 300 days.  Please remember that memberships run on a 365 day basis vice a seasonal basis and so memberships will restart counting time on 9 Jan 2021.

 

Notice of Squash NS AGM – 27 Jun 2020 at 6pm via Zoom – Meeting materials published

Squash NS will hold its Annual General Meeting on 27 June 2020 via Zoom video conference from 6-7pm ADT in accordance Article 15 of the SNS Constitution and Bylaws 0f 2018 and the Direction of the Minister – Shareholder or Member meetings under a state of emergency https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/Ministers-direction-EMA-AGM.pdf

The meeting invite was sent to members via club locker email on Saturday 20 June and contained the link to the meeting, the meeting ID and password and instructions. If you intend to attend and did not receive an email invite please contact philjourdeuil@gmail.com

The proposed Agenda follows:

  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Approve Agenda
  3. Approve Minutes of the 2019 AGM
  4. Receive the Presidents Report
  5. Receive the Treasurer’s Report
  6. Approve Annual Dues, Membership Classes and Discounts
  7. Update on Event Sanctioning, Athlete and Team Selection Policies and 2020-21 Competitive Calendar
  8. Covid Response
  9. Election of Directors
  10. Award Recipients
  11. New Business
  12. Adjournment

Meeting materials are available here https://nssquash.ca/board-activity/agms/2019-20-agm/

Updated – Squash Return to Play Guidelines for Nova Scotia

Hello everyone,

After consultation with Sport Canada, Squash Canada, Sport Nova Scotia, the Provincial Squash Associations in the Provinces and Territories, review by the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage, and approval by the Board of Directors of Squash Nova Scotia I am pleased to release the following Return to Play Guidelines for the sport of squash.

So what does that mean? It means that can we play again as soon as your club can prepare, approve and communicate a plan to operate under these guidelines and the provincial public health restrictions in force.

Although Squash Nova Scotia will not be inspecting facilities and monitoring compliance, Public Health will and clubs should be aware of the impact of non-compliance with fines of up to $1000 for individuals and $7500 for businesses being levied for each COVID-19 incident.With the Premier’s further relaxing of the COVID-19 Restrictions today I am pleased to provide an update on the implementation of the approved Return to Play Guidelines. Whereas before play was to be limited to solo play or drill and match play within a two family bubble.  We are now happy to announce that you could proceed to implement phase three of the guidelines which includes two strangers drilling or playing modified games which maintain the physical distance of two meters, but also of play between two members of the same 10 person social group who are not practicing physical distancing. We will let you know if anything changes.

Clubs are also reminded to check with their insurance provider as Squash Canada learned, for example, that their General Comprehensive Liability policy has an exclusion for pandemic, as they were advised is the case with most policies,.  Their Director’s & Officers Liability Policy does not specifically exclude claims relating to a pandemic.  Do you know what your policies might and might not cover?

Clubs should not reopen if they are not ready to do so safely. A risk assessment tool is included here. The recommended process to reopen a squash facility includes:
  • The facility’s Board or Management having discussions about how to provide a safe environment for your members within the context of Provincial Health and Sport guidelines and those of Squash NS.
  • Creating a plan to ensure that you provide an ongoing safe environment for your members and everything has been accounted for before opening the doors.
  • Ensuring that you clearly communicate to your members what is happening and their obligations to ensure they maintain a safe environment at your club.
  • Bringing your plan to life and ensure people are responsible for each ongoing action.
  • Routinely checking that your plan is being implemented as designed and based on good practice. If it’s not adjust it.

Here are the  Return to Squash Guidelines approved by the Board of Directors of Squash NS in two categories:

  1. Player guidelines
  2. Organizational guidelines for facilities and coaches

Some useful solo and socially distanced drills are included for coaches.

Please address questions on these guidelines to Phil Jourdeuil. Please address questions about your facility’s reopening plans to them.

People affiliated with Squash NS on ClubLocker and who have opted in to receive communications will have received an email with information on the reopening guidelines.

Many thanks,

Phil Jourdeuil,

President Squash NS