SOBC Return to Sport news June 17

SOBC Return to Sport Plan principles

Special Olympics BC’s Return to Sport status is as follows: 

  • All sports (except powerlifting) are in SOBC’s Return to Sport Level 2. 
  • Powerlifting is in SOBC’s Return to Sport Level 1.

Special Olympics BC Return to Sport Level 1 and 2 general requirements can be found in the Program Progressions chart. Sport operation details can be found in the sport-specific protocols.

Full SOBC Return to Sport Plan and resources 

At a glance, SOBC Return to Sport Level 2 involves the following:

Group sizes

  • OUTDOOR sport training (all ages) can take place with a group of up to 20 people. All groups must have a ratio of 1 coach to up to 4 athletes. Each group must include a Program Safety Volunteer responsible for making sure that COVID-19 protocols are followed.
  • INDOORS: Adult and mixed-age indoor sport activities can have a maximum of 1 athlete with 1 coach. 
    o    Sports that are traditionally held indoors can consider operating outdoors to allow more participants.
    o    Youth indoors: Programs where the participants are all 21 and under can continue to have a maximum of 9 athletes and 3 coaches (12 participants total). There must be at minimum a 3:1 athlete-to-coach ratio. 
    o    If your program has both youth and adults, you must continue to follow the requirements for adult activities.


  • INDOORS: Masks are still required at all times.
  • OUTDOORS: Masks are required only when 2 metres of physical distancing can’t be maintained. But participants should be encouraged to wear masks whenever possible.

Physical distancing and hand hygiene

  • OUTDOORS: Practice physical distancing of 2 metres on and off the fields of play.*
  • INDOORS: Continue practicing physical distancing of:
    o    3 metres/10 feet during training, or 
    o    2 metres/6 feet when entering and leaving facilities.*
  • Continue practicing strong hand hygiene.

*This has changed from our projection from June 1, based on SOBC community feedback while remaining in accordance with provincial sport guidelines.


  • No travel for sports and training outside of your home community, or your home program.

Sport and operations 

  • Athletes and volunteers are not restricted to participating in only one SOBC program at a time; they can participate in multiple SOBC programs at once. However, all Locals will want to make sure that all interested participants – including those on waiting lists – have a spot in a program before giving a participant the chance to be in multiple sports at once.
  • Game play is permitted as long as participants maintain 2 metres of physical distancing throughout. For some sports, this will be easy; for others, we realize coaches and athletes will need to get creative. We appreciate and applaud everyone’s flexibility and commitment to ensuring safety! 
  • No spectators are permitted at this time. 

Before reopening, every program must submit a Return to Sport Program Application to your Community Development Coordinator and receive approval. 

In-person Local meetings are permitted, both indoors and outdoors, while following all the Return to Meetings protocols in the SOBC Return to Sport Plan

Special Olympics BC’s Return to Sport approach remains slow, staged, and focused on the safety of all our members. The vision is to reopen carefully and gradually. We know we all want to continue to ensure we have a safe and welcoming environment in all Special Olympics programs, for everyone who wants to return.

We will be monitoring the provincial progression and feedback from the SOBC community, and will keep everyone posted on when we will move to the next levels in the SOBC Return to Sport. 

Sincere thanks to everyone who is working hard to keep us all safe and offer the Special Olympics opportunities that matter so much to so many. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to email

To find the province’s B.C. Restart outline, please click here.

To find all province-wide restrictions on events, social gatherings, and travel, please click here.

Full SOBC Return to Sport Plan and Resources