SOBC Return to Sport news March 31

SOBC Return to Sport Plan principles

Even though there have been changes in some of the province-wide health restrictions, the requirements for sport training have not changed since March 22. Special Olympics BC in-person sport training can continue to take place with groups of up to 10 adults/mixed ages (outdoors) or 2 adults/mixed ages (indoors) under the below conditions. Youth programs can continue under the below conditions.

But now more than ever, it is essential that all training groups must stay separate from each other in and around any venue. Training groups cannot come together in a parking lot to warm up. They must follow the SOBC and facility requirements for separate entries and exits into facilities. They must not carpool with anyone from outside their own training group. From the time they leave home to the time they return, training groups must stay separate from each other, even if they are using the same venue to train.

These rules are in place to help keep everyone safe, by limiting our numbers of contacts and exposure possibilities. Thank you for encouraging everyone to keep themselves, their loved ones, and their communities safe by following the provincial restrictions and SOBC Return to Sport protocols.

SOBC is so grateful for all that Locals are doing to offer what they can under the circumstances, and plan for the future opportunities ahead. We’re also grateful to all of those who are creating safe outdoor opportunities, even with sports that are traditionally held indoors – outdoor rhythmic gymnastics, for example, can be done! 

Summary of current status:

Outdoor in-person adult and mixed-age training

Adult and mixed-age outdoor sport activities can have a maximum of 10 athletes/coaches. 

Please note one change from the March 22 update: For consistency and helping ensure safety, all sports must have a ratio of 1 coach to up to 4 athletes, up to a maximum of 10 people in a training group. 

  • Training groups cannot gather together at any point in or around a venue. This means, if the facility is large enough and their protocols allow, two groups of 10 can train at the same facility, but the groups cannot come together at any point before, during, or after that training.
  • A training group must have the same members each week – to limit contacts, there can be no switching between groups.
  • One of the 10 individuals in each group must take on the Program Safety Volunteer role. 

Indoor in-person adult and mixed-age training

Adult and mixed-age indoor sport activities can have a maximum of 1 athlete with 1 coach. 

  • Each training pair at a venue must train independently, maintaining all required physical distancing. They can share a facility (e.g. pool) with other training pairs from their Local program, as long as the facility rules are followed and the 3 metres of physical distancing can be maintained, but there can be absolutely no gathering of training pairs in or around the facility at any time. 
  • The same coach and athlete must train together each week, independent of others. 
  • The coach must take on the Program Safety Volunteer role.

Youth in-person training

Programs where the participants are all 21 and under can have a maximum of 9 athletes and 3 coaches (12 participants total). There must be at minimum a 3:1 athlete-to-coach ratio. 

If your program has both youth and adults, you must follow the requirements for adult activities. 

Conditions for all training

All participants in sport, fitness, and youth program activities must practice physical distancing of 3 metres/10 feet during training. 

All the previous SOBC Return to Sport Level 1 safety protocols remain in place. Highlights include:

  • Participants must stay home if they are sick in any way;
  • Programs can offer individual skill training only (no game play);
  • No spectators at any training;
  • No travel outside your home community/regular training site;
  • Participants can be in only one Special Olympics program at a time;
  • Program Safety Volunteer duties must be carried out by a volunteer at every practice;
  • When carpooling to a program venue, health screenings must be done before entering the vehicle. No one is permitted to carpool with athletes or coaches outside of their training group.

A reminder that prior to reopening, all programs must apply to reopen using this form, and must receive approval from the provincial office before restarting. Please submit the form to your Community Development Coordinator. 

Powerlifting and indoor Club Fit remain paused at this time, because of the Provincial Health Order suspending indoor high-intensity group exercise. 

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

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

To find virtual resources for staying active, connected, positive, and informed, please click here.

Find all SOBC Return to Sport resources