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HPC Return to Play Guidelines v1
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High Park Club

Curling Return to Play Guidelines

The Board of Directors and the COVID-19 Response Committee have prepared the following document to detail High Park Club’s operations for the upcoming 2020-2021 curling season. The format of these operations is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

This document contains very important information regarding curling membership and return-to-play protocols. It is extremely important that you read this document closely and familiarize yourself with its contents.

As this situation remains fluid, this document will be updated when there are any changes to the protocols contained herein. When there are changes to this document, those changes will be communicated with you.

Version No.

Date Released

Author

Description of Changes

Pages Impacted

1.0

August 24, 2020

BoD / Covid Cmte

Initial Release

All

2.0

August 31, 2020

BoD / Covid Cmte


Contents:

Executive Summary        3

General        5

COVID-19 Symptoms & Exposure        5

Waiver & Self-Screening        5

Masks & Face Coverings        6

Exposure at the Club        6

Enforcement        6

Membership        7

Members & Guests        7

Leaves of Absence        7

Billing        7

Refunds        8

Section Operations        8

Multiple Sections        8

Sparing        8

Facility Details        9

Bar & Kitchen        9

Ingress & Egress        10

Physical Distancing & Signage        10

Movement Through Building        10

Locker Rooms        10

Ice Operations        11

Game Play Details        12

Appendices        14

Appendix 1: Ingress and Egress        14


Executive Summary

The High Park Club Board of Directors and Management are prepared to announce our plan for the anticipated commencement of the 2020-2021 curling season. Our plan is founded on current public health guidance and generally accepted best practices for disease transmission control.  

Our plan focuses on guiding our members in avoiding and reducing risk. Members who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to consult their health care provider prior to coming to the Club. Members who are also members of other sports and/or other clubs may have increased risk of exposure. While members are not prohibited from joining other clubs, it is prudent of all members to minimize the number of individuals with whom they have close contact, and are therefore asked to choose their recreational activities carefully.

The Board of Directors has enhanced its Leave of Absence Policy for the 2020-2021 season. Members who take a 1-year leave of absence for any reason may pay a house membership fee in order to retain their returning section and team status for the 2021-2022 curling season. In the event that government or public health mandate requires that the Club be closed either for a prolonged period of time mid-season, or the curling season is prematurely terminated, the Board is prepared to consider partial refunds of section fees to members, to be determined. 

It is imperative that while at the Club, all members continue to follow the advice of our public health officials. These responsible behaviours are fundamental to maintaining a safe environment for all members. Most importantly, if you are feeling unwell or are sick, STAY HOME!

Leagues may commence as early as Monday, September 28th, 2020; section committees will provide details on league schedules in the coming weeks. There will be no bonspiels or events hosted at the Club until further notice.

There are many requirements and challenges to navigate to come up with a return to play plan. The government of Ontario has limited indoor occupancy of a recreation facility to a maximum of 50 persons per room, while always subject to maintaining the physical distancing requirement of 2 metres, and providing separation of groups with no crossover.

This allows for a relatively normal pattern of activity. There can be 40 players on the ice, while the 40 players from the previous draw socialize in either the lounge or the second floor dining room. The Club will be implementing procedures to ensure the separation of adjacent draws, with adequate time to sanitize between draws, both in the rink and in the clubhouse.

Game play will generally follow guidelines laid out in the Return-to-Play Recommendations developed by Curling Canada and CurlON. These guidelines include only a single sweeper on all delivered stones, and no sweeping by the skip/vice of either team on either the delivered stone or stones set in motion by the delivered stone.

Masks will be required in the Club at all times. This includes all times while out on the ice. The only exceptions are when you are eating or drinking seated in the lounge, or if you have trouble breathing while participating in certain activities (e.g. sweeping).

The only people allowed in the facility at any one time are the 40 curlers on the ice, the people playing on adjacent draws in the lounge or dining room, and staff or indispensable volunteers. Spectators or guests, including children, will not be allowed in the Club until further notice. Members’ movement within the building will be restricted to moving between the rink and the appropriate bar/lounge space assigned to their draw.

If any member or staff tests positive for COVID-19, the Club will follow the guidance of Toronto Public Health.

The Board encourage all members to install and use the Government of Canada COVID Alert App found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html


General

The protocols and procedures in this document have been designed to reduce the risk of disease transmission and to help protect the health and safety of Club staff, members, and the community. It is imperative that members familiarize themselves and follow these protocols to the best of their ability.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Exposure

Members must not come to the Club if they meet any of the following conditions:

Sections have been directed by the Board to ensure leniency in game attendance rules, including eliminating penalties for default losses and relaxing minimum team member requirements for regulation games. Do not violate isolation protocols just to go curling!

Members who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to consult their health care provider prior to coming to the Club.

Waiver & Self-Screening

Prior to arriving at the Club, all members must complete the Club’s waiver. This waiver must only be signed once.

The waiver may not be signed by those under the age of majority. As a result, children will not be allowed in the Club during this time, except for Club youth curling programs. Youth members and their parents/guardians are required to complete the Club Assumption of Risk document before participating in the Club’s youth programs.

Prior to each arrival at the Club, members must complete a COVID-19 self-assessment. Management is investigating use of a mobile app or other means to complete this self-assessment before each time they arrive at the Club.

Any member of Management or the Board of Directors may deny entry to Club property to any member who has not electronically submitted a waiver in advance of their arrival at the Club.

Masks & Face Coverings

Members must wear a non-medical mask or face covering while in the Club, in compliance with the City of Toronto By-Law 541-202 and the Club’s Mask Policy.

The Club will observe any and all exemptions to the City’s Mask By-Law. Members should let a member of the staff know if they are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering.

Masks are required in the rink except if a member is having trouble breathing during a game. If a member, at any time, feels physical discomfort from wearing a mask while curling, they should remove it and let a staff member know that they may be in a developing emergency situation and may require medical attention.

Masks are required in the Club lounges and dining room except while eating or drinking. Members must be seated at all times while eating or drinking.

Exposure at the Club

If any member or staff tests positive for COVID-19, HPC will follow the guidance of Toronto Public Health.

The Board encourage all members to install and use the Government of Canada COVID Alert App found here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19/covid-alert.html

Enforcement

Any member of Management or the Board of Directors may direct or provide instruction to members on the proper application of these protocols. Section committee members may assist where appropriate.

Members failing to comply with physical distancing requirements or other protocols may be asked by any member of Management or the Board of Directors to comply immediately or to leave the Club property.

Repeated violation of these protocols, or any serious single violation, will be considered by the Board of Directors to be a breach of the Member Code of Conduct and may result in temporary or permanent suspension of membership.

Membership

Members & Guests

Members are welcome at the Club once they have completed and signed the waiver and have completed the COVID-19 self-assessment on the day of their visit.

Members are asked to refrain from visiting the Club at times when they are not scheduled to play.

No visitors or guests, including children, will be allowed in the Club until further notice, except to participate in the Club’s youth programs.

Leaves of Absence

The Board of Directors recognizes that for health, safety, or other reasons, some members may not be comfortable returning to the Club at this time.

The Club will provide a one-time relief to curling members, giving them the option to take a leave of absence during the 2020-2021 season for any reason; if they do so, members will pay a house membership fee of $150 + HST and retain their returning section and team status upon their return to the Club as of August 1, 2021; this relief will end on July 31, 2021.

If you will be taking a leave of absence for the 2020-2021 season please email Kristy Rawluck, Club Manager, at kristy@highparkclub.com as soon as possible.

Members who later wish to reinstate their curling membership during the 2020-2021 season will be assessed the full membership fee for the season.

Members who are taking a leave of absence will have the same membership rights as House members. Please note that for the 2020-2021 season, House members’ privileges are limited; as described throughout these protocols, access to the Club is limited to times when a member will be curling, and sparing is restricted to members from within each section. It is expected that, under current conditions, members taking a leave of absence will not have opportunities to come to the Club or to curl.  

Billing

Members will be billed by September 30, with House and Section Fees (per the fee schedule) appearing on Members’ September statements issued in early October.

As always, fees are due within 60 days of being billed. If a members’ dues remain unpaid for more than 60 days, the member will lose athletic and other member privileges until the balance is paid in full or alternative arrangements are made with Management. Balances greater than $100 which are outstanding more than 60 days after they were billed are subject to interest at a rate of 2% per month (26.8%p.a.).

Members will also be required to pay any applicable prize fund or food minimum fees depending on the sections that they belong to. These amounts will be communicated to the membership at a later date.

The Board of Directors understands that the current economic environment may be causing financial distress for some of our members. If members wish to make a payment plan, please contact Kristy Rawluck, Club Manager, at kristy@highparkclub.com to make appropriate arrangements.

Refunds

In the event that government or public health mandate requires that the Club be closed either for a prolonged period of time mid-season, or the curling season is prematurely terminated, the Board is prepared to consider partial refunds of section fees to members, to be assessed on a case by case basis.

The Club’s policy for individual members’ refunds due an unforeseen injury or illness remains in place.

Section Operations

Multiple Sections

Public Health guidance and Phase 3 Reopening Guidelines issued by the Province of Ontario restrict participation in leagues to a group of 50 individuals. CurlON and Curling Canada interpretation and guidance have confirmed that, while members may participate in multiple sections, any “league” would necessarily be a subset of a section containing no more than 50 people.

This can take the form of series/flights that play together for a set number of weeks, or other forms of segregated early/late draws traditionally used by individual sign-up sections.  At the conclusion of a series, the “league” would be deemed to have ended, and a new “league” formed for the next series.

Sparing

As a result of the requirement to limit league participation to 50 individuals, members must be both registered in a section, and a part of the sub-”league” (i.e. draw or series) in order to participate in a game. Spares may only be drawn from teams on a bye, alternate players on teams within the league, or a specifically designated spares list, as long as the total number of players in the group does not exceed 50 players.

Youth Programs

The Club will be operating minimal youth programs for the foreseeable future. The Club’s Little Rocks program will be cancelled until further notice. The Club’s Junior/Bantam program will operate a modified program for participants aged 12 and over who have at least 3 years of curling experience. More information on this will be provided in September.

Facility Details

Club staff and contract cleaning staff will conduct regular cleaning and disinfecting of the Club, with particular emphasis on identified high touch areas and high traffic corridors. All Club staff will have been trained in properly enacting the Club’s COVID-19 policies, including First-Aid and CPR, and cleaning and sanitizing protocols.

Superfluous furniture will be removed from the lounge. The theatre/spectator chairs will be taped off. Members must use only their designated gathering/seating areas.

Hand sanitizing stations are installed throughout the Club, and hand-pump sanitizer will be available in the rink. Members are encouraged to sanitize their hands as frequently as possible, especially when moving between different areas of the Club.

In the rink, the following surfaces and fixtures will be sanitized according to the indicated schedules, as follows:

Bar & Kitchen

The bars will be open. For draws where members are directed to use the main floor lounge, members shall use the downstairs bar. For draws where members are directed to use the 2nd floor dining room, members shall use the 2nd floor bar.

The kitchen will be open. Orders will be placed by members at their designated bar (i.e. there is no need to go upstairs to order at the kitchen directly). When members wish to arrive prior to a late draw to order food from the kitchen, they are asked to arrive at the Club only after the early draw has gone into the ice rink.

Masks may be removed when eating and drinking. Members may only eat and drink while seated at their designated table.

Tables in the lounge and dining room will be assigned to each draw and sheet. Furniture will be placed in a physically distanced arrangement. Members must not move tables or chairs from their placed locations. Members must not sit at or touch a table other than their designated table.

A time limit on post-game activities may be imposed to accommodate indoor gathering limits and depending on the day’s schedule.

Ingress & Egress

Physical Distancing & Signage

Members must practice physical distancing at all times while on Club property by remaining 6 feet apart from others.

Signage to direct traffic and movement will be in place in the lounge, in the 2nd floor dining room, and on the ice.

Movement Through Building

Generally, the path that members will take to access various areas of the Club is dependent on whether they are on the Early draw, Late draw, or Single draw in their section on a particular day.

Appendix 1 illustrates the ingress, egress, and other access points throughout the Club, and is summarized below. This document, as well as signage with direction, will be posted throughout the Club.

Traffic flow details for single draw leagues are being developed and will be dependent on their relationship and proximity to other draws.

Early Draw 

Late Draw

Locker Rooms

Locker rooms will be available for members. As much as possible, members must maintain a 6-foot distance from others while in the locker rooms. Masks or face coverings must be worn in the locker rooms, particularly when it is not possible to maintain a 6-foot distance from others.

Additional provisions, including seating, will be made available in the lounge and the upstairs dining room for those members who prefer to not use the locker rooms.  

Ice Operations

The ice area will have any required signage and posters from Toronto Public Health, the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, Government of Canada, and/or Curling Canada.

The following equipment will be removed from the ice playing area:

Club brooms will be available for member use. Disinfected brooms can be found on the broom racks at the rink entrances. Used brooms must be deposited in the appropriate ‘USED BROOMS’ bins and not placed back onto the broom rack.

Hand pump sanitizers and garbage bins will be provided on each sheet at each end to minimize distance and cross-sheet movement. In total, ten (10) hand sanitizing points and garbage bins will be available on-ice for curlers and staff.

The Head Ice Technician, Assistant Ice Technicians, and House and Property Director are the only people allowed within the tech and mechanical room. Special access may be granted by the Head Ice Technician on a per case basis. The Head Ice Technician will log who is given access and when they entered and exited the mechanical room.

The Head Ice Technician and Assistant Ice Technicians are the only persons allowed to handle/touch any and all equipment associated with maintenance of the ice surface, sticky mats, garbage cans,  in the ice area.

The Head Ice Technician and Assistant Ice Technicians will abide by strict procedures to limit the potential for transmission of COVID-19 between each other and members. Ice Technicians will be required to wear masks and gloves at all times during ice maintenance. Members are not permitted into the rink until ice maintenance is completed for their sheet. Members shall not congregate on the boards while their sheet is still being prepared. Consequently, no pre-game practice is permitted. Ice Technicians will remain out of the rink during regular draw play, except in the case of an emergency.

Game Play Details

  1. Games on sheets 1, 3 & 5 will start at the posted start time. Games on 2 & 4 will start 15 minutes after the posted start time. 
  2. Curlers will enter the rink through the prescribed door (Early draw - North door; Late draw - South door)
  3. Masks must be worn on the ice at all times.
  1. If at any time a member has trouble breathing with a mask on, they are encouraged to remove it until they feel comfortable putting it back on.
  1. Players must adhere to physical distancing at all times in the rink.
  1. Distancing markers will be installed in the ice on the divider lines and on the boards at both ends of the sheet. While not involved in the play, players should position themselves on a marker until it is safe to proceed to the throwing end of the sheet.
  1. Instead of a handshake, give a friendly wave or broom tap to start the game.
  2. To determine hammer in the first end, use Rock-Paper-Scissors or Evens-Odds on a stopwatch. Coins and spinners have been removed from the rink. Hammer should be determined prior to going into the rink, in order to minimize time spent on the boards before the start of the game. Some sections may choose to pre-determine hammer/stone colour within their section schedule.
  3. Players must throw their two stones for the entire game (i.e. teams may not change stone order mid-game).
  4. Once a player finishes throwing their stone they will go to a distancing marker to stand.
  5. Only one sweeper may take the stone down the ice. Once the sweeper is finished, they must return to a physical distancing marker.
  6. Only one person may be in the house at a time. As the designated sweeper approaches the house, the person in control of the house must back away from the area of play to maintain a 6-foot distance from the sweeper.
  7. Only the designated sweeper may sweep a stone that is set in motion by the delivered stone or sweep behind the tee line.
  8. One player on the sheet shall be designated the game’s Scorekeeper and will be responsible for keeping score on the provided white boards with the provided dry erase markers.
  9. Players must not touch other players’ equipment.
  10. A dial measure and biter measure will be available on both ends of the Sheet 3. The procedure for measuring a stone is as follows:
  1. Remove gloves and sanitize hands before touching the measuring device(s);
  2. Conduct the measurement (only one player in the house at all times);
  3. Return measure to the measuring station;
  4. Sanitize hands and return to the game.
  1. A buzzer will sound at the 1:45 point of every game, except games on the latest draw of the day. At this point, teams are allowed to finish the end they are in, but shall not start another. This is to ensure timely completion of games and allow ice staff the appropriate amount of time for all draw change activities.
  1. There will be two (2) buzzers per draw: one for Sheets 1, 3 & 5 and a second for Sheets 2 & 4.
  2. Teams that do not comply with the buzzer rule may be assessed a default loss.
  1. Curlers will exit the rink through the prescribed door (Early Draw - North door, Late Draw, South door) and proceed to their assigned area of the Club.


Appendices

Appendix 1: Ingress and Egress

HPC Return-to-Play Guidelines

August 24, 2020