Whether and how we're allowed to play pickleball currently and for the next several months is governed by three areas:
- Provincial Health Orders (PHOs) - as issued by Dr. Bonnie Henry
- BC viaSport - which takes the PHOs and adapts them to provide guidelines for organized sports in BC
- The City of Surrey - which takes the above two into consideration when deciding whether to open the courts, grant court rental permits and under what rules
The current status of these three is:
- PHOs - currently limit outdoor gatherings to 10 or fewer with social distancing required; stay within your same-household social bubble; the current PHOs are in place at least until April 19 but, given the province's recent uptick in COVID cases, are likely to be extended. For example, we've recently seen an extension applied to indoor dining.
- BC viaSport - no organized leagues or games, with 3 metre social distancing required, no spectators. Hence, for pickleball: singles or same-household doubles only
- City of Surrey - courts are open for singles or same household doubles only; no group court rental permits are being granted
Subject to potential sanctions by any of the three governing bodies, as individuals, pickleball players are deciding for themselves whether to follow these guidelines. For example, we're seeing lots of doubles, even if the partners are not same household and there is lots of between-game milling around at courts.
As an organized club, the Surrey Pickleball Club does not have the ability to ignore and go against these guidelines.
Given the above, the current status for the Club is:
- Weekly Play - The City has not yet granted us the permits to begin weekly play on May 3 as planned. Within a few days of being granted those permits, we will open weekly play. When that happens, we expect to have to be operating under COVID management guidelines. Those guidelines have been developed and we have submitted those guidelines to the City. We're ready to go!
- Clinics - The City has not yet granted us the permits to hold the clinics. It is unlikely that the Renneson clinics, scheduled for mid May, will be permitted to proceed (group size, distancing, City permits) and will have to be rescheduled. If postponement is confirmed, we will work with Mark's organization to try to reschedule his clinics. The Deakin clinics, scheduled for mid July, remain scheduled for now.
- Tournaments - The City has not yet granted us permits to hold the tournaments. The members-only Spring Launch tournament (originally scheduled for May 1) has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 5 (registration mid-May). If restrictions prevent us from holding it on June 5 it will be cancelled since further postponements would then start to overlap with other tournaments. The Mid-Summer Slam (July) and the Grip 'n Rip (September) remain as currently scheduled.
While we're still not in a wide-open playing situation, we are in a much better place than we were at the beginning of the since-cancelled 2020 outdoor season. Once the guiding bodies allow us to provide club events, we will notify you and be ready to get everyone back to the courts. In the mean time, stay safe and stay well.