As summer is drawing to a close, some of you may have noticed that the upcoming programs and protocols surrounding the indoor Ultimate season look different. We would like to take this opportunity to clarify why we made that decision, as it was not an easy one to make.
As you are all aware, we are in the middle of a health crisis and it is incumbent upon MODS to follow the advice from public health authorities. When discussing our options for indoor fall programming, we received some direction from Sport Manitoba and had the opportunity to look at submissions from other provincial sports organizations. Our Return to Participate policy for indoor play is guided by the recommendations of both Sport Manitoba and Public Health in order to satisfy their safety precautions so we can have our plans approved.
Our main objective is to reduce risk as much as possible. One recommended strategy for doing so is to eliminate cross contamination. During a recent presentation at Sport Manitoba, Dr. Roussin’s Public Health staff heavily stressed how important it is to keep people in “cohorts” that don’t intermingle.
Removing interactions between cohorts allows for more efficient contact tracing. In the event someone tests positive for COVID-19, the Province will step in and impose self-isolation for all contacts - the infected individual, their teammates, opposition, family members, and any one else considered to be a close contact. This becomes very difficult if we have multiple people playing on multiple teams weaving a network of interconnections amongst our players. In the worst-case scenario, one positive test could cause MODS to shut down all fall programs completely, as opposed to just a single program or handful of teams. Any closure could have a serious negative impact on our finances and hinder our ability to run future programs.
Ultimate is an inclusive community. A decision that increases the risk to specific groups (those at higher risk of serious complications due to COVID-19) is effectively a decision to exclude them from participation. We recognize that this is a significant change from what we are all used to, but this is the reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe the most responsible, safe, and inclusive approach to playing Ultimate indoors is to restrict people to one team, in one program. We will continue to reassess the situation for future programs, and look forward to the day we can resume normal programming.
We hope this helps you all understand that we did not take the responsibility of this decision lightly.
MODS Board of Directors