The Victoria Bowmen Association

Phase II – Competition Allowed in Own Health Region

September 2020


This document was developed by the COVID-19 Return to Sport Committee of the BC Archery Association and adapted for use by the Victoria Bowmen.


The BC Archery Association has outlined a return to competition plan, which allows for specific archery competitions within a certain health area and club. Archery is an individual sport and is well suited to early reintroduction into our communities. By its nature, it is often social, but has much of the Physical Distancing required built into the sport already.

Specific precautions will be needed pre- and post-competition to ensure safety is maintained, and minor changes are required to ensure physical distancing on the Shooting Line is planned for and enforced.

In addition, the club will need to consider the regulations in place in your own community, as well as those of the specific municipality, region and province.

Focus of Phase II

The second phase of reopening the sport will be:

  1. Region based – participation may be expanded to included clubs within your Health Region
  2. Introduction of Competition – Continue with skills focused practice. Competition may now be held in small groups (in-club, inter-club). Provincial Competitions will be introduced in a later phase.

Complementary Documents

This document should be reviewed in conjunction with viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines (PDF) (including the Return to Sport Activity Chart (PDF)), which provides information pertaining to sport in general. BC Archery’s document (PDF) provides guidance on how to alter archery-specific activity. Both documents are necessary to ensure adequate consideration of changes to protocols. These documents can be found on the BC Archery website.

General Considerations

In addition to the changes and modifications made at our facility to offer Return to Sport programming, additional considerations are needed when adapting competition to COVID-19 safety protocols. The use of this club-specific Return to Play plan should continue to be followed while adapting the following guidelines in consideration of competitive events.

Whereby these documents are recommendations and guidelines and not law, any Provincial Health Orders are law and should be abided appropriately. Information about the Public Health Order for Mass Gathering Events can be found at this link (PDF) and on the BC Government’s Resource page for Orders, Notices and Guidance.

For the purposes of the Order and these guidelines, the definition of an “organized activity” or “event” includes any place an individual attends with a set time or for a specific purpose, including attendance at a venue accessed with a membership, in this case the VB range at 2401 West Burnside.

There is also a requirement from the Provincial Health Office that every organization (business, society or otherwise) have a completed and posted Plan prior to recommencing activity.

Occupancy Limits and Group Size

The number of people present in any single venue: indoor range, outdoor range, etc., including staff, participants and spectators will not exceed 50 (or the limit listed on the Provincial Health Order). However, this number must be reduced as needed to ensure adequate physical distancing depending on the limitations of the venue.

For this purpose, the venue will include shooting areas, staging, equipment storage, spectator, staff and officials’ areas, and any other area associated with the practice or event.

Consideration should be given to posting a volunteer at the door / site entrance to restrict entry. This volunteer would then count the number of people that have entered the venue, and the number that have left, ensuring that the number of people on-site does not exceed the pre-determined group limit. Like what we may have witnessed at retail stores, those waiting could queue up while physically distanced, or turned away and/or asked to return later. Preregistration helps to mitigate this issue. The use of a preregistration system could also provide a means for communication. If an email address is part of the data collected, this would allow organizers to send updates and information to the registrants, ie. Instructions/rules for the venue, health/COVID questions, reminder to stay home if not feeling well, etc. As well it assists with contact tracing documentation. It may seem like extra work, but ultimately it should save some time and administration. It also provides an estimate of how many people are interested in attending.

Specifically, for the Victoria Bowmen we will keep track of how many people are on the property during any event and that number shall not be more than 50.

Program Details

Event Types discussed in this addendum:

  • Instruction for beginners and youth (JOP, camps, etc)
  • Outdoor Target competitions
  • Indoor Target competitions

Instruction for Beginners and Youth

Where possible, classes and instruction for a group of archers should be separated by skill level. This would allow varying class sizes and number of instructors that may be required. A class for participants who have never held a bow may need to have fewer participants so that the instructor is able to spend more time teaching, may require the use of enhanced cleaning protocols and the wearing of more personal protective equipment by both the participants and the instructors. Those participants with some experience at archery, and those attending an ongoing JOP program, may require less close distance instruction.

Club bows and arrows may need to be used for these groups and will require additional cleaning. Club equipment may be sanitized following the guidelines set in the Return to Play document. However, it is difficult to clean a string without affecting the life of the materials. Allow a week between uses of club bows for the virus to naturally die from the string and serving, while continuing to clean the limbs and riser before and after each use. Where strings are easily changed (recurves, barebows, longbows) have extra strings available to be swapped out between groups: sanitize the riser and limbs and hang the used string for a week. Also, porous materials may be difficult to sanitize, and it may make sense to add the cost of an armguard and finger tab to your registration fees. These become property of the participant and they take them home and bring them back for each lesson.

Instructors and coaches will need to consider how to adapt the instruction for beginners and youth. Instead of using hands-on form correction, use the camera on a phone/tablet to take pictures/video of the action in question, and show the participant what they look like and what changes you wish them to make. Demonstrate—use more verbal and visual instruction to maintain physical distance. If you cannot keep a 2m distance, ensure to wear a mask and sanitize your hands.

Venue capacity* is an important consideration when offering youth programs. Parents may wish to stay and watch their child, or it may be a requirement of the club that an adult be present with their child in case of an emergency (ex. power failure, bear on the field). These parents/chaperones must be included in the capacity count. If there are many archers, or a smaller venue, ask parents to leave siblings at home. Perhaps they could wait in a coffee shop next door, or in their car in the parking lot. For smaller venues, especially indoor, consider mapping out the area and marking the space for people to stand. Visual cues are helpful when explaining that there are not enough Xs on the floor to host one athlete’s parents, brother, sister and granny that all want to watch. If you are tech savvy and have the ability, set up a video feed where spectators can watch from a distance.

*as stipulated by the Provincial Health Order (see Occupancy Size & Group Limits above)

The use of balloons is discouraged unless inflated with a pump.



Preregistration prevents people from travelling and milling about the parking lot, assures their ability/space to participate, and assists with contact tracing.

  • If a participant does show up without preregistering, it is up to the organizers to allow them to enter or to turn them away.
    • Event capacity must be restricted to 50 people or fewer*. This includes the organizers, officials, coaches, spectators, parents/chaperones—anyone that is on-site. If the 51st person arrives, you must send them away. (*or the number stipulated by the Provincial Health Order)
  • Registration forms could indicate how many spaces are available—if it is a smaller number, the participant may be encouraged to secure their spot and register instead of taking a chance and simply showing up the day of the event
  • If a club can offer multiple shooting times for the event, it may be possible for the unregistered participant to compete in the next available time slot: win-win for the club and the archer!

Judges / Officials

  • Judges should wear a mask while on the Field of Play. (See the section on Masks in the Indoor Target section below.)
  • When performing Equipment inspections, Judges should sanitize hands before and after touching the archer’s equipment, if wiping the equipment down is not an option. Wearing gloves, and sanitizing gloves, is an option to reduce Judge exposure to sanitizer.
    • the Judge should attempt to avoid handling archer’s equipment, if possible
  • Bowscales should be wiped down between archers
  • When inspecting fingertabs, Judges should use a cleaned pencil, pen or a popsicle stick to separate the layers, or ask the archer to separate the layers of the tab
  • When on the Field of Play, Judges may need to inspect the shot arrows. Physical-distancing protocols are always to be respected by both the Judge and the athletes.
  • Judges should avoid handling score cards unless necessary.
  • All Judges should also complete the Symptom Screening / Health Check (below) prior to being on the Field of Play

Participant Conduct

While on the Field of Play, the Judges normally have responsibility related to the rules of archery. With the restrictions in place for COVID Return to Play there are some additional considerations. The majority of archers will abide by the rules and guidance stipulated. However, in the event that a Judge observes that an archer is not respecting the Return to Play and/or Return to Competition rules they should bring this to the attention of the Event Organizer who has the authority, and backing of Archery Canada and the BC Archery, to issue a warning to the archer or ask them to leave the Field of Play and remove them from the competition if they do not respect the request to follow rules or have repeatedly violated the rules. This is for the safety of all participants.

Cleaning protocols

  • Anything touched by the participants should be wiped down before and after the competition.
  • Archers should use hand sanitizer after every end.
  • Bottles of cleaning solution should be on hand to spray down additional touchpoints (for example, when an arrow is shot in the wood of the butt stand, many parts of the stand are touched during the extraction. The solution is handy in this case)
  • These cleaning protocols (and those listed in the Return to Play Plan) should be regarded as the minimum standard. The archers/organizers may wish to clean more often.
  • Further Reference: How long the virus lives on various surfaces

Symptom Screening / Health Check

Every person attending the facility should be asked the standard symptom screening questions, as described in the Return to Play Plan – Phase I. A Sample Illness Policy can be found in Appendix A (PDF). Should an attendee reveal that they are symptomatic or high risk, they should immediately be removed from the group, distanced from the group, and advised to wear a facemask until they can return home.

The screening questions will be:

  • Does anyone in the group:
    1. Feel unwell?
    2. Have a cough or cold?
    3. Have a Fever?
    4. Been in contact with someone who is known to have COVID-19 in the last 14 days?

Outdoor Target Events

Following the Appendices for Range Set-Up, Single Shooting Line and Double Shooting Line from the Return to Play Plan, archers can be assigned to target butts with standard spacing of butts, and having only one athlete on the shooting line at a time for each target butt (one athlete standing behind, when offering a double-line).

Scoring & Scorecards

Double-scoring is still required, however, with some modifications, this can occur as it has in the past. There will be a maximum of 2 archers per target butt, so each will keep score. Calling arrows can be determined by the athletes (each calls their own, or they call the others’, the athletes can decide). Instead of exchanging cards to sign at the end of the event, the archers can hold out their scorecards to compare that they are the same. Each signs their set of cards on the appropriate line (archer or scorer). The archers then both approach the scorekeepers’ table, and either deposit their signed cards in a box (to be opened and recorded in a week), or the person at the scorekeeper’s table could verify that the cards match and take a picture and/or record the value of the cards without needing to touch them, and then asking the archers to deposit the cards in a box (to be kept for verification purposes only, in a week).

Calling A Judge

When needing the assistance of an official to determine the value of an arrow, the archers must move away from the target to permit space for the judge. Archers should maintain 2m distance from both the judge and each other. Once the judge has voiced their decision, the judge can resume their place behind the athletes, and the athletes may once again approach the target and continue with scoring, marking, and pulling arrows.

Indoor Target Events

Indoor Target competition can occur in much the same way as Outdoor Target (detailed above), but with the exception that it may be necessary for everyone indoors to be wearing face masks. At the time of writing this document, there is no recommendation for the wearing of facemasks at all indoor functions. However, as we have so often experienced through this pandemic, the guidelines around wearing face masks may change by the time we return to indoor participation in the fall.


The concern of wearing face masks comes with touching the mask. Your hands contaminate the mask as it is your hands that touch surfaces that others have touched. If it is ensured that hands are sanitized after each end, there should be no issue with wearing a mask during competition:

  • Mask is worn upon entry to the facility
  • Mask is worn while down-range at the target
  • Prior to shooting and prior to touching mask, sanitize your hands
  • Mask is removed to shoot
  • Once all arrows for that end have been shot, replace your mask
  • Sanitize your hands
  • Repeat

Note: If the archer wishes to wear a mask while shooting, they can, provided it is done so safely (does not interfere with the equipment thereby causing a hazard).

Appendix A – Sample Illness Policy

Reproduced from Appendix C of the viaSport Guidelines

In this policy, “Team member” includes an employee, contractor, volunteer, participant, or parent/spectator.

  1. Inform an individual in a position of authority (coach, team manager, program coordinator) immediately if you feel any symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and painful swallowing, stuffy or runny nose, loss of sense of smell, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea or diarrhea. See BCCDC website for a full list of symptoms.
  2. Assessment
    1. Team members must review the self-assessment signage located throughout the facility each morning before their shift/practice/activity to attest that they are not feeling any of the COVID 19 symptoms.
    2. If Team Members are unsure please have them use the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool.
    3. Managers/coaches may visually monitor team members to assess any early warning signs as to the status of their health and to touch base on how they are regarding their personal safety throughout the workday/practice/activity.
  3. If a Team Member is feeling sick with COVID-19 symptoms
    1. They should remain at home and contact Health Link BC at 8-1-1.
    2. If they feel sick and /or are showing symptoms while within the sport environment, they should be sent home immediately and contact 8-1-1 for further guidance.
    3. No Team Member may participate in a practice/activity if they are symptomatic.
  4. If a Team Member tests positive for COVID-19
    1. Follow the direction of health officials.
  5. Quarantine or Self-Isolate if:
    1. You have travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days.
    2. You have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
    3. You have been advised to do so by health officials.

Appendix B – Sample Participant Agreement

Application – all athletes, coaches, members, volunteers, participants, and family members of participants while in attendance at club activities (“Participants”).

All Participants of the Victoria Bowmen Association tournament or events agree to abide by the following points when entering club facilities and/or participating in club activities under the COVID-19 Response plan and RTP Protocol:

  • I agree to symptom screening checks and will let my club know if I have experienced any of the symptoms in the last 14 days.
  • I agree to stay home if feeling sick and remain home for 14 days if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • I agree to sanitize my hands upon entering and exiting the facility, with soap or sanitizer.
  • I agree to sanitize the equipment I use throughout my practice with approved cleaning products provided by the club (shared and personal equipment).
  • I agree to continue to follow social distancing protocols of staying at least 2m away from others.
  • I agree to abide by all my club’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines.
  • I understand that if I do not abide by the aforementioned policies/guidelines, that I may be asked to leave the club for up to 14 days to help protect myself and others around me.
  • I acknowledge that continued abuse of the policies and/or guidelines may result in suspension of my club membership temporarily.
  • I acknowledge that there are risks associated with entering club facilities and/or participating in club activities, and that the measures taken by the club and participants, including those set out above and under the COVID-19 Response Plan and Return to Sport Protocols, will not entirely eliminate those risks.