Latest COVID-19 News

27 Nov 2020


For now, it is likely not possible for all teams to keep playing given the regional (local) only order for competitive outdoor sports. At the same time, that should not mean that we will not offer what is available and can be played for teams that are wanting to play. There is no doubt that the COVID-19 situation is concerning for all of us and is more concerning to some over others.  We all need to do our part as leaders, players, and community members to mitigate the spread. 

The PHO is now much more specific in their targeting of activities that have shown greater community spread.  Outdoor sports have been specifically sanctioned (with conditions) at this time and while each league can make its own decisions on behalf of its membership, the common denominator is at minimum a compliance with PHO orders. Having said that, we feel we have adhered to the spirit of PHO's directive on as yet undefined "communities".

With local region/city/community games only being scheduled, we are continuing to adjust with orders as they evolve. Our League is already split into the two major Health Regions, with minor exceptions. Vancouver and Coastal Health includes Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Richmond. Fraser Health is basically everybody else in our League. ViaSport is poised to define areas even further, at which time we will review our plans for games.

As always, any team or Individual player will always have the option to decline to be scheduled further or to play in any specific game. Team managers should be in constant contact with their players to keep a comfort check on this. All managers have a lot of responsibilities currently to ensure their players sanitize and do all the right things around distancing etc. and general comfort to participate is just one more of those things. Teams should therefore discuss with their opponents this weekend as to whether they wish to play the scheduled game or would like to cancel. Late cancellation penalties are not applicable due to the “Special Circumstances”. Again, the main concern is travel for the individuals participating. 

Further to this, we will again examine the schedule with a view to reducing travel next week. These restrictions are valid until at least December 7th and may be extended.
If you do decide to cancel, email, and Martin will cancel for you (which generates messages to all parties, including the referee).

COVID-19 Protocols


The BCMSL is an outdoor Soccer League operating year-round. In response to the BC Government & Via Sports BC, Soccer Return To Play (Phase 3), the BCMSL will adopt but not limited to the recommended Guidelines when occupying all Municipal, Provincial, Recreational Parks and School Boards outdoor facilities.


  • Prior to any participation in the BCMSL activities, all registered participants must sign the waiver acknowledging that they have read and agreed to abide by the BCMSL COVID19 protocols as set up below
  • Participant/s from other soccer organization is/are not allowed to participate in BCMSL activities
  • Unregistered individual will not be allowed to participate in any BCMSL activities
  • Prior to attending a BCMSL activity, participant must inform the team/club and the League if he or any member of their household has or experienced any of the Corona Virus symptoms 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 and loss of appetite in the last 14 days or has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days. 
  • Participants will be routinely contacted to inquire about their state of health
  • Individual Team with specific schedule (Day, Time, & Field) assigned by the Municipal Parks & Recreations/School Boards/the League will not be allowed to make changes to the schedule 
  • Each Team with no more than 25 participants, will occupy their own space on each sideline of the field respectively, while practising social distancing when not in the field of play
  • Team sharing of beverages (Water Bottles) is not allowed
  • Handling of the ball in the field of play is not allowed by any player except for the Goalkeeper
  • Throw-ins are not allowed (Handled as an indirect free kick from the sideline)
  • Avoid spitting and nose clearing as much as possible (Use your sleeves/jersey) 
  • Accolades during and after the game (Handshakes, high fives, hugging) will not be exercised
  • All game balls will be sanitized repeatedly throughout the game 
  • Post game teams Socializing on the field is not allowed 
  • Dressing Room use (If any) will be restricted as per the social distancing protocol or Municipal recommendations
  • Soiled game equipment/uniforms will not be shared
  • All team equipment is to be handled by the designated staff only
  • Wearing a mask is mandatory when social distancing is not possible
  • Wearing a mask during BCMSL activities is encouraged but not mandatory when social distancing is possible 
  • Game official will be staying within their “Group/Co-hort” as much as possible 

As a responsible organization BCMSL will notify the Health & Safety Authorities if any participant or member/s of their household is identified with the Corona Virus symptoms.

COVID-19 Waiver

As a participant of the British Columbia Masters Soccer League, I agree to abide by the rules set out below when participating in BCMSL activities under the COVID-19 Response plan and Return To Play (Phase 3) Protocols:

  • I agree to have read and understand BCMSL COVID19 Protocols
  • I agree to abide by BCMSL COVID-19 Protocols at all times.
  • As a registered participant of BCMSL, I certify that I am not a participant in any other soccer organization.
  • I agree to inform BCMSL and my team/club if I, or any member of my household has or experienced any of the Corona Virus symptoms or has travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days.
  • I agree to stay home if feeling sick and remain home for 14 days if experiencing Corona Virus symptoms 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 and loss of appetite.
  • I agree to follow the social distancing protocols of staying at least 2m away from others when not in the field of play or wear a protective mask.
  • I agree not to share any equipment or beverages during BCMSL activities.
  • I acknowledge that there are risks associated when participating in BCMSL club activities. The measures taken by BCMSL and my Team/club, including those set out above and under the BCMSL COVID-19 Response Plan and Return to Play Protocols, will not entirely eliminate those risks.
  • I understand that if I do not abide by the aforementioned protocols/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 protocols and/or guidelines may result in suspension of my BCMSL/club membership. 

COVID-19 Game Protocols


The BCMSL participants’ Health & Safety is our priority. After a lengthy review of the COVID19 and ViaSport requirements/recommendations of Phase 2/3, the committee has adopted the following but not limited to when performing the game activities


Game Protocols

Game Changes:

A.    Players may only be registered on one soccer team and in only one league

      (This will help minimize the spread of the virus – ViaSport and PHO requirement)

B.    Players should come dressed, arriving at the facility no more than 15 minutes before game time.

C.    Players must leave the facility promptly at the end of the game. (No social gathering)

D.    Each team will occupy one side of the field (sidelines) while maintaining Social Distancing or wearing a mask at all time

E.     Each team will designate two (2) staff members to handle their equipment (Nets, Balls, Corner Flags etc.)

F.     Each team will provide two (2) sanitized game balls, re-sanitized repeatedly for re-use

G.    Each team will provide hand sanitizer and sanitizing/disinfectant agents for the sanitization of the balls

H.    Once the ball is out of play on any side of the field, it will be replaced by a sanitized one

I.      There will be no throw-ins (Handled as an indirect free kick from the sideline)

J.      The sideline free kick will be considered as a normal free kick with the offside rules in effect

K.    Player can not run to the ball for a sideline free kick, just one (1) step back and is allowed to kick/move the ball only once

L.     The “wall” for the sideline free kick will be maintained by only one (1) player at a distance of 5m (15ft)

M.   The Direct free kick will be played as per FIFA rules (Voluntary Wall at 10m (30ft)

N.    Players are not allowed to handle the ball in the field of play except for the Keeper

O.    Goalkeepers must wear gloves and should sanitize them at half-time

P.     Confrontation between players is prohibited and will result in the players suspension

Q.    If a replacement ball is needed, it must be sanitized before it is brought into play.

R.    Spitting is prohibited. Spitting in the field of play will result in a ten (10) minutes suspension

S.     When a substitution is made the player exiting will maintain Social Distancing or wear a mask on the sideline

T.     There will be no equipment or beverages sharing

U.    Spectators are not permitted within 15m (50ft) of the game participants


League Scheduling Changes:

·       Games to be played in a round robin format in a “Group/Co-hort)” of 4 teams or less to a maximum of 50 Players per game (Co-hort) and to a maximum of 100 players per Group

·       There will be 2 weeks break (Quarantine) after the 1st. round robin is over (6 Games)

·       After 2 weeks break (Quarantine), teams will change to a newly-formed “Group/Co-hort”

·       The cycle will repeat until the end of the season.

If things improve during and after the 1st. try (1st. 2 weeks break), BC Soccer indicated that they may eliminate the “Group/Co-hort” but participants will still have to remain within their League.