As we all know, the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on rugby has been more than devastating. The months of health care policy implemented across the country has already forced the cancellation of practices, matches, and the USAR National Championships, as well as reduced national registration contributing to the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy filing on April 1, 2020. Our immediate future has been significantly impacted by each state’s “Reopening” policies, USAR Return to Play Policies, as well as our ensuing MWRFU Policies. We will all need to endure some restrictions, as well as extra precautionary measures to get back on the pitch.
Our passion for rugby motivates players, coaches, referees, and administrators to prepare
for excellence on and off the field. The information in this document provides guidance and support in creating a safe environment that allows us to return to our sport. We need to ensure the safety of our members, supporters, and extended families. COVID-19 spreads mainly through close contact from person-to-person. Some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus. Rugby is a sport with a high risk of transmission. Following these guidelines will not eliminate the risk of infection, but it will significantly reduce the likelihood of occurrence. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid exposure to this virus.
The desire to get back on the pitch is so strong that some may ignore guidance and be reckless in their actions. DO NOT allow your Club to ignore the guidelines. Doing so will not only put yourselves and others at risk of infection but will prolong the absence of competition. Considering the uncertainty we’ve had to endure since March, the MWRFU Executive Committee would like to communicate the MWRFU Policies for RTC. We will continue to have conference calls to dive into the details, and expectations of each LAU and member club to get us back to competing across the Midwest.
*(DO NOT EDIT ORIGINAL, PLEASE COPY)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: What if a player believes they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19?
A: Any player (or players) that believe they may have been exposed to the virus should immediately self quarantine and refrain from attending any club training or competition events. That player should get tested as soon as possible and not return to any club events until they’ve received two (2) negative test results at least 48 hours apart. If a player is unable or unwilling to get tested, they must self quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Q: Why does the guidance in the handbook prohibit B-side matches even when local gathering restrictions permit that amount of people present at an event?
A: We need to do our best to limit the amount of persons at any given event. Competitions should be limited to rostered players, referee(s), coach(es), and medical personnel only. By having a “B-side” match, this implies that each side has extra players present at the game that are not participating. B-side games should be scheduled separate events and in a manner that allows the people participating in the A-side match to vacate the premises prior to the start of the B-side match.
Q: Based on some of the wording in the Return to Play Handbook, it appears there will be no traditional league play this Fall, is this the correct interpretation? If so, will scheduling competitions/games be the responsibilities of the individual teams/LAUs (similar to the spring season for teams not in the playoffs)?
A: The Midwest hasn’t taken anything off the table yet, but traditional league play is extremely unlikely this fall. Given that not all states will be at the same stage, and potential pop up outbreaks could effect teams, traditional fall league play wouldn’t be effective. A likely scenario is that the Midwest will schedule meaningful, regional friendly matches this fall. This will minimize travel but still offer some competitive games. If interstate travel is restricted, the Union may likely be forced to only schedule matches within each state. The Midwest Competition Committee will be convening in a few weeks to discuss the options and determine what’s viable.