News and Announcements
Need an UPDATED attestation form?
We’ve got you covered – see you at the field!
The document VILFHA_COVID-19_Attestation.pdf was attached to this post.
VILFHA COVID-19 Safety Plan
The VILFHA Safety Plan outlines the measures that will be followed to keep coaches, athletes, volunteers, and visitors safe. The plan will align with guidelines and orders provided by public health authorities, ViaSport, Field Hockey BC (FHBC), and Field Hockey Canada (FHC).
The primary objective of the Safety Plan is to prevent the transmission of Covid-19. The secondary objective is to ensure the ability to track all possible transmission in the case of an outbreak.
We will continue to adapt measures in response to public health guidance as our current environment is continually evolving. This plan is fluid and will be updated as needed.
VILFHA is adopting a Program Cohort model which limits Cohorts to maximum 42 athletes, 3 Coach/Leaders and 2 Safety officers with 2 Umpires. There can be no more than 49 participants based on Public Health order limiting gathering size.
Spectators are discouraged from attending. Any spectator must be off the field and outside the fenced area. They are requested to maintain 2 m physical distancing at a minimum.
• Stay up-to-date on current public health recommendations.
• Complete self-assessment (screening) before coming to the field hockey pitch. Do NOT come if you respond YES to any of the screening questions. STAY HOME if you are feeling unwell. Self assessment tools are available at https://bc.thrive.health/
• Follow public health guidelines on personal hygiene and physical distancing.
• Wear appropriate training clothing and bring only your water bottle(s) and stick.
• Maintain 2 m distance at all times when off the field of play (outside the white lines)
• Do not share water bottles, personal gear, food etc.
Up to date guidelines for Return to Play are posted on Field Hockey BC https://fieldhockeybc.com/and ViaSport https://www.viasport.ca/
Relevant adjustments to safety measures will be made and participants will be alerted by email and update to VILFHA web page https://vilfha.teampages.com/
Coaches, players and volunteers will be trained on facility and equipment cleaning protocols.
Public Health Awareness
Public health advice on COVID-19, including symptoms and measures to reduce transmission, will be posted on signs
Athletes, coaches and staff are asked to review and agree to safety measures
All players and volunteers are required to complete a COVID attestation form prior to entering the turf area.
Anyone who is feeling unwell MUST stay home.
Coaches, Safety Officers and Umpires have the ability to deny entry to anyone who answers yes to any of the screening questions or whose disregard for safety measures puts other at risk.
Facility Access & Flow
enter through the gate and provide COVID attestation form to Safety Officer,
maintaining 2 meter distance from others participants then go to their designated space to drop off their personal belongings.
Players not involved in a scrimmage may train in the ‘warm-up area’ near the gate when other members of their cohort are scrimmaging
Only participants within a cohort may be admitted onto the field – this includes the warm-up area (ie Div 1/2 may not use the warm-up area when Div 2/3 is playing
Cleaning, Hygiene & Sanitation
Clean and/or disinfect high touch surfaces at the beginning and end of each training session.
Each cohort will be provided with cleaning and sanitizing supplies
Balls will be washed with soap and water following use
Cohorts will keep their balls and Safety Officer pinnies separate for duration of the season – ie cohorts will not share balls or pinnies
Medical and Public Health Response Plan and Management of New and Suspected Cases
Anyone who complains of feeling ill while at the field during training will be asked to leave immediately and complete self-assessment or further assessment/medical attention as warranted Island Health’s COVID-19 Call Centre: 1-888-268-4319 https://www.islandhealth.ca/learn about-health/covid-19
Anyone onsite will be asked to wash their hands and all equipment and surfaces touched by the individual will be cleaned and disinfected immediately. ).
Information for contact tracing will be provided to public health officials by the VILFHA president or other executive as requested for contact tracing. Contact information is maintained and names of participants will be stored for 1 year.
Participants must be registered with Field Hockey BC
Equipment Cleaning Protocols
• Clean balls with soapy water and rinse.
High Touch Points
• Entry and exit gates – clean with disinfectant wipes
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread through droplets when you cough, sneeze, talk or when you touch an infected surface and then touch your mucus membranes (eyes, nose, mouth).
• Practice physical distancing.
• Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds often.
• Avoid touching your face.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
• Keep water bottle in backpack or zip-lock bag (along with hand sanitizer) • Do not spit or clear nasal passages.
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/self-isolation – Self
BC Government Link
BC COVID 19 App & Self-Assessment Tool: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
The document VILFHA_COVID_safety_plan.pdf was attached to this post.
Second Stage FHBC Return to Play – Key Takeaways
The details below and the document attached does not replace all of the details of requirements and checklists in the full Sept. 29 FHBC Stage 2 Return to Play plan (see link at bottom). It is specifically geared for the Field Hockey Victoria general participant and parent audience.
Stage 2 Definition
The FHBC second stage responsible return to play is defined as a progressive game play
return – permitting the creation of ‘cohorts’ (participant bubbles or pods) allowing for
greater participant interaction within the field of play only (field of play defined as
inside the playing perimeter white lines).
Participants (all players, coaches, safety officers, officials) need to sign a COVID-19 participant attestation form prior to each activity session (even if that is multiple sessions in the same day).
- This can be done electronically or on paper but must be properly tracked, organized and able to be provided upon request
Liability & Insurance
While we are all doing our part to limit transmission of COVID-19, the Return to Play framework is also built to cover liability and insurance. As with any session, all players, coaches and officials must have valid FHBC membership so they have their player insurance. In addition, all organized sport activity on any field or venue must follow the appropriate FHBC return to play guidelines for liability purposes which for liability reasons must include:
- Insured participants (valid FHBC memberships)
- Contact tracing for each session of each participant
- Organizing group has an Emergency Action Plan
For contact tracing purposes, the organized sport group of the activity must collect the first and last names and telephone number or email address of all activity participants. Please ensure cohort record keeping is up to date and able to be provided upon request.
Regardless of whether your session is in Stage 1 or Stage 2, outside the playing perimeter white lines stage one physical distancing protocols apply requiring all participants to maintain a physical distance of 2 meters.
Participants must commit to a single cohort
All members participating in Stage 2 Return to Play are limited to a single cohort (except those in a FHC or FHBC high performance program).
Coaches and Officials may be counted outside the total cohort number if they are able to
maintain physical distancing at all times.
Stage 1 training sessions are not cohorts as there are coach to athlete ratios and physical distancing at all times. Therefore, participants could play in a Stage 1 training session and one Stage 2 cohort. It is recommended that coaches, officials and players consider the number of people they are exposed to regardless of if physical distancing is in place or not.
- A player training in Stage 2 club practice cannot participate in men’s or women’s league
- A player competing in the women’s or men’s league can participate in a Stage 1 club practice (physical distancing and coach:athlete ratios at all times)
- A player participating in a FHBC Regional program can participate in men’s or women’s league (note: those athletes are limited to 2 cohorts)
- Two different cohorts playing in opposite ends of the same field are not permitted
A team within a cohort
In stage 2, you can have up to 4 teams within a single cohort. This cohort includes:
- Max 4 teams per cohort (max 2 teams per field at a time)
- Max 24 individuals per team made up of max 20 athletes, 1 required coach 1 required safety officer, 1 optional umpire, 1 optional TD for a total maximum of 24 people
- If you don’t have an umpire or TD, you cannot add players. The maximum number of players is 20.
- Players must remain on their designated team within a cohort. Movement between teams is not permitted.
- While 4 teams make up a cohort, only 1 or 2 of the teams can be inside the facility at a time. i.e. if Team 1 and 2 are playing a game, Team 3 and 4 cannot warm up on the side of the field. They cannot enter the pitch until Team 1 and 2 have cleared the field.
Cohorts should remain together for an extended period of time. If looking to change cohorts, implement a two-week break between activities.
- Players who are also umpires may only umpire in their playing cohort. This also applies to coach-umpires.
- Non-playing umpires may umpire in a maximum of 2 cohorts, in either league, provided they can maintain physical distancing at all times.
- Non-player umpires will need to declare which cohort(s) they will umpire in
Venue and Equipment setup
- Ensure ‘Athlete Equipment’ areas are set up and marked. Each athlete is assigned a spot, 2 meters or more from each other.
- All equipment to be placed from a safe distance away from all sidelines to ensure umpires safety during competition
- No sharing of personal equipment – Water bottles, Sticks, gloves, shin pads, mouthguard, clothing, including all Penalty Corner Equipment.
- Cleaning/Sanitizing protocols for team bench and technical areas are in place that may require additional to allow for the effective changeover of field activity user/group.
Types of Stage 2 Return to Play:
- 1. Modified formats of play such as 7v7, 5v5, 8v8 (even on shared fields)
- 2. Standardized play (11v11 games like normal)
- 3. Standardized training environment (practice that includes scrimmages, 2v1s, etc.)
Local Sport Organizations
Field Hockey Victoria
VILFHA (ladies league)
VIFHA (mens league)
VFHUA (umpires association)
Cowichan Field Hockey Association
Read full FHBC Stage 2 Return to Play framework here: https://www.viasport.ca/sites/default/files/2020%20Second%20Stage%20Responsible%20Return%20to%20Play%20Framework%20-%20Field%20Hockey%20BC%20COVID-19%20Response%20-%20September%2029%202020%20%28Updated%20and%20Appr.pdf
David Auld hangs up whistle from Victoria field hockey
While 2020 marks an unprecedented year with seemingly little in the island hockey world to celebrate, there is one bright spot worth highlighting. Long-time hockey contributor and umpire David Auld has announced his retirement.
“It is my great honour to congratulate David on his retirement from umpiring,” said Denise McGeachy, past president of VILFHA (ladies league) and current president VIFHUA (umpire’s association). “His dedication to our game has few equals. David always brought a positive attitude to each game and treated all players respect. The umpiring community is richer for his contribution, as an umpire and mentor.
“Apart from the umpiring, David is one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever known. David always had a smile on his face at the beginning – and more importantly, at the end of each game no matter how difficult or bad the weather. To me, this is his greatest legacy to our community – his positivity.”
Auld has been umpiring in Victoria since his arrival from Scotland in 1969 and was certified as high as a Canadian Regional level official. A familiar, smiling face on the field, David is well known for his time spent officiating at the high school, men’s league and, most notably, women’s league games. In 2008, David was named a VILFHA Honorary Member, awarded to only 19 individuals since 1958, for their dedication, service and commitment to building the ladies league.
It was only by chance that Auld happened upon the sport of field hockey, which came to be the good fortune for Field Hockey Victoria. While attending the Jordanhill College of Education, in Scotland, Auld intended to pursue the sport of rugby, while the Director of Education at the college had another suggestion.
“I was told, ‘Auld why don’t you try the sissy’s game’ – grass hockey, as it was called then, is what I picked up and I never looked back,” described Auld about how he fell in to the sport. “It was purely by accident. I just loved the game and I climbed the rank enough to play for a first division team at Jordanhill and eventually a West of Scotland team.”
In 1966, Auld relocated to Canada and Vancouver Island, accepting a two-year teaching contract in Shawnigan Lake at the Cliffside Preparatory School, while his wife, Edna, worked as a nurse in Duncan. There, Auld also played field hockey for two years with the men’s team at Shawnigan Lake School in a league that included the Tigers, UVic and an Oak Bay team.
“At the end of those games at Windsor Park there was always a game right after and people figured that since I was a PE teacher I would know all the rules and I should umpire,” said Auld about how the whistle was first placed in his hand. “I had no qualifications but I was given a whistle and just did it. Whenever the umpire certification process started I did that and I got as far as Regional.”
In the 1980’s, Auld was also on the block to contend for his Canadian rank but during his field rating got injured and was unable to complete the game only later to find out that his age would likely prevent him from being selected for any Canadian-level matches anyway.
“I just went for [the Canadian rating] to improve but I was 46 and they had just dropped the age limits,” added Auld, who then decided to just stick with his regional rating.
Auld did relocate to Victoria with his wife, Edna, in 1969 and was the head of PE at Glenlyon Norfolk School. Edna and David had three children – Fiona Auld, Ian Auld and Caty Petan. Both Fiona and Caty played field hockey at Oak Bay Secondary and competed and won, in different years, at the provincial championships.
Auld’s umpiring career included doing the local men’s and women’s leagues, the premier men, high school girls and B.C. provincial championships. Auld bowed out of men’s league about 15 years ago and spent his last five years of umpiring dedicated to the third division VILFHA women’s league, the players of which he credits as the best to umpire.
Auld credits island officials Chris Wilson, Denise McGeachy, Gillian Batey, Alison Sweeten, Steve Stern and Tyler Klenk for their wisdom, guidance and inspiration over the years. Legendary field hockey contributors Jenny John and Pat Hall were also highlighted as being instrumental in support and laying the foundation for his pathway as an umpire.
“I’ve always admired his love of the game and his love of learning to improve his umpiring,” highlighted Victoria-based Chris Wilson, a 15-year FIH International certified umpire. “I remember almost not a weekend would go by that he didn’t have an umpiring question for me.”
“We had some great conversation about umpiring, rules and style. Also, watching him and seeing him enjoying umpiring a game is always a highlight. He’s been a long-standing member of the Victoria hockey community and has dedicated decades to the betterment of our sport.”
Auld continued as a player with the Castaways men’s team, made up largely of retired rugby players, from 1972-75 and when the team folded he played a large part in forming the Oak Bay men’s team.
Players that were umpired by Auld would not be able to argue the fact that he carried his love of the game on to the pitch rain or shine. His calm demeanor, jolly laugh and fair approach to the sport was always appreciated, while his desire to always pursue growth in his ability was an inspiration to all who remain complacent.
Q: The hardest rule for you to implement in your time:
David: I’ve never really agreed or understood this one. If you raise the ball in field play it’s dangerous or you are subject to danger but with a shot of goal there’s no danger. Just because there’s a shot on goal there’s no danger? If someone flicks it or scoops it you see that coming but this rule is just so hard to understand.
Q: Most gratifying thing to call or moment on the field:
David: Feeling that I did a good job on the field as an umpire. Usually I have a good feel but the players congratulate you. I remember umpiring the twins, Clive and Giles Wheatley, in a first division game and their sister, Harriet, came up to me and said, “Mr. Auld that was the best game I have ever seen umpired.” And I never expected that and that was a long, long time ago and I was surprised and never forgot.
Q: The most memorable card you have ever given:
I have very few red cards in my career, never in the women’s league, only in the men’s league. I did give a player a red card for language, poor behaviour, bad sportsmanship and as he walked off the field he was still sort of threatening me but I never forgot it. I’ve also given a couple to a few visiting Vancouver team players who were on the Canadian national team and they were upset about the call and said, “why don’t you just give me a red card?” so I did.
Q: Most embarrassing moment:
David: Well one time at half time I went over to my bag and took off my gloves and had to blow my nose and then when we were ready to start the game my colleague started time. Play went on and I went to blow my whistle and realized I had forgot it on the other side of the field in my bag. I had to wave my hands in the air and make a ‘T’ and it was just a major brain lapse.
That wasn’t my most embarrassing moment, though. I can’t remember the two teams but I was doing the right thing and seeing the attack coming towards me. I curled in to the near post and this one lady was running at the ball and I could feel she was over-running the ball. I thought, ‘she is going to charge in to me’ and I prepared myself. She bowled me right over and ended up on top of me and I ended up with both hands on her chest. My partner, Alison Sweeten, will remember this story because I was so embarrassed.
Q: Some advice you have for the next generation of umpires:
David: Be prepared that you are going to make mistakes and you need to learn from them. Watch top class games with top class umpires.
Q: What would you say to umpires who are maybe just happy staying where they are in umpiring?
David: Field Hockey BC used to send out a questionnaire about your goals and your aims and ask you what you inspire to be as an umpire. And after I couldn’t get my Canadian rating I said that I just wanted to be the best Regional umpire that I could be.
Q: Outside of being on the field, what do you think umpiring has taught you?
David: It’s taught me to be as fair and impartial as I can be in a game and so to in life. Go through life fairly and impartially. It’s helped me with conflict management but over the last five years umpiring third division women that rarely was an issue. It’s taught me to be understanding, too.
Q: Looking back at the many weekends you spent at the field, what do you think you would have been doing if you weren’t umpiring?
David: Edna and I would have been going away on weekend trips and maybe some cycling trips. We used to cycle up island, to the gulf islands. We would have been doing more of that. Edna was always supportive of me umpiring. I used to play cricket and a game would be 6 hours and she would come watch with the kids even though she didn’t know the first thing about cricket.
Q: What was your greatest challenge umpiring?
David: My greatest challenge was when I was asked to do two Canada vs USA men’s games in Victoria in the 1980s. Canada and the USA were up at UVic on a two-week training camp so they had scrimmage games every other day and I was asked to umpire. I umpired with a USA national umpire and I warned him that I might be out of my depth but he came up to me afterwards and said, “I don’t know what you’re worried about, you’re doing fine.”
Q. Best advice given to you:
David: Jenny John once said at a clinic, “never assume that when you walk on the field that players are going to foul. You must always go on to the field and assume that they are going to play the game properly.” I thought that was really good advice and that was 25 or 30 years ago.
Q: Highlight tournaments, games or memories for you?
David: Of course the Canada vs USA games. Also, the Bridgman Cup is such a great tournament and I have been to a few of the B.C. High School championships and I’ve enjoyed that. I’ve also umpired in the Vancouver men’s league a few times.
by Ali Baggott, for VILFHA
The VILFHA executive are able to follow Ministry of Health/Public Health, ViaSport and Field Hockey BC Return to Play requirements and offer a modified fall season.To register please complete this form before Sept 27 https://forms.gle/5gHHNLQaDayafEwU6
Facilities also have their own requirements – so, for example, UVic has not yet approved Field Hockey Victoria to play on the UVic turf. FHV is working with UVic around being able to access turf – however, initial games at least will be in Cowichan. .
VILFHA Executive conducted a survey of players and based on survey results, Return to Play – Second Stage – FHBC, and turf accdess we are offering a cohort-model game length scrimmage this fall.
Players will register as individuals – not as teams and there will be a temporary redistribution of participating players into cohorts. There will be up to 4 teams/cohort divided into 2 Divisions (players will self-select into either Div 1/2 or Div 2/3)
There will be additional roles within cohorts – such as Coach/leader; Safety Officer and potentially Umpire. Players are requested to please consider what additional roles they would be willing to fill – i.e. occasionally you could fill the role of Safety Officer for half your game rather than playing. Prior to playing information will be provided regarding the Return to Play requirements and roles.
All participants MUST be members of FHBC – annual membership is $86.00 for Senior player and $63.00 for <18 yrs.. VILFHA cost will be as low as possible – estimated at $40.00.
Please be aware that the season may be cancelled at any time based on Public Health requirements or facility requirements.
We recognize that there are people who already have contact with each other who should play together to limit unnecessary exposure to new people – and we know people want to play with friends – and every effort will be made to group people into cohorts based on information provided on registration form – but please remember – it is not a guarantee..(but we will do our very best)
Please recognize we cannot alter the FHBC Return to Play requirements – these are not up for discussion or debate – and must be followed closely. Requirements will be communicated closer to game day with everyone who is participating.
In summary – option for VILFHA fall season:
- individual registration (not teams)
- ‘cohorts’ will be formed out of available players
- cannot change cohort
- people asked to consider additional roles such as Safety Officer
- Cost is approx $40 +FHBC membership
- initially games will be played in Cowichan only due to turf availability – that will change if/when turf is available in Victoria (but at least 1/2 games will be in Cowichan)
Thank you to everyone.for your patience as we make our way through this! Our goal for this fall is to have fun, develop the league, develop skills with health as the primary consideration.
Thank you –
For more information: