THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ~~~~ July 28, 2020 (LSN) - With the Province entering Phase 3 and restrictions loosened around crowds and sports, the Thunder Bay Minor Football Association sought the direction of the Thunder Bay & District Health Unit on a proposal for Return to Play.
Coaches General Manager, Ryan Bliznikas, working with the organization’s governing body, Football Manitoba drafted a proposal that would meet the conditions necessary for a safe return to the field for players, coaches, officials and spectators
. We are happy to announce that, as of Monday, July 20, 2020, the Health Unit has approved the proposed plan from the association and we are currently working to have registrations to begin our fall season.
Ryan Bliznikas noted that “as the Coaches GM for TBMFA and VP of Football Manitoba, we were able to work with the Football Manitoba Return to Play Task Force early on in this process. Football Manitoba is also sharing their best practices and what they are learning in their relaunch to Flag football as they are about 1 month ahead. I'm very excited to be able to build on the tremendous growth we had seen in the 2020 Spring registrations that brought us record numbers. We hope to grow those numbers and are confident with the help of all our coaches and parents that we can have a great and safe fall Flag season.”
“We are very much looking forward to the start of our 61st season of football,” adds president, Rob Thibodeau. “This year will be a little different as we will be offering Flag and are excited with the growth. We have a great opportunity to have the U16 boys and girls team compete in the National championship in 2021 and 2022. This will be a great opportunity for TBMFA to showcase its athletes at the National Level.”
Fall season will adapt for a small Flag football program with fewer players per team than tackle, thus ensuring a safer return to play. Additionally, because of the smaller requirement for field play, with safe distancing multiple games can be held simultaneously thus reducing field times necessary. Allowances for crowds in the stands will be limited to 1 adult per player and we are asking that parents maintain as best as possible social distancing while attending.
We will continue to hold the safety of our football family as our first priority and will adapt as necessary. We ask that everyone respect the requirements and recommendations from the Health Unit and have patience as we all adapt to a happy return to the field.
Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for news of the registration when they become open. Anyone interested in helping this year is welcomed to contact us for more information on how to get involved. -30
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