Yesterday the British Columbia Football Conference postponed the game between the Kamloops Broncos and Westshore Rebels that was scheduled for 6PM at Hillside Stadium in Kamloops. On Friday, the conference had made the decision that the game would tentatively be played as planned as air quality conditions that day would have made the game playable. Unfortunately, by Saturday morning conditions had worsened to the point where conditions were unsafe for our player’s so the game was postponed as of 11:30AM.
This morning, following a meeting of members of the BCFC executive the decision was made to cancel the game altogether and have the Westshore Rebels and Kamloops Broncos play what will essentially be a “winner take all” game for 4 points when the teams meet in their game scheduled for September 15 at Westhills Stadium in Langford.
The decision to cancel the game rather than play the game on the lone bye weekend (Labour Day weekend) was made due to the uncertainty of air quality going forward as well as the uncertainty of whether the Broncos home field would be available and if the Rebels would be able to secure bus and ferry accommodation on the long weekend.
BCFC President Tyler Mclaren on the decision to cancel the game;
“To a degree we are in uncharted territory because of what seems to be the new norm with fires affecting our environment. In hind-site we should have schedule two bye weekends to allow for this based on the issues with wild fires last year, and certainly that is something we will strongly consider this off season.”
The conference is also taking into account the possibility of having to re-schedule further games this season and is attempting to leave options open according to Mclaren;
“We don’t honestly know at this point what the next few weeks holds so will be paying very close attention to schedules, air quality etc. We are ahead of ourselves right now but are presently looking at if this weekend’s game in Kamloops between the Broncos and Huskers could be played in Chilliwack if need be. We aren’t there yet, but we have to be ready for all situations.”
The conference had also looked at the possibility of the Rebels and Broncos playing a mid-week game being feasible but Mclaren says the conference is keeping the safety of its athletes in mind by deciding against that.
“Our executive felt that as much as air quality is a risk to our players safety, so are games with a short turnaround time. Additionally, all our coaches and support staff have regular jobs in addition to volunteering with their teams. Mid-week just isn’t an option.”
A 4-point game is not an ideal situation, but all things considered we feel it is the best scenario for our players if their safety is our focal point…which it is.”