Nova Scotia

N.S. restrictions 'wearing on people,' says league official as sports adjust to new rules

Basketball and soccer leagues in Nova Scotia are keeping the ball moving, but league officials admit it's a challenge.

Basketball and Soccer Nova Scotia are once again dealing with gathering, distancing requirements

The latest public health restrictions in Nova Scotia mean players can't share equipment, including passing a basketball back and forth. (Rich Barnes/CSM/Shutterstock)

Basketball and soccer leagues in Nova Scotia are once again adjusting to playing under new rules.

Games and tournaments are prohibited under the current pandemic restrictions, and there are limits on the number of players who can train together.

For soccer, that limit is 10 players, and one coach who must remain physically distanced.

"When you have 13 or 14 players, and then you have to have groups of 10, it makes it challenging," said Brad Lawlor, executive director of Soccer Nova Scotia.

For basketball, the limit is nine players and one coach. 

'The enjoyment there is gone'

The lack of game play is frustrating for players.

"Kids like to practise, but they love to play games. So the enjoyment there is gone," said MacPhee.

It's especially frustrating for players in Grade 12, who are going through a second year with reduced game play.

"It's going to be tough for them if they want to get recruited to play college ball next year," he said. "The university coaches didn't get a chance to see them play for two years."

There are two soccer seasons per year, one in summer and one in winter, making this the fourth season that organizers, parents and players have had to adjust to pandemic measures.

"It's wearing on people," said Lawlor.

Reorganize, reschedule

Clubs are having to reorganize players into new groups and reschedule training times. At the same time, they're dealing with players and coaches who are having to self-isolate. 

"That takes phone calls back and forth to parents, saying, 'This session's cancelled,' or 'We're moving kids from one session to a different session,'" he said. "So there is quite a bit of administration time."

Both Lawlor and MacPhee say they're hopeful game play can resume before the season is out.


  • A previous version of this story reported a restriction on sharing equipment means basketball players can't pass a ball back and forth. In fact, players can share a ball within their group during practice in these current restrictions.
    Jan 17, 2022 12:08 PM AT


Holly Conners is a reporter and current affairs producer who has been with CBC Cape Breton since 1998. Contact her at


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