Dart and pool leagues across Nova Scotia suspended

·2 min read

Recreational dart players in Nova Scotia were surprised to learn this week that leagues will not be going ahead as previously thought.

Dart leagues in liquor-licensed establishments are considered to be comparable to dart tournaments, which are not permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the province's Health Protection Act.

"Individuals playing either darts or pool are limited to those individuals within the bubbled group (of 10 or less) that have entered the establishment," says a communication from the province's alcohol and gaming division.

"It is not permitted for individuals from multiple bubbles to play either darts or pool against each other."

Pool leagues and karaoke are also suspended.

Rules not fair, says club president

The president of the Hub Amateur Athletic Club in Glace Bay said he was surprised to receive the directive this week because no one from the province had visited the club.

"I really don't think it's fair," said Fabian Morgan. "Until somebody comes to our venue to see what controls we have in place, they should not take that away from us."

He said patrons have been following COVID-19 protocols since the club reopened. There have been no complaints, he said.

"Everyone is wearing their masks, everyone is keeping their social distancing. They come and they feel comfortable here knowing that we are on top of things."

Tori Weldon / CBC
Tori Weldon / CBC

Bill Jessome plays in two dart leagues, one in Sydney Mines and one in nearby Florence.

"I really enjoy it because I get a chance to relax and have some fun," he said.

One of the leagues where Jessome plays is based out of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 83 in Florence.

He's worried about the financial hit to the legion by the suspension of the dart leagues.

"It's a big loss for them," he said. "A big financial loss."

Impact on revenue, mental health

Morgan said he's also worried about the financial impact on the Hub Amateur Athletic Club, which hosts a women's dart league and a mixed league. The club usually hosts a number of dart tournaments throughout the year, as well.

Players who buy drinks at the bar or play video lottery terminals after their games help bring in revenue, said Morgan.

Then there's the loss of social time with friends that Morgan said could have a negative impact on mental health during the pandemic.

"The female dart players on Tuesday night, they look forward to coming out with their friends," he said. "It was more of a social kind of thing for them."

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