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Updates of COVID-19; Return to Play and FAQ #7

By Staff, 07/28/20, 1:30PM EDT


This FAQ has a specific focus on those questions relevant to Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide and Plan - Phase 2.

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

Ontario Soccer, in consultation with Canada Soccer and the Government of Ontario, continues to monitor the most recent developments surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the resulting public health crisis and now the province’s Return to Play.

Ontario Soccer has received additional questions from membership, since the first COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQ) was released on March 16, 2020. This was followed by FAQ #2 on March 23, 2020, FAQ #3 on April 3, FAQ #4 on May 12,  FAQ #5 on June 16 and FAQ #6 on July 6.

Ontario Soccer has prepared the following additional FAQ #7 in response to recently completed Phase 2 Return to Play webinars and questions brought forward by membership.

This FAQ has a specific focus on those questions relevant to Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide and Plan - Phase 2. Additional FAQ’s will be released later to address questions pertaining to Phases 2 and 3.

I read that Ontario Soccer has cancelled the Ontario Academy Soccer League (OASL) season. How do I apply for a refund?

Ontario Soccer took into account the feedback received from Ontario Registered Academies over the last two months and the ability for the organizations to Return to Play in 2020.

Ontario Soccer has worked closely with the Academies on the various OASL scheduling options and given both the status of Return to Play phasing and academy interest, a complete schedule was not possible for 2020.

To apply for a refund from your Academy, you should contact them directly about their refund policy.

With the OASL season now cancelled, what is happening with the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL)?

Ontario Soccer is continuing to work with OPDL License Holders, on multiple different scenarios, which would allow for a 2020 season to take place, once the proper provisions are put in place from the Government of Ontario.

As part of the contingency planning, OPDL License Holders have given their full support and commitment to operate a 2020 season.

Over the next six weeks, Ontario Soccer will be reviewing the viability of each scenario and communicating to OPDL License Holders as more information becomes available from the Government of Ontario.

When will the rest of the Ontario Soccer membership move into Return to Play - Phase 2?

Ontario Soccer is watching closely for the Government of Ontario’s announcement of the commencement of Stage 3 for the regions of Toronto, Peel and Windsor-Essex.

Once the Government of Ontario has announced the commencement of Stage 3 of their re-opening of the economy for these Public Health Units, these regions will be able to move to Return to Play – Phase 2, providing their organizations have completed the Return to Play protocols.

UPDATE: All members of Ontario Soccer are now able to move into Phase 2 following completion of Return to Play protocols. 

Can games occur during Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play - Phase 2?

Yes, during Return to Play - Phase 2 modified games ONLY are permitted, so long as the games take place ONLY within the Club or Academy. Inter-squad games can take place, provided all players are registered to the same Club or Academy. This includes recreational games (House Leagues). All modified games during Phase 2 must adhere to the protocols set by Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide as outlined in Phase 2.

There have been recent updates to the Return to Play Guide – Phase 2, based on the directives laid out by the Government of Ontario. Organizations are encouraged to review these changes to ensure they have the latest information.

I have read the Ontario Soccer Return to Play Guide and the reviewed the maximum allowable participant numbers for indoor and outdoor. Our municipality has provided a different interpretation from Government of Ontario legislation. Which is correct?

Ontario Soccer’s interpretation of the maximum allowable participant numbers has been reviewed with the Government of Ontario. They have confirmed that Ontario Soccer’s interpretation, as it is written in the Ontario Soccer Return to Play Guide, is correct. There are a maximum of 50 participants for indoor organized activities. There are a maximum of 100 participants for outdoor organized activities. 

Further, regarding Return to Play protocols, the Government of Ontario website has provided Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide as a guidance document for members of our Provincial Sport Organization.

However, Municipalities and individual Public Health Units can determine what they deem appropriate for the maximum allowable numbers in their community.

Can a Technical Director or Club Head Coach oversee several programs as part of Return to Play?

Yes, a Technical Director or Club Head Coach can oversee multiple programs within their organization but not multiple organizations. The Technical Director or Club Head Coach must follow proper physical distancing and health and safety protocols. Technical Directors or Club Head Coaches are not recognized as a participant.

How many Clubs or Academies can a player register for?

In Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play – Phase 2, players can only register with one Club or Academy. As per the Return to Play Guide, organizations are responsible for maintaining the limits, established by the Government of Ontario, for training group (squad) totals. The training group totals for indoor facilities is a maximum of 50 participants. The training group totals for outdoor facilities is a maximum of 100 participants.

How do we set up camps while maintaining safety protocols?

Ontario Soccer is referring member organizations to the Ministry of Health Guide for participant Summer Day Camps. It details protocols for organizations to follow and safely run Summer Day Camps.

The Ministry of Health Guide can be found here.

I want to know more about Match Official requirements, the precautions they are taking and modified games. Where do I find more information?

Match Officials can refer to the Ontario Soccer Return to Play Guide (Page 17) for details on what is expected of them.

Ontario Soccer will be running a Match Official specific webinar to assist in answering questions from Match Officials, Coaches and Administrators.

More details will be provided to the Ontario Soccer membership soon.

I would like to get a refund for my registration fees from my Club or Academy. They have directed me to contact Ontario Soccer. How do I go about getting a refund?

All refunds for registration payments are managed by Clubs and Academies. If you are seeking a refund, please contact your Club or Academy about their refund policy. Ontario Soccer does not manage the refund process. If you have ongoing concerns with your organization and their refund policy please contact your District Association for more assistance.

How do I stay connected with Ontario Soccer?

Subscribe to INSIDE THE 18 – Ontario Soccer’s weekly newsletter. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

If you have any questions, please contact Patty Forbes, Director of Administration.