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Phase 2 of Return to Play – Enhanced Format for Modified Games

By Staff, 09/04/20, 11:45AM EDT


After consultation with the Province of Ontario and Canada Soccer, Clubs and Academies may now participate in organized sanctioned competitions with other Clubs/Academies within the same region

Play. Inspire. Unite. 

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

Over the past few weeks, Ontario Soccer has been working on further expansion of modified games within Phase 2, while remaining compliant to current provincial public health orders in place.

Ontario Soccer is pleased to inform membership, after consultation with the Province of Ontario and Canada Soccer, we are implementing the following enhancements to our Return to Play Guide and Plan – Phase 2 as of September 17, 2020.   

The addendum to Return to Play – Phase 2, will now incorporate and permit modified games between different Clubs/Academies. Clubs/Academies, may now participate in organized sanctioned competitions with other Clubs/Academies within the same region.

Regions are defined by the boundaries set out in Ontario Soccer’s Operational Procedures:

  • West Region: District Associations of Elgin Middlesex, Essex County, Lambton Kent and South-West Soccer;
  • South Region: District Associations of Hamilton Soccer, Niagara, and Peel Halton.
  • Central Region: District Associations of Durham Region, East Central Ontario, Toronto, Huronia District, North York, Scarborough, and York Region
  • East Region: District Associations of Eastern Ontario District, and Southeast Ontario.
  • North Region: District Associations of Sault Amateur, Soccer Northeastern Ontario, Soccer North, Soccer Northwest, and Sudbury Regional.

Clubs/Academies can participate in modified exhibition games, tournaments and leagues under the following conditions:

  • For Outdoor and Indoor Soccer: Multiple teams, from different Clubs/Academies within the same region can form groupings of no more than 50 players to participate in a league or sanctioned competition, as per the current government order. Note: Upon any further government order changes to player size, membership will be advised accordingly.
  • The total number of spectators permitted to be at the facility, at any one time, must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the facility, and in any event cannot exceed:

                         i.    50 spectators for indoor competitions.

                         ii.   100 spectators for outdoor competitions.

  • It is highly recommended, if modified games are taking place, that a field marshal be appointed to ensure compliance with social distancing rules and safety protocols. The field marshal should be a recognized authority within the soccer organization.
  • As part of this enhancement, teams must observe a minimum of 14 days of “Team Isolation” after completing competition against a current grouping of teams (a “bubble”) before playing games within a new team or groupings of new teams outside the current “bubble” of teams.
  • During the “Team Isolation” period, only activities within the team can take place (i.e. training, inter-squad games).

Organizations are now encouraged to review the changes in full, which are now part of the Return to Play Guide and Plan (pages 8-10 and 18-19).

The Return to Play Guide – Phase 2 also includes details on conducting: Exhibition Games, Tournaments / Festivals, League Play and Trials and Open Evaluations.

Note: Regarding participant registration and insurance coverage. Without exception, all participants participating in outdoor or indoor competitions must be registered in OSCAR, Ontario Soccer’s official registry.

Ontario Soccer will be hosting two webinar sessions to review the amendments, answer questions and provide further guidance on implementation on the following dates:

For further information, please refer to the latest bulletins on the COVID-19 Updates page, which have the latest information from Ontario Soccer, as well as resources for your members. Please consider placing a dedicated link to the COVID-19 Updates on the homepage on your website.

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