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Updates of COVID-19; Return to Play and FAQ #8

By Staff, 09/02/20, 9:00AM EDT


Following the announcement of enhancements to Phase 2 of Return to Play, this FAQ addresses some of the immediate questions asked about the changes

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, FAQ #6 on July 6 and FAQ #7 on July 28.

Ontario Soccer has prepared the following additional FAQ #8 in response to the recent expansion of modified competition in the Return to Play – Phase 2 and questions brought forward by membership.

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

Why are the new allowable forms of modified competition restricted on a regional basis?

As the Province of Ontario continues its progress towards a ‘new normal’ it is important to remember that we are still dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

This practice of restricting modified competition, at first within the community (Club/Academy) and now on a regional basis, is done to prevent the unfortunate event of an outbreak, or spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As we continue to Return to Play this Summer, Fall and into 2021, the health and safety of the membership’s participants will always be our objective and will never be compromised.

When my team wants to play a modified exhibition game, tournament / festival or league with a new group, why do we have to isolate for 14 days before doing so? What does ‘isolation’ look like?

Gathering limits, which are outlined in the Government of Ontario Health Orders for indoor and outdoor facilities, must continue to be respected. A minimum of a 14-day period of “Team Isolation” will be conducted before playing games with a different team or teams.

This practice is done to prevent, in the unfortunate event of an outbreak, the spread of COVID-19.

During Team Isolation, enhanced training and modified games within your team and are permitted to continue.

Up to this point all players were registered under “recreational” category in OSCAR. Are we required to change this if we participate in modified competition?

Players now entering the expanded modified competition allowance within a region, must register with the appropriate level of competition, i.e., Recreational or Competitive. All active players MUST be registered in OSCAR, Ontario Soccer’s official registry, in their appropriate competition category in order to be eligible for insurance and sanctioning.

Are Trials, or Open Evaluations, permitted within the amendments to the Return to Play Guide – Phase 2?

Yes, these activities are allowed under the amendments to Phase 2 but are to be only contained within the Regional boundaries set out. Organizations must continue to focus on ensuring the health and safety of participants attending these sessions.

The following must be adhered to:

  • Players must all be registered into OSCAR, Ontario Soccer’s official registry for insurance and sanctioning;
  • Players can participate in tryouts within one region only;
  • Players must show proof of registration for outdoor 2020;
  • A Contact Tracing Log must be completed for each session;
  • Players must complete the Declaration of Compliance and Informed Consent and Assumption of Risk Agreement once for each club’s sessions they attend.

What is the process for approval for modified exhibition games and tournaments/festivals?

All Clubs/Academies must submit their applications via CTMS (Competition and Travel Management System) for proper sanctioning of activities.

As part of the new form of modified competition, I noticed that the ability to use a wall has returned, as well the restrictions on corner kicks and the coin toss are removed. Why is that?

According to the Government of Ontario health orders, physical distancing is not required for team sport and as such Ontario Soccer has made adjustments in these areas to reflect that.

Previously we were allowed to have 100 participants for outdoor training. With this latest change, leagues are now only allowed 50 players for indoor and outdoor modified games. Why is that?

Multiple teams, from different Clubs/Academies within the same region can form groupings (bubbles) 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.

As part of this enhancement, teams must observe a minimum of 14 days of “Team Isolation” before playing games within a different team “bubble” or against a new team outside the “bubble”.  During the “Team Isolation” period, only activities within the team can take place (i.e. training, inter-squad games.)

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

Are Match Officials required for exhibition games, tournaments/festivals or leagues?

Yes, a minimum of one registered Match Official is required for all modified exhibition games, modified tournaments or modified leagues. Modified playing rules, as outlined in the Ontario Soccer Return to Play Guide, will be enforced.

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.

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.