Bulletin #: I2020-085
Date: Aug. 11, 2020
To: Club Membership
CC: Ontario Soccer Board of Directors, Staff
From: Johnny Misley, Chief Executive Officer
Subject: Clarifying sanctioned competition for Ontario Soccer Members
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 Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Plan.
Within the Return to Play Guide, Phase 2 allows for enhanced training and inner Club or Academy competition, where modified games can take place within the same organization.
The design behind allowing modified games within each organization was built on the premise that most participants within an organization live within the same community. This approach would support the Government of Ontario strategy of limiting the potential spread of COVID-19 across different regions, with the reduction in travel.
Ontario Soccer has become aware that some member participants and/or organizations are looking to create makeshift “leagues” this summer. We are aware teams from adjoining Districts are looking to gather in one District to register with a Club or Academy and create a “league.”
Ontario Soccer is now strongly cautioning those organizations considering participating in any of these makeshift leagues, competitions, and camps. These activities are not following the “spirit of the intent” of the Ontario Soccer Return to Play Guide and Plan that follows public health directives.
Participation in these types of activities, which are not following Government of Ontario health orders, or the Ontario Soccer Return to Play protocols, can have consequences. Sport activities are being monitored by Public Health Units and local municipality by-law enforcement officers.
Additionally, it may impact Ontario Soccer’s ability to progress to the next phase of Return to Play.
As stated, the Return to Play Plan was based on the premise that any return to play in Phase 2 would be limited to within a single Club or Academy and within their existing membership. It did not include players travelling from one community to another, registering with other organizations, simply to join a “league”.
We all want to see a return to soccer competition (Phase 3) soon, however we need to do so in a safe, controlled manner and by adhering to Government of Ontario and regional public health and safety directives.
By demonstrating that Ontario Soccer members are capable of following the Government of Ontario Health and Safety protocols, it can open up opportunities for our members to further access types of competitions and bring our sport one-step closer to Phase 3, Return to Soccer.
Lastly, Ontario Soccer has been made aware that some unsanctioned organizations are providing camps, competitions, skills and drills without COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place. In some cases they make reference to Ontario Soccer safety protocols as part of their promotional materials. These groups are not sanctioned or members of Ontario Soccer, therefore not in alignment with Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines.