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Ontario Soccer issues Return to Play guide

September 11, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Ontario Soccer, the governing body of the sport in Ontario, has modified its Return to Play guide with the latest release coming out on September 1.

The organization worked with Canada Soccer, the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, and the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries to put a plan together to get players and teams out on the soccer pitch.

The principles outlined in the document apply equally to recreational, competitive and high-performance level soccer and it is recommended that clubs use the document to design their own return to play plans.

Soccer is currently in ‘Phase 2’ of the plan to get back to competition.

Phase 1 included a return to modified training with no league or exhibition games, and no festival or tournament games.

Phase 2 is a return to training and modified games.

Some games can be played between clubs and inter-squad play is allowed between teams from the same region.

For outdoor games, teams from the same region can play while forming bubbles of no more than 50 players in keeping with current restrictions and regulations.

The number of spectators at a game 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 cannot exceed 100 spectators for an outdoor game and 50 spectators for an indoor game.

When it comes to tryouts, players can only participate in one region only. A contact tracing log must be completed for each seminar.

Each age level of the sport has its own unique guidelines to assist coaches, parents, and players, to make sure the protocols are followed. Age is taken into consideration especially for the younger players who may have difficulty following social distancing guidelines.

Sanitizing of equipment will take place.

There are also rule changes. To avoid the transfer of bodily fluids, heading of the ball will not be allowed and throw-ins will be replaced by kicking the ball into play.

The currently rules and restrictions will remain in effect until it is deemed appropriate to move into Phase 3.

By Brian Lockhart


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