Updated October 16, 2021
The OFA thanks all clubs and members for their patience and cooperation as we navigate the changing climate of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This page was created to house the OFA Return To Play Protocol(V8), the OFA Return To Competition Protocol, as well as supporting documentation that allows for returning to club activities while following the guidelines provided by the Provincial and National Health and Sport organizations to prevent community spread of COVID-19. This Protocol is a live document, and the OFA reserves the right to amend the document to reflect current advice from Health Canada(HC), Ontario Health(OH), Sports Canada (SC), Own The Podium (OTP), Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO), and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI). Any amendments to this document will be communicated to clubs and members in a timely manner.
Ontario’s proof of vaccination requirement came into effect as of September 22, 2021. Based on the Proof of Vaccination Guidelines recently published by the Ontario Ministry of Health, all who enter club premises including parents, guardians, and spectators must show proof of vaccination or medical exemption prior to entry. Groups exempt from this requirement include:
- Children under 12 years of age.
- Athletes under 18 years of age who are there specifically for training purposes.
- Individuals under 18 years of age who are spectating or not actively training require proof of vaccination.
- Workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials.
Several local health units have issued increased vaccination requirements for sports facilities. In letters issued to owners and operators of sports facilities in York (Oct 1, 2021), Windsor Essex (Oct 1, 2021), Eastern Ontario (Oct 4, 2021), Hasting Prince Edward (Oct 5, 2021), Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (Oct 5, 2021), Ottawa (Oct 9, 2021), 7 Northern Ontario (Oct 14, 2021), Middlesex-London/Southwestern/Huron-Perth (Oct 31, 2021), Peel (Nov 1, 2021), Toronto (Nov 1, 2021), Simcoe-Muskoka (Nov 25, 2021) health units, all persons responsible for facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities are instructed to:
- Require each person, age 12 years and older, at the point of entry, who attends the indoor area of the Facility for the purpose of (a) actively participating in organized sports, (b) coaching, officiating at organized sports or volunteering, or (c) spectating at organized sports, to provide identification and proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or a valid medical exemption.
- Comply with all other requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act and its regulations that apply to the Facility.
The region of Waterloo has also issued a similar increased vaccination requirements for sports facilities requiring all individuals aged 18+ to provide proof of vaccination upon entry into the facility, effective October 31, 2021. Individuals 12-18 entering sports facilities for the purpose of participating in organized sports are exempt from requiring proof of vaccination. Additionally, Peterborough Public Health is staggering vaccination requirements for volunteers, coaches and officials, 12 years of age and older as of October 18th, and all persons 12 years or older as of November 26th, 2021.
For a summary of health units and proof of vaccination requirements, please refer to this chart. The OFA will make every effort to maintain up to date information, however clubs are reminded to always follow their most recent local health authority directives at all times.
The Ontario Human Rights Commission policy on COVID-19 vaccine mandate and proof of vaccine certificates can be found here.
The OFA reminds all clubs that masks should still be worn indoors by all individuals. Athletes may be exempt from wearing masks when actively training, but are strongly recommended to don a mask at all other times.
The OFA strongly recommends clubs and members to:
- Abide by regulations set out by national, provincial, and municipal public health authorities. The directives by these authorities will always take precedence.
- Follow the steps in the Risk Assessment and Mitigating Checklist Tool from Own The Podium (Appendix B).
- Read the OFA Return To Play Protocol(V8) to be informed about the risks and mitigating steps that all members can take to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Daily Checklists: Club / Athlete
Fencing Lesson Risk Mitigation: Protocol / Infographic
Sample Sign-In Sheet
Sample Combined Facility/Remote Training Waiver
COVID-19 Daily Declaration of Health Attestation and Agreement
Fasken (COC legal partner) Limiting Liability Resources (EN/FR)
Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each club to provide a safe space for their athletes to train in.
All day camps must follow regulations set out in the Roadmap to Reopen Framework as well as the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for: Day Camps published by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Longterm Care. Additionally, clubs should follow guidelines set out in the OFA Return To Play Protocol(V8).
Should a camp include competitions with external participants, clubs should consult the OFA Return to Competition Protocol (in progress) for further guidelines.
Return to Competition
The OFA has also provided a Return To Competition Protocol for clubs hosting events that include members of other clubs. Please refer to the OFA Event Sanctioning Process page for more information and to apply for OFA Sanction for your event.
The OFA recognizes that our membership is diverse. As such, we have attempted to translate the Protocol as well as Checklists into both French and Chinese. Please note that the official version is still the English one above. Any amendments will be reflected in the translated documents in a timely manner.
The OFA thanks Alexandrea (Xiaohan) Chen and Ada Liu for their aid in the Chinese translations. The OFA thanks Manuel Guittet and Maxime Brinck-Croteau for generating the French translation.
This section provides some of the commonly asked questions we have received so far. We will add to this list as we proceed into further phases, and as the
1. Is everyone supposed to sign in?
Yes. Every person who enters and exits the facility must sign in/out. This allows clubs to keep track of individuals inside the facilities, and to expedite communication to members and provincial healthcare authorities In the case that a positive case arises within the club.
There should be a designated individual recording all relevant information outlined in the Return to Fencing Section of the Protocol, to both maintain record consistency, as well as aid in communication and contact tracing should a positive case occur.
2. Is there a limit to the total number in the club?
The maximum number of individuals inside the club at any given time is dependent on the maximum gathering size permitted in the current Step in the Roadmap to Reopen framework. This includes athletes, coaches, staff, and parents.
3. Can my club have communal equipment to offer athletes in beginner classes?
Gloves should not be shared. Fencing jackets must be allowed to dry for at least 24 hours prior to being used by another individual. Fencing masks should be wiped down with a sanitizing wipe after use, and allowed to dry at least 24 hours prior to being used by another individual. Weapons and body/mask wires may be shared only after being wiped down with a sanitizing wipe and dried.
5. Can I hold outdoor classes if I have the space?
Yes starting in Step 1! Please refer to the gathering size limits for each Step in the Roadmap to Reopen framework to determine the size and scope of outdoor classes. Classes should also be scheduled to allow designated training groups to enter/exit without overlapping at any given time.