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ONTARIO SOCCER IS PREPARING FOR THE OUTDOOR SEASON 2021, IN WHATEVER FORM THAT GOVERNMENT PUBLIC HEALTH PROTOCOLS WILL ALLOW, AND IS ENCOURAGING THE MEMBERSHIP TO BEGIN THEIR OWN RETURN TO PLAY PREPARATIONS BASED ON TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT. 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 The Government of Ontario announced today that it is ending the Provincial Lockdown for three Public Health Units beginning on Feb. 10 and phasing-in a return to the Public Health Restrictions for the remaining Public Health Units and their respective colour-coded zones. Click here to find out when your Public Health Unit is scheduled to end its Lockdown. Organizations can find here when their Public Health Unit will be allowed to return to the appropriate colour-coded zones used in Return to Play. These dates, set out by the Government of Ontario, may change depending on the trends in local public health indicators. As a result of this decision, Ontario Soccer has announced that Return to Play can commence for the three Public Health Units, permitted to end their Lockdown, beginning on Feb. 10. As a reminder, in the Public Health Units which are permitted, only Phase 1; Individualized Training (Red), or Phase 2: Group Training and Modified Games (Orange, Yellow, Green) are allowed at this time. Organizations can follow the Ontario Soccer Decision Making Tree to determine their Public Health Unit, which colour-coded zone their Public Health Unit falls under and then review the Return to Play Guide to understand which activities are permitted in your Public Health Unit. Ontario Soccer is preparing for the Outdoor Season 2021, in whatever form that Government Public Health protocols will allow, and is encouraging the membership to begin their own Return to Play preparations. The recent Return to Play survey, conducted by Ontario Soccer, showed that a level of excitement is returning to the game, as 76% of parents stated they plan to register their children to play Outdoor soccer in 2021. In the Spring of 2020, only 30% of parents expressed confidence they would register their children to play Outdoor in 2020. For those organizations that completed the Return to Play requirements in 2020, you are not required to complete the Canada Soccer Risk Assessment Tool again. However, organizations should review the updated Return to Play Guide and ensure your Return to Play plan is in alignment with most current edition of the guide on the Ontario Soccer website. Organizations are reminded, that to take advantage of the Supporting Ontario's Recovery Act, 2020, which provides liability protection for workers, volunteers and organizations that make an honest effort to follow public health guidelines and laws relating to exposure to COVID-19, all participants must be registered in OSCAR, Ontario Soccer’s official Club and Academy Registry. This is a mandatory requirement and ensures all participants have Accident and Liability Insurance coverage, as well as protection under the Supporting Ontario’s Recovery Act. For organizations that did not complete the requirements for Return to Play in 2020, you are now required to do so, prior to engaging in Return to Play activities in 2021.

Please be advised of the following critical sport specific steps and directives from Ontario Soccer, in alignment with Canada Soccer on soccer’s implementation plan. 1. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must read and understand Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide (the plan) – Protocols and Recommendations document. Ontario Soccer has been provided through the Province of Ontario, direction on Return to Play safety protocol and guidelines. Canada Soccer and the Ontario Soccer Board of Directors have both approved Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide and Plan. 2. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must prepare their own Return to Play Plans for use within their membership. Use of Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play Guide (the plan) is encouraged. 3. All affiliated Clubs and Academies must complete Canada Soccer’s Risk Assessment Tool. Please do not complete this tool until you have completed step 2 above. Please ensure only one person from your Club or Academy completes the online assessment. Do not forward or share the online link tool with others. The Canada Soccer Online Risk Assessment Tool can be found here. If you have any issues with the link provided please contact Patty Forbes, Director, Administrator. Ontario Soccer will host Return to Play webinars, which will assist members who are completing the Return to Play steps for the first time, as well as any members which would like to further review the steps ahead of 2021. Click here to register for a webinar for those who are completing Return to Play for the first time. It will take place February 11 at 1 p.m. Click here to register for a webinar for those who have previously completed the Return to Play process and are seeking a refresher and update on the material. It will take place February 18 at 1 p.m. How do I stay connected to Ontario Soccer? For further information please refer to the latest bulletins on the COVID-19 Updates page, which has all 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. If you have not subscribed to our weekly e-Newsletter, Subscribe to INSIDE THE 18. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you have any further questions, please contact Patty Forbes, Director, Administration.

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