Tag Archives: government

Tighter COVID-19 rules to impact sports in Ottawa, Toronto

The so-called hot spots for COVID-19 cases – Ottawa, Toronto, and Peel Region – have seen a number of new restrictions imposed by the provincial government. The new rules affect many aspects of society, including sports, which now will be prohibited from any scrimmages, limited only to training with physical distancing.

Ontario government logo

From the Ford government announcement… “In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

The new rules, for these regions, will take effect on Saturday, October 10, at 12:01 a.m.

In terms of sports, the rules state, “Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).”

These three regions will also see social gathering numbers reduced to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, along with the closure of bars/restaurants for indoor service, gyms and fitness centres, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing arts centres, spectator areas at racing facilities, and more.

For the full details, please see the government press release here.

These new measures do not, at this time, apply to our region, remains in the government’s Stage 3 plan.

Earlier this week, MPP Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism, and culture industries, was quoted in a CBC News story about the provincial government’s plans for hockey, specifically the top junior league, the OHL. In the piece, MacLeod was quoted as stating that the OHL will have to “remove physical contact, including bodychecking, if it’s to have a 2020-21 season.”

According to MacLeod, as quoted in the story, the OHL is not interested in playing under a bubble format as the NHL did for its 2020 playoffs. The OHL had already delayed the new season, tentatively aiming for a December 1 start (unlike Quebec’s major junior hockey league which began regular play this month and has experienced COVID-19 positive cases).

The CBC News story about MacLeod and the OHL further indicated that the provincial government would require the OHL and all sports organizations in Ontario to remove close physical contact amongst players. Also complicating issues for the league is the fact two teams are located in current COVID-19 hot spots, while three other clubs play out of USA cities.

Regarding local junior hockey leagues, the EOJHL (junior ‘B’) has begin team-versus-team scrimmages without body contact, as has the CCHL (junior ‘A’), following the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play policy and its high-performance league guidelines.

The so-called HEO Stage 3(a) allows “our players an opportunity to safely continue their development by participating in modified-for-COVID non-contact game play.” In addition to the CCHL and EOJHL, this applies to the HEO U18 ‘AAA’ and HEO Minor ‘AAA’ leagues.

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Sports cancelled at Le Relais and PRSSAA, modifications for SDGAA and EOSSAA

The tumultuous 2019-20 high school year recently saw sports league participation curtailed by the French Catholic board (Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l’Est ontarien) affecting student-athletes at Alexandria’s Le Relais and Cornwall’s La Citadelle.

Among the sports underway at École secondaire catholique Le Relais was boys basketball, under coach Eric Crête. When the season came to an end, les Rapides had a 2-2 record for senior and were 1-3 for junior.

Le Relais is a member of the Prescott-Russell athletics association which proceeded to cancel all league sports.

La Citadelle is a member of the SD&G association which continued to play, though there were schedule modifications. Les Patriotes were forced to cancel all of their teams, though, and pull out of league action.

The SDGAA has regularly modified schedules to respond to strike days and bus cancellations, as all regular seasons were completed. Some sports, such as boys basketball and girls volleyball, have also finished their league playoffs.

EOSSAA, the overseeing high school sports body for Eastern Ontario, has modified its schedule for competitions, and current dates are subject to change.

EOSSAA announcement
EOSSAA announcement

For Le Relais, one of the biggest sports is their boys hockey team and participation at the annual Tournoi Franco Ontarien. This year, that’s all on hold as well, pending successful teacher union contract negotiations with the provincial government.

There have also been schedule and event changes at the OFSAA level.

All winter sports, through provincial championships, are slated to wrap up by early next month, before the scheduled March Break.

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Sports Day in Canada, celebrated in Glengarry County

The national Sports Day in Canada program, which is designed to get Canadians more active and try out new activities, will see programming available in Glengarry county, and Glengarrians are encouraged to participate.

Here’s the schedule of opportunities in South Glengarry, with activities running from Nov. 14 through 20:

And, Friday, Nov. 20 is national jersey day, where you are encouraged to don the uniform of your favourite sports team and wear it proudly in public.

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