The OPFL has unveiled their Return to Play Plan and Timelines. This will help you understand the options considered at each Step of the Ontario reopening plan. The bottom line is that as of July 2nd, we can resume with some football activities. Under direction of the league, we will align and follow the public health and safety measures in Step 1 as set out in section 45(7) of Ontario Regulation 82/20: RULES FOR AREAS IN SHUTDOWN ZONE AND AT STEP 1. To date there has been no other written directives from the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture or the municipal or public health units.
We have held our own discussions with the Ministry, as well as the health unit regarding our plans for re-opening and we are being extremely diligent in following these directives for the safety of our players and volunteers. Being health focused is an important part of the Junior Gaels Football Club – from COVID protocols to ENK safe contact training and training on head injuries and recovery – it is important for us to be health oriented and put the wellbeing of our young athletes first, regardless of how eager we are to get on the field.
OPFL RETURN TO PLAY
STEP 1 – Because of the restrictions of a maximum of 10 people in any group activity (ex: 9 players, 1 coach) and physical distance of at least three metres, we don’t feel we can delivery quality programming while keeping costs reasonable.
STEP 2 (Anticipated date is July 2nd): We are awaiting further details on specific restrictions and guidelines that will be in place, but we are anticipating restricted numbers, physical distancing, and other restrictions. This 3-week phase will allow players to resume activities in a progressive way to prevent injuries and get ready for step 3. This would mean for us Outdoor training and/or non contact football (Internal programing – no external competition).
STEP 3 (Anticipated date is July 23rd): We are awaiting further details on specific restrictions and guidelines that will be in place, but we are anticipating no restrictions on participant numbers, continued physical distancing and other restrictions, and we are also anticipating return to contact football. The OPFL has mapped out 3 possible scenarios that will be based on if tackle is allowed and if High School football will resume.
Scenario A – If no contact football allowed: 9 week program (ending around September 19th) of non-contact football including regional games, jamboree and bowl.
Scenario B – If contact football allowed AND high school football resumes: A 9-week program (ending around September 19th) of contact football including jamboree, tournament format games and bowl (think Canada Cup). This would allow players to finish in time to compete with their high school teams. *This programming is subject to change when we receive formal confirmation on high school programs start dates .
Scenario C – If contact football allowed AND the is no High school football: 14-week program (ending around October 17th) including jamboree, regional season games, semi-final bowls and bowl challenge.
Our Executive Board will be meeting this week to discuss what is possible, based on coach availability and field allocations. We will keep you updated as we confirm further details but rest assured, we are doing everything we can to make things happen as soon as possible.
Registration for Non-Contact Football programming is currently open, we will open additional programming as we confirm details outlined above.
President, Jr Gaels Football Club