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    TORONTO – In response to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic and the sport restrictions that are in place in the Province of Ontario in 2020, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) and its members announced on Thursday October 15th their decision to cancel sanctioned varsity sports competition planned for the 2021 winter semester at the OCAA’s 27 member schools.

    Sports affected by the cancelation of the 2021 OCAA varsity sports winter schedule include badminton, basketball, curling, indoor soccer and volleyball.

    OCAA President, Nathan McFadden stated, “The health of the entire OCAA membership and our participants remains our top priority, and we empathize, understand, and share the deep disappointment this especially causes for our winter sport student-athletes. After extensive contingency planning and collaborating with our members, the reality is that there are far too many obstacles to allow the OCAA to operate while providing a safe and quality varsity experience for our student-athletes.”

    The OCAA made this difficult but necessary decision based on a number of factors, which are not limited to the following. The restrictive measures in place by the provincial sport regulatory bodies as well as orders from Public Health do not allow for regular sanctioned competition to take place for a provincial sports conference. Additionally, this decision is due to the members continued provision of a hybrid academic delivery model for the 2021 winter semester, thereby minimizing the number of students and staff on campuses in order to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.

    After careful analysis and collaboration with key stakeholders, the OCAA is making this decision now to allow our student-athletes time to make their own informed academic decisions in advance of the January 2021 semester.

    Although there will not be sanctioned varsity competition this winter, sport and fitness continue to be an integral part of the collegiate experience. Some OCAA member schools may still allow for unofficial sports opportunities in their facilities within the parameters set forth by governing sports organizations and local health officials. These decisions will be made at the institutional level.

    “The OCAA will return stronger from this due to our current strategic initiatives that are already underway,” said McFadden. “The future viability of our sports are going to be more important than ever before to enhancing the post-secondary educational experience and we look forward to uniting our student-athletes, campuses and communities together in sport.”



    Below are the OCAA’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    • 2021 Winter Season (October 15, 2020)
      • All OCAA varsity sports and OCR activities cancelled for winter 2021 semester due to COVID-19. View the press release here.
    • CCAA Eligibility (June 26, 2020)
      • CCAA eligibility consumption will be waived for the entirety of the 2020-21 seasons, regardless of National Championships being hosted in CCAA winter championship sports. See all CCAA Responses to COVID-19
    • Eligibility (June 23, 2020)
      • Applicable to the 2020-21 academic year only, official open team try-outs may not commence earlier than November 1st, 2020. A student will be eligible to participate in official open team try-outs if the student has confirmed and paid fees to the institution.
      • Applicable to the 2020-21 academic year only, students beginning in January who have been accepted and satisfied entry requirements can participate for their team beginning November 1st, 2020.
      • Non-CCAA Activity: adhere to all policies and guidelines that are outlined in the CCAA Activity section. Exception: Applicable to the 2020-21 academic year only, non-CCAA sports will be exempt from CCAA rule 5.1.
      • OCAA Eligibility Article 22.1.3 (5th Year Rule) waived for the 2020-21 academic year.
    • 2020 Fall Season (June 8, 2020)
      • All OCAA varsity sports and OCR activities suspended for fall 2020 semester due to COVID-19. View the press release here.
    • Sport Commitment Dates (May 22, 2020)
      • New commitment date of August 14, 2020 for winter sports. Exception – Curling remains December 1, 2020.
      • New commitment date of June 30, 2020 for fall sports.
    • Athletic Financial Aid 2020-21 (May 20, 2020)
      • As a result of COVID 19, all Athletic Financial Awards (AFAs) awarded to student-athletes for 2020-2021 seasons may be honoured at each institution’s discretion to students/student-athletes who were not able to participate in part or all of their sport season due to OCAA league cancelation or their institution’s choice to withdraw from that sport due to COVID-19.
    • Athletic Financial Aid Winter 2020 (April 30, 2020)
      • Student-athletes who were enrolled in deferred or delayed courses (i.e. placement, practicum, and courses with in person labs) during the winter 2020 semester and who are unable to complete those courses due to COVID-19 institutional or partner organization closure, may appeal to the OCAA Athletic Financial Awards Committee to be deemed eligible to receive an Athletic Financial Award (AFA). All appeals must be filed by June 1st, 2020.
    • Academic Progress 2019-20 Academic Year (April 30, 2020)
      • The OCAA will provide compliance relief from the amended CCAA Academic Progress Rule specifically for the 2019-20 academic year under the following parameters:
        1. Student-athletes who were enrolled full time in the Winter 2020 semester until at least March 15, 2020, or received a complete academic penalty free withdrawal with cause from the Winter 2020 semester, will be eligible for the 2020-21 season regardless of further credit completion. This includes:
          • Student-athletes who completed 6 or more credits in the Fall 2019 semester.*
          • One-semester sport student-athletes who completed 0-5 credits in the Fall 2019 semester.*
          • Two-semester sport student-athletes that were added to the ineligible list following the Fall 2019 semester (i.e. 0-5 credits completed).*
        2. Students who were on the ineligible list before the 2019-20 season and who did not restore their status during the Fall 2019 semester, but who were full-time students in the Winter 2020 semester until at least March 15, 2020 or received a complete academic penalty free withdrawal with cause from the Winter 2020 semester, may be removed from the list.
        3. Students who were on the ineligible list before the 2019-20 season and who were not enrolled Fall 2019/Winter 2020 remain on the list until reinstated through standard CCAA Reinstatement Rules (Article 9.3).



    For over 50 years, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association has been a dedicated leader in amateur athletics through the provision of quality varsity and recreational athletic opportunities at the collegiate level.

    For additional information please contact:
    Josh Bell-Webster
    Marketing and Communications
    Ontario Colleges Athletic Association
    Tel: 416-426-7041

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