OUA Announces Cancellation of Sanctioned Sport Programming Up To March 31, 2021
Burlington, Ont. (Thursday, October 15) – Under the direction of its Board of Directors, Ontario University Athletics (OUA), announces the cancellation of all OUA-sanctioned sport programming and championships up to March 31, 2021.
In line with the previous decision regarding 1st Term Sport, this difficult decision was based on provincial public health guidelines and with the health and well-being of all OUA participants at the forefront.
Dr. Deborah MacLatchy, Chair of the OUA Board of Directors. said yesterday, “The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans remains OUA’s number one priority.” “After significant consultation with our members and advisors, we have determined that OUA sport cannot be delivered prior to March 31.”
Given recent increases in cases across the province, it has become clear that OUA-sanctioned Return to Competition would not be safe for the 2nd Term.
“While we would love nothing more than to see our student-athletes back on the field of play and participating in OUA-sanctioned competition during the 2nd Term, we are not yet at a place where that can occur safely,” stated Gord Grace, OUA President & CEO. “As disappointing as that reality is, I am confident that our participants will continue to demonstrate their resolve and determination through these exceptional circumstances and as we work toward an eventual safe return to competition.”
University Athletic Departments may continue to determine their Return to Train guidelines on their respective campuses, and effective January 1, 2021 are responsible for determining any involvement in member-driven competitions/exhibition games, as per their institution’s policies and within regional and public health guidelines.
The OUA Board of Directors will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 across the province and reserves the right to adjust these decisions on an on-going basis.
“We recognize how disappointing this is to many, especially our student-athletes, but these are unprecedented times. We are committed to delivering OUA Sport once it is safe to do so,” MacLatchy added.
At the national level, U SPORTS has confirmed the cancellation of all national championships for the 2nd Term. For more information on how these decisions impact Athletic Financial Awards, Transfer Rules, and Eligibility for the 2020-21 season, please visit the U SPORTS website.
“A decision like this is never easy to make,” added Grace. “To continue to uphold the health and safety of all participants, however, it remains a necessary step to take, and I commend the OUA Board of Directors for their work and decision-making throughout this process.”
For media inquiries, please contact Gord Grace at the information below:
President & CEO
Ontario University Athletics
Ontario University Athletics (OUA), under the direction of its Board of Directors, announces the cancellation of all OUA-sanctioned sport programming and championships up to March 31, 2021. In line with the previous decision regarding 1st Term Sport, this difficult decision was based on provincial public health guidelines and with the health and well-being of all OUA participants at the forefront.
What was the rationale for the 2nd Term decision?
The health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials, and fans is our number one priority. Because of this, the OUA has been consistently following the directive of
public health authorities, and it was after conversations with our medical advisors, as well as extensive contingency planning with the Board of Directors, member institutions, and
colleagues across the country, that it became increasingly evident that a safe return to play for the 2nd Term was not realistic. After this significant consultation, and under the
direction of the Board of Directors, the decision to cancel all OUA-sanctioned sport programming and championships up to March 31, 2021 was made to best ensure the safety and
well-being of all participants.
Will school teams be allowed to train on campus?
Members will continue to have the autonomy to implement Return to Train protocols in accordance with provincial health regulations, while maintaining the emphasis on the safety
and well-being of all participants. In addition, members should abide by their respective institutional policies and procedures, insurance, facility protocols, etc. Further direction in
Return to Train guidelines will also be advised upon by the sport’s respective provincial and/or national organization.
Will school teams be allowed to play exhibition games?
In addition to determining their Return to Train guidelines on their respective campuses, effective January 1, 2021 members are responsible for determining any involvement in
member-driven competitions/exhibition games, as per their institution’s policies and within regional and public health guidelines.
Will OUA sport programming return for the 2nd Term in any capacity?
The OUA Board of Directors will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 across the province and reserves the right to review and adjust these decisions on an on-going basis.
How will this decision affect regulations relating to student-athletes (i.e. AFAs, eligibility, etc.)?
The OUA and our national committee representatives are working closely with U SPORTS to ensure any updates to regulations are student-centered and minimize the impact to
student-athletes. Many rules – including AFAs, eligibility, and transfers – are national in scope, and have been managed by U SPORTS, in harmonization across the country. For more
information about decisions related to these student-athlete regulations, please visit: https://usports.ca/hq/covid-19-resources/covid-19-advisory
How will the OUA handle regulations for non-U SPORTS recognized programming?
Regulations relating to student-athletes, including AFAs and eligibility, fall under U SPORTS jurisdiction, with related decisions having come from the national office. The OUA plans to
align with the direction and delivery decided upon by the national office for the entirety of the conference’s sport landscape, including the OUA’s 11 sports that fall outside U SPORTS
offerings. For more information, please visit: https://usports.ca/hq/covid-19-resources/covid-19-advisory
Where can student-athletes and families turn for additional information from their institutions?
Everyone across the university landscape understands the unprecedented nature of this decision and the impact of that the COVID-19 pandemic is having not just across our
stakeholders, but society as a whole. As we continue to navigate this complex and unchartered territory, we encourage any student-athletes and families looking for further
information or that has any additional questions to contact your school’s Athletic Department.
Courtesy of the OUA: https://oua.ca/sports/2020/7/24/covid19_faq.aspx