COVID-19

COVID-19 FAQ

FAQ Document 

 

Last Updated: July 23, 2020 

 

As the situation evolves Rugby Ontario will continue to follow the orders and advice of Rugby Canada and both the Federal and Ontario Governments. The Rugby Ontario staff will keep this document updated as best as we can.
 

1. COMPETITIONS: CLUB RUGBY

 

What is the status of the various provincial leagues and competitions, such as the Marshall League, OWL and Junior leagues? 

 

At the present time, Rugby Ontario continues to monitor the situation and the Emergency Orders of the Ontario Government and public health authorities.  We are actively working on ‘Return to Play’ protocols in conjunction with Rugby Canada. However, it is very unlikely the provincial leagues will take place in 2020. 

 

Will Rugby Ontario plan to run other provincial events such as OWL Cup Day, Jr. Cup Day, McCormick Cup, Fall 7s Series and Minor Festival? 

 

At this time it is very unlikely these provincial events will be able to take place in 2020. As the situation develops we will look at various ways that we can bring the Ontario rugby community together in a safe manner that aligns with the Emergency Orders of the Ontario Government and the directions from public health authorities. 

 

Once the Rugby Canada suspension is lifted, can we play straight away? 

This is outlined in the Return to Play plan which can be found at https://www.rugbyontario.com/return-to-play/ 

 

2. RETURN TO PLAY 

 

Phase Related Questions 

  

Q: We are looking to get to a place where we can offer our members a period of practice building into some form of Flag House league. We would need to be in Phase 3 to do so, once all the paperwork is completed and approved, would we land in Phase 3 of the return to play?  

  

A: At this point in time any health unit that is in stage 3 of Ontario’s re-opening is in Phase 2 of Return to Play. We are seeking clarity with the Ontario Government to understand what is meant by prolonged or deliberate physical contact. Once we receive clarity on that point, we will communicate with those who are in stage 3 of the Ontario re-opening plan and make it clear which RTP phase the clubs are in. Our hope is we can progress to Phase 3 of Return to Play, but clarity from the Ontario Government is required first.  

  

Q: In phase 1 does the limit of 10 apply to individual practice sessions or total team numbers? Could we do 10 groups of 10 split up on half a field for each 10?  

  

A: This is allowed provided that each practice group has their own coaches and social distancing can be maintained. You should also check with your regional health guidelines, as some may limit the number of people on the field at once (even if distanced).  

  

Q: Will we have to start at phase 1 of reopening or can we go to stage 2 or 3?   

  

A: The stage at which the club reopens is based on the Ontario Government’s reopening plan and how that impacts your region.  

  

That said, we are seeking clarity with the Ontario Government to understand what is meant by prolonged or deliberate physical contact. Once we receive clarity on that point, we will communicate with those who are in stage 3 of the Ontario re-opening plan and make it clear what stage the club is in. Our hope is we can progress to Phase 3 of Return to Play, but clarity from the Ontario Government is required first.  

  

Q: What happens if the province moves a region back to Ontario Reopening Phase 2? Do we remain in Rugby Ontario Phase 3? 

  

A: Rugby Ontario will follow all government health guidelines with regards to Covid-19. If a region is moved back to a lower stage, Rugby Ontario would subsequently move clubs in that region back to the corresponding Rugby Ontario RTP phase. Any phase transitions will be communicated by the COVID Managers. 

  

Q: We are interested in running a touch competition within our club. Is there any chance that Rugby Ontario is running an inter-city competitive touch league or is inter-city travel completely out of the question this year? 

  

A: At this point touch competitions and inter-club competition are not permitted. Before we can make a decision on any sort of competitive league we would need to have clearance from the government (progression in reopening stages). Clubs are able to indicate they plan to run touch programming once permitted, however any application with touch programming may be forced to revise or they may receive approval with restrictions. 

  

Q: Do you expect a new set of registration dues as of RTP Phase 4 that players may be able to upgrade in order to participate in contact rugby? Do you have any idea as to what the future numbers might be? 

  

A: We will have to update to “contact” dues. Similar to past years there are different fees for different activities. A non-contact membership is a different liability category than a contact membership. Details of additional Membership Categories and Dues for all future Phases of the Return to Play Plan will be communicated in due course. As Phases are opened, Registered Participants will be able to upgrade their membership. 

  

RTP Sanctioning 

  

Q: There is no real timescale on achieving paperwork, reviews, approvals, etc. Do you have one in mind? 

  

A: There is no set deadline for clubs to submit by, you can take the time that you need to do so (with the support of your Club Liaison team). We will strive to have approvals or any necessary changes back to you as soon as possible. Depending on the volume of applications for sanctioning we should have a fairly quick turnaround once all of the sanctioning documents are submitted. 

  

Q: What is exactly needed for the Club Safety Plan and EAP?  Do we just complete the forms?  Is there any way this can become linked to google docs so what we enter automatically saves? 

  

A: At this point the Club Safety Plan and EAP need to be filled out to the best of your ability.  

 Are you able to download the Club Safety Plan to your computer and insert the details in the text fields and upload? If not let us know and we can work out a solution. 

  

Q: Is it required that at least one coach or Covid safety officer have first aid certification for the club to be able to host training? We have three certified first aid responders (two coaches and one officer) but just wondering if for some reason all three were coincidentally unavailable? 

  

A: On page 19 of the Rugby Ontario Return to Play Plan it outlines the need for all in-person rugby activities to have a designated first aid responder. Based on what you have said, one of the 3 people must always be in attendance for the training session to run. 

  

Q: Our practice locations are high school pitches. We need an alternate location for shelter in case of extreme weather. Due to social distancing requirements, moving indoors would not be possible given the number of people. To solve this, should we have parents of the younger players remain close – like in the parking lot?  

  

A: If extreme weather is predicted, we suggestion advising parents to remain nearby in their cars or stay socially distant in the parking lot. The key is to maintain social distancing as it has been mandated by government.  

  

Activity Delivery 

  

Q: What is the procedure for post-activity social gatherings? Would after practice drinks social distanced on a patio be acceptable? 

  

A: As far as after practice beers, anything post rugby will have to adhere to provincial legislation. Re. Social distancing measures, clubhouse capacity etc. 

  

Q: What are the recommended non-compliance consequences for Clubs to consider? 

  

A: The Rugby Ontario RTP Plan states possible reinstitution of suspension of rugby activities, and possibly other government consequences should clubs violate the Emergency Orders.  

Rugby Ontario would first work with clubs to educate and ensure proper understanding. Further non-compliance may result in sanctioning being withdrawn and change to Club Membership status. We do not have a registry of all violations and their penalties. It’s a fluid situation but the severity of a violation will dictate the consequences. 

  

Q: How would you like attendance logged? 

  

A: Attendance will be logged through SportLomo.   

  

Q: Are the suggested training activities considered at higher risk of spread for COVID-19 (e.g. activities involving a high number of touch points)? 

  

A: The activities prescribed by Rugby Ontario are low risk as long as the requirements for each phase is followed. If the outlined procedures and guidelines are followed, the activities are low risk. 

 

 

 

3. MINOR RUGBY AND ROOKIE RUGBY

 

Is the Minor Festival season cancelled? 

It is very unlikely that the Minor Festivals season will take place. Rugby Ontario will continue to look for ways to engage the minor community while taking into account the Emergency Orders of the Ontario Government and the directions from public health authorities.  If you have any further questions please contact Ryan Jones at rjones@rugbyontario.com. 

 

Will the Canada Summer Job Interns/ Community Rugby Interns be impacted by the current situation? 

Rugby Ontario is actively working with Service Canada to change the parameters of the 2020 Canada Summer Jobs Internship Program. We have applied to amend the timing of the internships to begin on November 30th and run for 12 weeks commencing on February 28th, the latest possible end date for interns under the flexibility allowed by Service Canada. Recognizing that most interns will be in school at that time, approved interns will be required to work 20 hours a week. We believe this will help clubs actively recruit from schools and community groups during the winter should funding be approved. Any questions can be directed to Ryan Jones at rjones@rugbyontario.com 

 

 

4. PROVINCIAL RUGBY/HIGH PERFORMANCE

 

What impact does the indefinite suspension of activities have on the Sr. Women’s Program?  

All activities associated with the Sr. Women’s program have been temporarily suspended. The ECRC originally scheduled for June 12th – 14th has also been postponed. Rugby Ontario is working with the other Eastern provinces and Rugby Canada to determine if/when this competition can be held. Once the feasibility of the ECRC has been determined, next steps will be taken as needed.  

 

What impact does the indefinite suspension of activities have on the u19 Program?  

The u19 Program as well as the u19 CRC has been cancelled has a result of COVID-19. However, players eligible for the u19 program are still invited to engage in the provincial summer training program 

 

What impact does the indefinite suspension of activities have on the Ontario Blues Academy?  

The final combine continues to be postponed due to the current restrictions in place by the provincial government and Rugby Ontario. As we continue to work through the return to play process and restrictions are gradually lifted, more information on the alternative combine date will be released. 

 

What impact does the indefinite suspension of activities have on the Jr. Blues Program?  

A revised Jr. Blues program has been developed to allow for elite athlete development within the parameters set by Rugby Ontario, Rugby Canada and the Provincial Government. For more information on the Provincial Summer Training Program, please see below: 

 

Is the Provincial summer Training program open to everyone? 

As spots in the program are limited, returning provincial athletes will have first access to registration. If spots remain available players can apply to participate. If you are interested in engaging in the program, please have your club or high school coach contact Paul Connelly & Sean Medeiros with your nomination. 

 

 

Do I need to be registered with a club to participate? 

Yes, all player engaged in the summer training program must be club registered for insurance purposes. In the scenario where a club’s registration is not yet active, they can register via the Ontario Blues program. Once their club registration is active, they will then be transferred to their club. 

 

Can I register to participate in the provincial summer training program before I register with my club? 

Yes, players are able to register and reserve their spot in the provincial summer training program before registering with their club. However, all players must be club registered before attending any sessions.

What process is in place to minimize the risk of individuals experiencing COVID19 symptoms engaging in sessions? 

All players and staff must complete an online attestation form 2 hours before the session. If they are experiencing any symptoms they must remain home. If an attestation form is not complete, they will not be allowed to engage in the session.

How will training groups be determined at provincial sessions? 

As best as possible, we will group players together based on their club and the region they have traveled from. Coaches will be matched with groups as well to ensure consistent delivery of content and to avoid integrations between multiple groups.

Can parents/ guardians stay to watch the session? 

No, during phase one of the return to play process parents/guardians will not be permitted to watch the session from around the field. Parents/guardians can remain in their cars during the session or drop off players and pick them up after the session is complete.

How will a positive test from a participant be handled? 

If a positive test were to occur, the athlete should immediately contact the High Performance COVID-19 Safety Coordinator (Paul Connelly). The Rugby Ontario COVID-19 Manager would be notified and begin the tracking and tracing process as outlined by Rugby Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Health. 

 

 

5. REGISTRATION

 

Which membership categories will be suspended? 

Based on the Rugby Canada suspension being extended, registration will be temporarily suspended as of Monday April 6th for the following membership categories: 

  • All player categories 
  • All coach, Match Official & therapist categories 
  • Administration categories, such as Team Manager 

 

Further updates will be coming shortly regarding registration. Registration will not open for clubs until they clear the RTP Sanctioning process. 

 

Which membership categories are still available?  

The following categories will remain open and available: 

  • Board member 
  • Social member 

Neither membership carries national or provincial fees. 

 

What is the importance of being registered as a Board Member?
If your club utilizes Director & Officers Insurance, please ensure that the elected or appointed leaders of your club are registered as Board Members. As we go through these difficult and changing times, it is important that rugby leaders have the right protection when it comes to making tough decisions as needed. Please contact Elisa DiGiulio, Member Services Coordinator, at edigiulio@rugbyontario.com if you require further assistance. 

 

What is the purpose of the Social Membership? 

Your club can utilize this membership category to receive any payments, donations, etc. as required during this period of suspension. 

 

6. REFUNDS

 

The resulting impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on rugby programming has created a unique situation that our administration has not been faced with previously.  At this time of year, membership dues represent a material financial contribution to support our operations and delivery of programs, and those of our Member Clubs. 

As we continue to navigate these challenging and uncertain times, Rugby Ontario would like to extend the opportunity for members that have registered in 2020 to forego a refund and consider making a contribution to Rugby Ontario and their respective Club to support the ongoing operations and administration of future rugby programs. 

 

Can registered members request a refund from Rugby Ontario? 

Please refer to the Rugby Ontario Refund Policy. Requests for refunds may be submitted for the following: 

  • Any temporary memberships which were purchased for a forthcoming tour scheduled during the suspension of sanctioned rugby activities, or a tour impacted by the travel advisories issued by the Government of Canada in March 2020; 
  • Anyone who purchased a 2020 Membership and has not yet participated in any rugby related activities; these are not limited to training and matches. 

The timing of refunds may be significantly delayed due to inadvertent financial and administrative constraints at this time. We ask for your patience and support as we work through this situation. 

 

How do I request a refund? 

 

Refunds must be formally requested by the member, or on behalf of a member by a parent or guardian (applicable for any registrant under the age of majority in Ontario), through their SportLoMo account. 

There are two processes for refunds: 

Automatic Refunds: If a refund is requested within 15 days of the registration date, an automatic refund will be issued to the credit card used for purchase via SportLoMo. 

Manual Refunds: If a refund is requested more than 15 days from the registration date, and is approved, Rugby Ontario will issue the refund for its portion of the registration dues offline by electronic funds transfer. Please note processing time may be significantly impacted as a result of COVID-19. 

Full details on how to request an automatic refund and a manual refund can be found on our website here. 

Important note: If a refund is approved, Rugby Canada, Rugby Ontario and the Member Club will each process their portion of the refund separately offline, outside of the SportLoMo platform; therefore, members who qualify for refunds will receive separate payments from these three entities. 

If you have questions in regards to Rugby Ontario’s refund process, please contact our Member Services Coordinator, Elisa DiGiulio at edigiulio@rugbyontario.com. 

 

How will I receive my refund from Rugby Ontario once I request it through SportLomo? 

In an effort to streamline our accounting process and enhance efficiency, Rugby Ontario (The Ontario Rugger Union) will be providing the refund through a secured direct deposit platform, Plooto. Plooto is our trusted online payment system and allows online transfers directly to your bank account. The Ontario Rugger Union uses Plooto, a secure business payment platform, to: 

1) Avoid delays or disruptions 

2) Reduce the risk of lost or stolen cheques in the mail and any fraud 

3) Have one consistent electronic form of payments to all our contacts 

When you receive an email from Plooto, please know it is safe to follow the outlined instructions to obtain your payment from The Ontario Rugger Union. Learn more at www.plooto.co. 

 

What refunds are currently being issued by Rugby Canada?
Rugby Canada is currently issuing refunds for the following: 

  • Any tours that have been sanctioned, and now cancelled; 
  • Any temporary memberships which were purchased for a forthcoming tour; 
  • Any Try Rugby events that were planned and are no longer going ahead. 

 

How do I get my refund from Rugby Canada? 

Rugby Canada has issued a statement providing an update on refund information. Full online refunds will be approved automatically if a request is submitted within 15 days of original purchase and no rugby activities have been attended within the 15-day timeframe. Outside the 2-week registration date, Rugby Canada will be issuing cheques to members who qualify for a refund. For further information, or to request a refund, please email refunds@rugby.ca. 

Please note that Rugby Canada is currently working through a number of refunds nationally and there may be a delay in processing time. 

 

 

7. TRAINING AND EDUCATION

 

Are upcoming Coaching and Match Official courses cancelled? 

Yes. Due to the current suspension of all rugby-related activities, and the closure of all schools in Ontario, all previously scheduled coaching and match official courses are currently postponed. 

 

Will courses be rescheduled later this year? 

Rugby Ontario will be working on rescheduling courses throughout the province once it is safe to do so, following all of the guidelines provided by Rugby Canada and the Government of Canada and Ontario. 

 

Will any courses be provided online? 

Rugby Canada and the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) are currently working towards piloting certain sections and modules from courses online. Requirements, expectations and standards are still being determined and finalized. Full details will be provided once Rugby Ontario is updated and the option of online courses is confirmed. 

  

What e-learning can I complete from home? 

The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) have a wide range of online e-modules, both free and at a cost, which can be completed. Full details can be found on the CAC website here and will be completed through The Locker. If you do not currently have a Locker profile, you can register for one here. 

 

World Rugby has a wide range of e-learning modules, from Laws of the Game to Player Welfare, to name a few. All modules can be found and completed on the World Rugby Training Passport website here. 

 

Rugby Canada is also currently offering webinars each week on a variety of topics; full schedule can be found on Rugby Canada’s website here. Additional webinars will be added to the schedule as confirmed. 

 

8.  RUGBY ONTARIO STAFF / OFFICE

 

Is the Rugby Ontario office open? 

No. Our office, which is located in the Abilities Centre in Whitby, has been closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future.  

 

Is the staff reachable?  

Yes. Our staff are all working from home and can be reached via email during our traditional office hours.  

Click here to view our Staff Directory. 

 

9. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

 

Webinars: 

Rugby Canada Webinar Series Here 

Coach Logic – Upcoming Webinars Here 

The Free Jacks Academy (New England) – Coaches Webinars Here 

 

Coaching Resources: 

Rugby Ontario Coaching Corner – Here 

Rugby Ontario Coaching Resources – Here 

World Rugby Training Passport – Here 

 

Websites and Videos: 

 

At Home Player Workouts: 

  • Lean Squad by Phil Mackenzie (former Canadian International Player) – Here 
  • England Rugby & Virgin Active Training Videos – Here 
  • Best Bodyweight Exercises for Rugby, The Rugby Store – Here 
  • No Equipment Workout, Rugby Renegade – Here 

 

Instagram Challenge: #StayRugbyReady 

Share how you are planning to #StayRugbyReady with us on Instagram and we will feature your video in our story. Be sure to follow @RugbyOntario on Instagram and tag your friends in your post.  

 

Rugby Podcasts: 

  • House of Rugby  
  • The Rugby Pod  
  • The Left Wing  
  • Player Development Project  
  • The Rugby Coaches Corner  
  • The Talent Equation 
     

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES