Return to Play Update: Ontario Reopening Step 3

July 14, 2021


Return to Play Update: Ontario Reopening Step 3

July 14th, 2021

(WHITBY, ON) - On Friday, July, 9, 2021 the Provincial Government announced that Ontario will be moving into Step 3 of Roadmap to Reopen as of 12:01AM on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

As of this Friday, July 16, 2021 at 12:01AM all sanctioned rugby clubs are permitted to begin activity in Modified Phase 4 of our Return to Play Plan. All members wishing to participate in contact will need register or upgrade to an active contact registration category. 

Updated Rugby Ontario Documentation

* Rugby Ontario Return to Play Plan  

* RTP Plan Bridging Document  

* Return to Play Infographic  

* RTP Club Status Document  

* Phase 4/Step 3 Contact Registration Update

What does this mean for rugby? 

Please read below and refer to the RTP Plan Summary document and other Return to Play documents for more information. 

Provincial Restrictions for Step 3 include a number of items that were not present in Steps 1 & 2. Please ensure that you have reviewed the documents attached to this email and the points below as well as O.Reg. 364/20: Rules For Areas at Step 3 as they relate to Sport and Recreation. Note that there will be required actions for all clubs regardless of whether the club has already been sanctioned.

Return to Contact: World Rugby Competition Ready Guidelines.  

Rugby Ontario have developed a timeline which outlines our projected return to competition / competitive fall leagues. As advised by Rugby Canada and World Rugby, a gradual return to contact is required to limit certain risks associated with a return to contact sport after long layoffs forced by lockdown and restrictions to contact sport. Additionally, this timeline provides additional time to organize all aspects of a competition such as, match officials registration, player registration upgrades as well as the scheduling of leagues and fixtures and inputting those matches into the competition management platform. 

As we move towards the return of fixtures, we as a sport must put player welfare at the forefront. As outlined in the attached timeline, we are projecting a return of leagues in September with an extensive exhibition fixture window in August. We will be working over the next few weeks to provide more detail on exactly what the September to November competition window will look like. 

More information will be out on this shortly as we will want to hear more about the interest within your club and the types of competition you would like to see return. 


* Sanctioned clubs will receive an updated Sanctioning Letter which will outline that your club has been approved for Return to Play Phase 4 Activities. 

* Sanctioned clubs have already outlined that they will adhere to all Provincial Guidelines and Return to Play procedures, this expectation will be extended to Phase 4 Activities. This will eliminate any need to provide updated sanctioning forms. 

* Any planned inter-club activity (including exhibition fixtures) will need be sanctioned through the Inter-Club Activity Form. – See attachment. 


* All persons at the facility, whether indoor or outdoor, must wear a mask or face covering unless engaged in the activity.

* This includes coaches, medical staff, club personnel, spectators (with exceptions; refer to the Ontario Government Regulations for specific detail).


* A new requirement within the Step 3 Regulations is for Permit Holders to record the contact details of all spectators. 

* A simple word document that outlines the date and facility and collects the full name, and contact details of all spectators at the facility. Alternatively, if you would like to set up a google form or a similar online process you’re free to do so. 

* Posted Capacity: All permit holders must have a posted capacity limit for their venue displayed in a visible location. We recommend confirming with your permit office on the exact number allowed at your venue.

Registration / Upgrade to Contact 

* Please see this document which outlines the process for Contact Registration.  

Thank you all for your resilience and patience throughout this entire experience. As always, we will continue to monitor the Provincial Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the impact that has on our clubs. We will provide updates as more details are released. Please reach out if you have any questions or if you require further clarification.


Rugby Ontario is the provincial sports governing body responsible for the organization of rugby in Ontario. Our mission is to establish a stronger identity for rugby in Ontario by promoting the sport’s core values and by fostering a culture of inclusiveness and excellence on and off the field of play.

To learn more, visit