Rugby Ontario Introduces Mandatory Vaccination Policy

November 18, 2021


Rugby Ontario Introduces Mandatory Vaccination Policy

October 29th, 2021

(WHITBY, ON) - Rugby Ontario, in conjunction with Rugby Canada and other Provincial Rugby Unions, is introducing a Mandatory Vaccination Policy, which will come into effect on November 15th, 2021. Approved by the Rugby Ontario Board of Directors, this Policy is mandatory for all participants, which includes players, coaches, officials, team staff, and volunteers who are involved in Rugby Ontario Sanctioned Activities.  

The Policy requires that all Participants subject to this policy be fully vaccinated with the required doses of a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine or obtain an approved exemption. It complies with the general measures and recommendations to help combat the spread of COVID-19 as established by Public Health Canada and by provincial health authorities.  

The Rugby Ontario COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy can be viewed here.

“The Board of Directors of Rugby Ontario unanimously supports a mandatory vaccination policy for our sport.” said Kathleen McGinn, Chair of the Rugby Ontario Board of Directors.  “We would like to thank our national, regional and local leaders for their contribution, support and guidance in the lead-up to this implementation. Making vaccination mandatory is an important step forward for rugby in Ontario and reflects the priority we are placing on the  safety and well-being of all rugby participants.” 

“As it has been since the start of the pandemic, the health and safety of all participants within our game has been our primary focus during these challenging times,” stated Rugby Canada Senior Director of Community Rugby and Development Paul Hunter. “We support Rugby Ontario in their enactment of a mandatory vaccination policy that aims to increase the safety of all participants, from players to coaches to officials.”

Why is Rugby Ontario introducing this Policy? 

Rugby Ontario’s utmost priority is the health and well-being of all participants.  This Policy prioritizes the safety of both the rugby community and the general public.  It also supports the practical adherence to the proof of vaccination mandate required under the Ontario Government Regulations (O. Reg. 654/21: Rules for Areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step).  

How will this Policy be implemented? 

Member Clubs will be required to comply with this Policy and ensure the proof of vaccination verification is completed for all participants prior to all sanctioned activity (“Participants” and “Sanctioned Activity” is defined in the Policy). In accordance with provincial legislation, businesses and organizations are not permitted to retain any information provided by individuals pursuant to the proof of vaccination requirements; therefore, participants are required to provide proof of vaccination and government issued ID at the venue for every rugby activity.   

How can Participants access their valid government issued proof of vaccination?  

Participants can obtain their valid proof of vaccination, including the Ontario Government’s enhanced vaccination certificates with QR code, by visiting:  Participants must also present valid government issued identification to complete the proof of vaccination verification.  

How can Member Clubs conduct the proof of vaccination verification in accordance with this Policy?  

All Member Clubs and those responsible for delivering sanctioned activity can use the Verify Ontario app, which is available for download on smart devices.  Other forms of valid government issued proof of vaccination receipts are permitted for manual verification, subject to any other requirements of provincial health order or facility policy.  

How will this Policy affect other Return to Play requirements? 

Rugby Ontario has been a leader in the development and ongoing management of the national Return to Play framework.  We have worked with Rugby Canada, other provincial unions and legal counsel to ensure this Mandatory Vaccination Policy can be implemented for all Rugby Ontario sanctioned activity.  By ensuring all age-eligible participants in our sport are fully vaccinated, current Return to Play protocols administered by clubs and participants may be reduced and/or eliminated in the near future.  Rugby Ontario will provide additional information as it becomes available; however, all existing protocols remain in effect until further notice. 


The Rugby Ontario COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Policy  

Rules for areas at Step 3 and at the Roadmap Exit Step  

How to get your COVID-19 vaccine certificate  

If you have any questions, please contact us at  


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.

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