Photo By: Ontario University Athletics

Varsity athletes are jumping for joy to hear that Ontario University Athletics (OUA) has finalized its rules and regulations to safely run university sports this fall. The OUA announced the approval by the board of directors for university league-based sports to resume in the 2021-22 season. 

The OUA has come up with a plan to create a safe and well-organized year for competitive sport to return to Ontario universities while complying with current health and safety requirements in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike in previous years where universities from different provinces were allowed to compete for championships, this year is looking a little different. The OUA has not determined if there will be out-of-province competition, though it is not looking likely.

Their plan consists of slightly condensed seasons for most fall sports; for example, teams that usually have eight regular-season games will now only have six. Most varsity sports will not be competing outside of their home province and will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test for all athletes prior to submitting the roster of players for any given game. Additionally, all contact sports are required to have held a certain number of full-contact progressions under their belt before their first regular-season game, because of the long duration without physical contact during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All athletes competing in the OUA this year need proof of full vaccination and need to complete rapid testing three times a week in order to train and compete.

The OUA announced on Aug. 25, 2021 that, “effective October 15, 2021, all OUA participants (i.e., student-athletes, coaches, support staff, athletic therapists, officials) must be fully vaccinated, defined by a period of at least 14 days have passed since receiving their second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series, to take part in the conference-sanctioned activity. Such OUA programming and events include exhibition games, league games, regional qualifiers, and championships.”

In terms of playoffs and championships, the OUA still has yet to release the playoff schedule, the format of what the championships are going to look like, and if varsity teams from different provinces will be able to compete against each other. This also depends on whether all provinces with schools that plan to compete will be in the same stages of re-opening. 

For the most up to date health and safety information be sure to head over to the OUA’s official website by clicking here.