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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on a category below to expand the list of pertinent questions.

Outdoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols

Why can’t the OVA publish additional Versions of Return to Play Protocols for planning purposes? 

Unfortunately, the Ontario Volleyball Association staff learn of government regulations at the exact same time as general public. There is no inside knowledge. Thus, there is no point in developing and releasing guidelines that may not fall in line with how the Government proceeds in future Stages. 

What happens if we do not follow the OVA’s Outdoor Volleyball Return to Play Protocols?

You are not covered by the OVA insurance policy and will be held liable for any injury that occurs during your training session by any of the participants.  In addition, if you do not follow the Government of Ontario’s emergency orders, which stipulate sport providers need to follow their Provincial Sport Association’s protocols, you are acting illegally and can be subject to fines and/or other penalties.

When will the OVA Version 2 Protocols be released allowing for more athletes to participate? 

The OVA will release future Versions as quickly as possible after any Government announcements regarding changes to the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Physical Distancing

Is physical distancing required in all volleyball activities? 

Yes. Currently, the Government is only allowing outdoor team sport training up to 10 people.  However, physical distancing must always be maintained during training sessions. No game play or scrimmages are allowed and only 4 athletes per outdoor volleyball court is allowed.

No indoor volleyball activities are allowed by the Ontario Government at this time.

Why are only 4 athletes allowed on a beach volleyball court at a time? 

The OVA Outdoor Volleyball Return to Sport/Activity only always allows 4 athletes per side of an outdoor volleyball court to mitigate the risks of violating physical distancing requirements.

If members from the same family participate in outdoor volleyball activities, do they have to maintain physical distancing between themselves in the group of 10? 

Yes. The facility owner/manager cannot visually differentiate between family members.  Family members can break physical distancing when training on their own, but during an organized OVA activity they must follow the same rules as all other participants.

Gathering Size

Can I run a number of small training groups of 10 people per court with the courts well- spaced out?

No. As the activity organizer, you cannot invite more than 10 people to gather at any one time.

In addition, all OVA Outdoor Volleyball Protocols must be followed before you or your club can deliver outdoor volleyball training activities. At this point, there are no scrimmages or competitive opportunities allowed by the Province of Ontario for team sports. 

Can my training group be my new bubble/social circle of 10 people? 

No. This is just not a practical solution.  For this to work, everyone in the training bubble would have to agree to maintain physical distancing and not share a residence with anyone outside the training bubble. That means nobody in the training bubble could continue to maintain contact with family members.  
Per Government resources, in order to create a safe social circle individuals should follow these five simple steps:

  1. Start with your current circle: the people you live with or who regularly come into your household.
  2. If your current circle is under 10 people, you can add members to your circle, including another household, family members or friends.
  3. Get agreement from everyone that they will join the circle.
  4. Keep your social circle safe. Maintain physical distancing with anyone outside of your circle.
  5. Be true to your social circle. No one should be part of more than one circle.

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Summer Camps vs Training Opportunities

Can I run my Club volleyball camps this summer for indoor or beach? 

The OVA Board of Directors has approved Version 1 of the OVA Outdoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity (RTP) Guidelines for those regions in Stage 2 of the Ontario Governments ReOpening plan.

In the approved RTP protocol, only outdoor beach volleyball activity/training for up to 10 participants is sanctioned at this time. Scrimmages, game play and competition are not approved. It is recommended that the training sessions are not longer than 60 minutes.

Currently, no indoor team activity is sanctioned to run.

If your Club is providing summer camps, your group will need to comply with the Government of Ontario’s summer camp guidelines:

What about our ability to have beach camps this summer at Ashbridge’s Bay?

Currently the Government of Ontario has the GTA and Golden Horseshoe as Stage 1 in Ontario’s Re-opening plan. At this time, outdoor team sport is not allowed in Stage 1 regions.

In addition, the City of Toronto will not be providing permits for any courts at Ashbridges Bay until further notice. This means that even if the Government of Ontario moves Toronto in Stage 2 of the Re-Opening Plan, the City of Toronto may choose not to issue permits for the beach volleyball courts at Ashbridges Bay. 

What’s the difference between a training group and a camp?

A training group session is up to one hour in length and is for up to 10 participants (athletes and coaches).  A camp is for a half day or full day. 

If a Club or Service provider is wanting to offer camp type training, they will not only have to follow the OVA’s Outdoor Return to Play/Activity protocols, they will also need to follow the Government of Ontario’s guidelines on delivering camps and will need to create their COVID19 risk mitigation plan to be approved to the appropriate authorities. 

What is the difference between a training drill and scrimmages/competitions?

Most training drills simulate specific aspects of a game but not the transition between them. Scrimmages/competition are game play situations and do not focus on individual skill acquisition. Scrimmages/competition are not allowed, at this time, as dictated by the government. Remember physical distancing requirements are in place, at all times.

Can I run five (5) different camps of up to 10 people under my club and treat it as separate camps? 

No. Currently, the Government legislation for outdoor team sport is a maximum of 10 participants. As the activity organizer, you cannot invite more than 10 people to gather at any one time. If you are an individual group/organization, you cannot run “mini” sessions at the same location and time for different participant groups.  

If I stagger the start and end times and have separate groups that do not interact with one another, can I run multiple groups of 10?

Yes. As long as the groups do not overlap to create any more than 10 individuals at the same place and location. As the activity organizer, if you invite more than 10 people to gather at any one time, you would be acting illegally.  

Can I play volleyball recreationally?

As municipalities start to re-open recreational amenities for public use, we may start to see beach or grass volleyball courts around our communities. You may be wondering how this is possible if we cannot yet safely resume our volleyball programs.  We would like to take this opportunity to distinguish between “recreational play” and “organized sport”.

Recreational play includes activities that individuals select to do independently such as use public tennis courts or beach volleyball courts. Participation in these activities is at the discretion of the individual and should adhere to current public health recommendations. Ontario Volleyball does not sanction these activities and they are not considered the same as organized sport.

Organized sport includes all activities such as volleyball leagues, clinics, camps, programs and events, which are formally arranged and insured, whether through Ontario Volleyball or not.  In this context, Ontario Volleyball is working with our sport partners toward an opening up of organized sport. 

While recreational volleyball is not permitted at this time due to the requirements for physical distancing, recreational volleyball play may soon become possible where local municipalities and health authority guidelines permit.  We ask that you follow municipal and health guidelines if you choose to participate in any recreational volleyball activities.


If I follow all the OVA Return to Play protocol and am in a Stage 2 Community, does the OVA insurance still cover our training groups?

Yes. The OVA Sport Accident and General Liability insurance policies will still cover OVA member participants and Clubs as long as they are adhering to the OVA Return to Play/Activity protocols.  However, insurance providers will not provide liability coverage for any claims related to a contagion, including but not limited to COVID-19.

Do I have to run a sanctioned OVA program, or can I just offer volleyball without the OVA insurance? 

If you choose to run volleyball training programs or competitive opportunities that are not sanctioned by the OVA, you can be held personally liable for any injury or incident that occurs under your direction.  

Even if you are a sanctioned OVA program you will not have insurance coverage through the OVA for any activity that does not follow the OVA’s Outdoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols.

Does the OVA insurance policy cover pandemics and COVID-19 clauses if our Club were to be sued for something contracting COVID-19 at our training sessions?

No. The OVA Sport Accident and General Liability insurance policies do not cover contagions, including but not limited to COVID-19. Therefore, it is imperative for Clubs and Service Providers to diligently follow the OVA Return to Play/Activity Protocols to mitigate any risks related to the spread of COVID-19.  Also all documents required by the protocol must be maintained and properly stored.

Decision Making Timelines

If the number of positive COVID-19 cases significantly decreases in the coming months, is there a chance for organized sport to start earlier?

Yes. If the government regulations deem it safe to run competitive opportunities, the OVA will run modified events for the Beach volleyball season and/or indoor competition season in the fall of 2020. 

Does Ontario Volleyball have a framework to make future decisions in terms of running competitions?

Yes.  Ontario Volleyball will make “Go or No-Go” decisions on whether an event will run 10-12 weeks prior to the scheduled event date.

This time period is based partially on consultation with coaches to identify an appropriate training period to allow athletes to be prepared to safely compete. Ontario Volleyball and our event hosts will also require a few weeks to prepare for registration and event planning. Finally, circumstances may dictate other changes that may be required to be made in that window.

Membership & Sanctioned Events

Do athletes have to pay for an OVA beach membership for the summer of 2020 training opportunities that we are running?

No. If you are an OVA member Club providing training opportunities to OVA member athletes only, your activity will automatically be considered to be sanctioned by the OVA.  If you have athletes that are already indoor athletes, they will still need to add a beach volleyball player role to their membership for free in the National Registration System. If a participant is not currently registered as an OVA member, they can purchase the Beach Recreational membership for training purposes only.

If your sanctioning application has been approved by the OVA, you may allow non-member participants in your sessions.  Sanctioned volleyball activities must still adhere to the OVA Outdoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols.

Can I get a refund on OVA and Volleyball Canada membership Fees for beach volleyball?

Clubs and/or individual members are to contact Chery Bennett, Membership Services Coordinator for the most up to date information on membership fees and refunds.

If an indoor Ontario Volleyball Association member also registered as a beach player, there is no difference in fees and no refunds need to be issued.

All Beach Referees were already reimbursed for any Beach Referee membership fees paid for the 2020 season. 

Indoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols

When will the Indoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols be released? 

The OVA is currently waiting for more information to be released from the Government of Ontario before finalizing the Indoor Volleyball Return to Play/Activity Protocols

What is the tentative indoor schedule for 2020-21?

In order to plan properly, the Indoor Youth Competitions calendar will not be finalized until further government regulation updates are released. However, the OVA has officially delayed the start of the competitive season until January 2021.

What was the rationale for the delay of the indoor competition season decision?

The health and safety of our members are of utmost importance and a competitive start date prior to January 2021 still appears to pose significant risks in relation to the contraction of COVID-19.  The unknown timelines of the government re-opening plans and additional regulations were also a factor. Finally, once indoor team sport training is allowed, athletes will need a number of weeks of training in order to be physically prepared for competition. Therefore, in consultation with member Clubs, other Provincial/Territorial Volleyball Associations and Volleyball Canada, it was deemed necessary to push the start of the competitive season to January 2021.

Does the OVA expect there to be issues getting tournament permits/locations for the upcoming indoor season as a result of schools and other facilities being reluctant to open their doors to external third-party groups as a safety precaution given the current COVID-19 environment? 

Yes. Many facilities appear to be delaying the issuing of permits until government regulations are further eased with respect to team sport training and competition. This does not mean volleyball cannot take place from September to December. If the Government of Ontario allows indoor team sports to begin training again and Clubs can obtain permits in their communities, have re-signed athletes, and are following the OVA Return to Play/Activity Protocols,  the Association would like Clubs to start training their athletes.