TORONTO (March 24, 2020) – In light of the uncertainty created by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic crisis, the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Ontario Championships (OCs). The Championships were originally to be held April 16-21 at Enercare Centre in Toronto and the decision was made in collaboration with our partners that were assisting in the delivery of the event.
Given the rapid successions of shutdowns by various levels of Government and the uncertainty of running events at the scale of the OCs, the OVA wanted to ensure that the Championships would not contribute to the spread of the virus. In this global health crisis, the safety of our members, their families and the public remain the OVA’s paramount priority and this could not be guaranteed in delivering the OCs.
The possibility of rescheduling the event at a later date in May was investigated but the health risks associated with COVID-19 have escalated to a degree that no one could have imagined, and as a result it is simply not in the best interest of public health to move forward. It was also determined that running the event after a three-week postponement would not be enough time for an event of this scale to continue in a safe manner, given the growing number of COVID-19 cases reported daily.
The Ontario Championships are a cornerstone of the OVA’s programming and an event which brings so much excitement to the athletes and membership and its cancellation bears a heavy weight on all of us. The reality that this will unquestionably disappoint the many who were looking forward to this moment is not lost on the OVA. All of the training and preparation that has been undertaken since the beginning of the season is applauded and the OVA couldn’t thank its members enough for the effort, commitments and time they have given to ensure that volleyball continues to develop with focus, integrity and strength. As stated, your well-being and health is what is most important to us and we do not want to put you in a situation where that is compromised.
OVA Youth Competition staff will be in contact with all of the Clubs regarding refunds for the Ontario Championships over the upcoming days. Refund instructions will follow. Regarding hotels, teams do not need to call HTG or the hotels directly to cancel their block booking for Ontario Championships. You will receive an email of the cancellation from HTG after the blocks have been released this week.
Once the aftermath of cancelling the OCs has been dealt with by the Youth Competitions staff, they will be hard at work reviewing the past season and preparing for Fall 2020 programming. The OVA wants to come back stronger than ever and one of the ways you can help is by providing feedback so we can make our next season our best. Information will be provided in the coming weeks based on feedback from the Indoor Volleyball Development Committee.
The OVA encourages everyone to do their part to reduce the spread and chances of exposure to COVID-19. We remain hopeful that the situation starts to resolve as quickly as possible. As small as we feel as individuals in the face of this crisis, we are also coming to understand just what the OVA as the umbrella organization and the athletes, coaches, referees, partners and parents within it mean to each other. In the meantime, we must continue to stand together.