As the months quickly progress and the pandemic continues to force change not only in our lives, but also for our sport, the OVA staff have had to continuously adapt programming to operate in a safe and efficient manner.
For the 2021 indoor youth competition season, we will deviate from the normal 9 team on 3 court tournaments that we participated in pre-March 2020. To fit within the Provincial Government regulations for sport and following our Return to Play protocols, the staff have had to pivot once again and modify competitions from the Indoor Friendlies model to a modified League model for the new year.
This new league format was developed to accommodate clubs in the Green through Orange zones, allowing for the possible community tier changes by offering teams short term commitment, with the ability to jump in and out of competitions during three “waves” of play, all while minimizing travel, addressing the issue of lack of facilities and following all government and public health regulations. Teams will be placed in cohorts of four, based on age and gender, and will have three weeks to organize individual matches using the gym time available to their team. This information was released during the November 30 OVA Town Hall. A full outline of the league structure can be viewed from the Town Hall Zoom presentation and PowerPoint slide deck on our website.
The direction of indoor youth volleyball has become clearer with the proposed implementation of a modified league structure; however, with the fluctuations and constant developments related to COVID-19 and concerns from the OVA membership brought forward, the OVA has made the decision to postpone the starting date of these waves. The modified league structure was penned to start at the end of January 2021 but now will be pushed back to February 27 with a registration deadline of February 8, 2021.
This new league will operate in waves with the following schedule (subject to change):
The indoor youth competitions staff have been working hard on finalizing league logistics and regulations.
With the recent announcement of the province-wide shutdown by the Government of Ontario, many now ask if the League will continue. If a window of opportunity presents itself for the OVA to safely continue with this league format that adheres to provincial guidelines, it will be the direction that we take to continue our sport. If the lockdown period is held to 28 days and communities across Ontario are re-categorized to the previous tiers (Green, Yellow, Orange) following, then there should be no interference with the League start date and the OVA will resume the format as intended. Should the shutdown period extend and should it interfere with a start date or venues halt their allowances of sport to operate, the OVA will make the decision to postpone or not run the wave affected. As updates surrounding the pandemic are constantly changing, we will monitor the developments closely for this lockdown period. We remain hopeful that the province will pull together and slow the spread of the virus so that sports, among other activities, can be resumed safely.
The OVA staff will also be working diligently on how to create a modified Open League Championship to be a culmination of these events. We feel it is important to aim to have some sort of season completion event for OVA teams, if possible, as it is such a large part of the OVA tradition. More information will be made available in early spring 2021 on this initiative.
If you have any questions regarding the modified league format for 2021, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Indoor Competition staff:
Link: 2021 Indoor Season
Thank you for your continued support, understanding and patience as well all navigate and adapt throughout this pandemic. We look forward to the day where we can all be back on the court together.