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Ontario enters Step 2 of the reopening framework – Return to Play Protocols available

By Ontario Volleyball, 07/02/21, 10:00AM EDT


The Government of Ontario effectively entered Step 2 of the Reopening Strategy on Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m. 

The transition to Step 2 will mean a further lifting of restrictions from the previous step across multiple industries, including sport and recreation. Currently, the focus as it concerns volleyball is still on outdoor activities. Indoor volleyball is not permitted in Step 2, with the exception for high-performance athletes (approved by the National Sport Organization), social services and physical therapy. 

For the OVA and its members, the following can occur, in accordance with the Government regulations:  

  • Outdoor volleyball training,  competitions  (tournaments)  and  league play is permitted while always avoiding personal contact (i.e., no high fives, back slaps, etc.). 
  • Physical distancing of two (2) metres required for all individuals. Athletes may breach physical contact during play; however, athletes must avoid all forms of personal contact (i.e., no high-fives, back slaps, etc.).
  • The total number of members of the public permitted to be at the facility at any one time must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two (2) metres from every other person at the facility. Clubs, League Managers and event planners are asked to confirm with their facility on the maximum gathering size allowed for their permitted venue. 

For outdoor volleyball, masks continue to be required and always worn by all individuals/participants, except by athletes while on court during training and competition. Athletes must wear a mask when they are not active on the court.  

Clubs can now add gameplay and scrimmages to their training and may participate in outdoor volleyball competitions.  The OVA  Reference Guide has also been updated to match the permissions in Step 2.  

 Step 2 Return to Play Protocols 

The OVA has released the Step 2 Return to Play Protocols (RTP). This document reflects the modifications to volleyball as per the Government regulations.  

A new addition to the RTP in this step is the requirement of a mandatory safety plan. A safety plan must be created to reflect the current regulations in Step 2 for each event (training or competition) and for each facility that a club uses. 

The safety plan will describe how the requirements of this Government Regulations will be implemented in the location. This includes screening of participants (athletes, coaches, referees, spectators involved at the event), physical distancing, masks or face coverings protocols, cleaning and disinfecting plan for surfaces and objects, the wearing of personal protective equipment and how preventing and controlling crowding will be maintained.  

Before permits are issued, the safety plan must be provided to the facility. The safety plan must be in writing and clearly available for any person to review the document at any time. This  includes  having a copy located prominently where is easy for patrons and individuals at the facility or event to see and access. (i.e., Club website and/or printed out and on hand at the facility).  

Download the OVA's Step 2 RTP Protocols below. All RTP's and their appendices can be found at