Ringette Ontario has received numerous questions about the remainder of the ringette season and our decision to suspend ringette activities indefinitely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are some frequently asked questions that we have received over the last few days.
*Last updated on August 17th, 2021
Clubs & Administration:
Is Ringette Ontario working with other sports to make decisions about Return to Play?
Ringette Ontario has been collaborating with other sports on both return to activity and return to play. There has been a team approach amongst the sports to share resources and documentation as we are all working on the same goal of getting our members back to sport as safely as possible.
Will Ringette Ontario be preparing some Return to Activity Plans for Clubs to use for 2021-2022 season?
Yes. Ringette Ontario has now released an updated version of Return to Ringette for Clubs to utilize that follow the Provincial Government regulations that address indoor/team sports.
When will the sanctioned event list and tournament selection process be made available?
The list will not be released until we are sure that sanctioned events will run this season. Our anticipated date is September 7th.
Summer Camps & Programming:
Can Clubs host summer programs (i.e. camps, fitness sessions, gym ringette)?
The facilities and local public health authorities will determine the numbers which are allowed within their facilities as well as the field of play in each municipality – not the sports. All summer programming should be submitted to RO for approval prior to taking place by completing the form found here: RO-Club-Summer-Programming-Sanctioning-Form.pdf (ringetteontario.com)
Can camps that are not being hosted by local Clubs, still take place if public health has opened facilities?
Ringette Ontario does not have any oversight on unsanctioned or private camps. Please note, however, that these camps are not insured by Ringette Ontario and your Ringette Ontario insurance will not cover you at these camps, so you will be attending under their insurance and health & safety guidelines.
Will Clubs be allowed to run tryouts, team formations and practices? If so, what is the start date?
Ringette Ontario has released the date of September 1st for tryouts to be permitted. This is contingent on the Stage of opening of the province, public health authority, facility guidelines and health and safety protocols. As these guidelines and protocols will determine the numbers which will be allowed in the facility and not the sports, we cannot provide guidance on the timings. We strongly suggest that Clubs wait until we are back at larger numbers to begin tryouts to ensure a fair and equitable opportunity for athletes to be seen by evaluators.
Will teams be permitted to attend tournaments outside our province?
The ability for any team to travel outside its geographic region to play ringette will depend on several factors, including public health authority guidelines, instructions and travel restrictions in your province and the province you will be visiting and will require the approval of the governing ringette bodies in your region and the region you wish to travel to. Note that provincial guidelines and travel restrictions may also limit the ability to host local tournaments and your ability to accept tournament entries from teams outside your region.
Health & Safety:
Will Municipalities decide independently about the status of their Facilities, and will there be a coordinated approach to how they start to phase in access?
Each Province is at a different stage in their re-opening. Facilities will vary in their approach to reopening based on applicable public health authority guidelines in place. There may be even further differences within regions of the province.
Will COVID-19 vaccines be mandatory for members?
Ringette Ontario encourages all members to receive their COVID vaccinations. However, further consultation is required on whether vaccinations will be mandated for participation in sports. This will include directives from the Ministry of Ontario, recommendations from Public Health Officials, the Privacy Commission of Canada, legal counsel, and our insurance requirements.
What do I do if I or my child tests positive for COVID-19?
If a player tests positive, they must stay home and out of the ringette environment. It is also important to communicate with your physician and public health authority, ensuring you follow the steps identified. The player will need a note from their physician or public health authority to return to play
What if a parent/family member tests positive for COVID-19? What protocols do we follow?
If a parent or family member test positive for COVID-19, the player and their family will need to stay out of the ringette environment. They should contact their physician and public health authority for instructions. The player will need a note from their physician or public health authority to return to play.
If someone on the team tests positive for COVID-19, will the team be allowed to continue to play ringette?
If someone on your team tests positive, public health authority guidelines will determine contact tracing and isolation requirements. It is possible, therefore, that one diagnosis on a team could lead to that team being required to pause all ringette activities until the public health authority determines it is safe to return.
What if I am sick or my child is sick but does not have COVID-19?
The player should follow up with their physician and the public health line.
What should I do if I or my child is displaying signs of COVID-19 but have not been tested?
The player should remain out of the ringette environment and contact their physician or public health authority for required steps to be taken. The player will require a note from their physician or public health authority to return to play.
Should players/parents/bench staff wear masks entering the facility and dressing room?
Yes, anyone entering the facility should wear a cloth mask when physical distancing cannot be followed (it may also be required by the facility). Continue to monitor public health authority guidelines specific to wearing masks. Wearing a mask alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must consistently and strictly adhere to good hygiene and public health measures, including frequent hand washing and physical distancing. For important information on masks, please CLICK HERE.
Is it a requirement for all individuals, regardless of age, to wear a mask in the facility?
It is important to check public health authority information on masks. Currently the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends cloth masks not being placed on children under two years of age, on anyone unable to remove them without assistance or anyone who has trouble breathing.
Can players and teams bring equipment into an arena?
Decisions will be made by the facility, based on public health authority guidelines.
Is it a requirement that all Members adopt the health and safety guidelines of Ringette Ontario?
Yes. It is important to recognize that they were created in conjunction with Ringette Canada as a Pan-Canadian set of guidelines. RO acknowledges that Associations may have to make some adjustments due to local public health authority guidelines.
How do we make sure our team has the most up-to-date information to return safely to the rink, knowing that public health authorities, our facility and Ringette Ontario are always adding new information to follow as the pandemic evolves?
It is recommended that ringette Clubs and leagues assign one person, a communications officer, who will be responsible to ensure all updated and relevant information is passed on to the officials, participants, volunteers, and parents within their jurisdiction. Always verify current information on applicable websites and work with your designated communications officer.
As a participant or parent, should I expect someone to provide me with information regarding the guidelines I need to meet to return to ringette?
In the process of returning to play, it is highly recommended that the Club appoint a Covid Safety Leaders who will act as the liaison between the facility, Ringette Ontario, local public health authorities and the Clubs members. They will organize any meetings to discuss important areas, including:
- Overview of what to expect.
- Safety steps put in place.
- The role of parents and the ringette association in creating a safe and healthy environment.
Will parents be allowed in the stands to watch games?
This will be determined by public health authorities and facility guidelines. Families should be prepared to minimize the number of parents/guardians/spectators that attend to limit the number of people in the facility.
Should I disinfect any ringette gear after each practice/game?
Some equipment should be washed (e.g., jerseys, pant shells, socks) after each practice/game, following manufacturer guidelines. It is important that players ensure all equipment is always kept clean.
Should I sanitize water bottles after each practice/game?
Bottles should be labelled and washed after each practice or game.
Will players be permitted to shower at the arena after a practice/game?
This will be determined by public health authority and facility guidelines; however, Ringette Ontario is strongly recommending that if even if it is allowed, that players shower at home. If showers are allowed to be used in the facility, physical distancing must be followed.
Sanctioning Policy & Consequences for Non-Compliance to COVID Safety Measures:
Does this mean I have to be approved to do any ringette activity outside of the Association?
If it is a ringette activity among registered participants, then it must be with the knowledge and co-operation of the local association and must be conducted in accordance with RTR guidelines.
Can I attend power skating or goalie training through an outside trainer or school?
We cannot regulate power skating instructors, goalie coaches through an outside trainer or school. We just ask our members to please use discretion with any activities they participate in outside of ringette.
What if my Association does not have enough ice time? Are we allowed to approach private facilities?
Yes, but if it is a ringette activity among registered participants, then it must be with the knowledge and co-operation of the local association and must be conducted in accordance with RTR guidelines.
If I book ice privately, can I invite other players from outside my Association?
We cannot regulate the occasional private ice rental, but our goal is to provide ringette participants with the assurance that when we play ringette, we are all following the rules and sticking to our cohorts. We hope everyone will respect this intent and use discretion with the activities they participate in outside of ringette.
What are “Ringette Ontario Sanctioned Events and Activities”?
Ringette Ontario sanctioned events and activities are all ringette related events which are deemed to fall under regular ringette. These include practices, games, tournaments, provincials, league games, try-outs, banquets, dryland, and any other activity for which your Association or team has secured insurance for under Ringette Ontario.
Will the Ringette Ontario Offices Be Open?
The Ringette Ontario Offices are closed to the public. However, the Ringette Ontario team will be working from home and can be reached via email.
If you would like to mail anything to the RO office, please contact us via email ahead of time. For general inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.