Please note this list of frequently asked questions will continue to change as we learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on sports and facility use.
*Last updated on June 18th, 2020
Associations & Administration:
- If there is no provincial ban on ringette activities, does that mean that ringette can start immediately at the facility in my area?
No. The return to ringette after September 1st will occur within any geographic region when it is safe to do so, as determined by local public health authorities. The ability of a facility to open for ringette will be determined by the facility owner in consultation with public health authorities.
- 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.
- How will Ringette Ontario member fees work this season?
Fees will work the same way they did last season, but Ringette Ontario will not be increasing the core fees this season, as we recognize that this will be a challenging season for our Associations. The only increase will be for insurance as that is a hard cost that we do not have control over.
- How should Associations set up their registration structure for this season and when should they open registration?
Ringette Ontario will work with Regions and their Associations to come up with some creative solutions for a registration structure that will reflect the programming that will be offered in different areas. We encourage Associations to have members register as they must be registered to participate in any programming as a coach, volunteer, official or athlete.
- Are there any plans to share how Associations are going to charge for their offerings this Fall?
Ringette Ontario will be working with Regions and Associations on some out of the box options for programming this season. However, it should be noted that this will be different with each Association as ice costs differ from facility to facility.
- Will Ringette Ontario be preparing some Return to Activity Plans for Associations to use?
Yes. Ringette Ontario is currently working on the creation of Return to Activity and Return to Play plans and resources for Associations. These are being developed in conjunction with Ringette Canada and the other Ringette Provincial Organizations.
- If the province is taking a regional approach to return to “normal”, should Ringette consider something similar?
Yes, that is what Ringette Ontario is already planning. We recognize that in Ontario it will not be possible – or reasonable – to expect everyone to be at the same stage at the same time. Instead, we are supporting Associations to be able to begin programming after September 1st, but only programming that fits within the local public health authority guidelines and their facilities health and safety protocols.
- When will the sanctioned event list be made available?
The list will not be released until we are sure that sanctioned events will run this season. Our anticipated date at this time is October 15th.
Summer Camps & Programming
- Can Associations still host summer programs (i.e. camps and gym ringette)?
No, all programming is suspended until September 1st
- Can camps that are not being hosted by local Associations, 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 Associations be allowed to run tryouts, team formations and practices? If so, what is the start date?
Associations will have to adhere to their local public health authority guidelines and their facilities 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 Associations wait until we are back at larger numbers to begin tryouts in order to ensure a fair and equitable opportunity for athletes to be seen by evaluators. There is the additional factor of teams being formed in one area but not in others, which may lead to teams not having anyone to play in their division.
- Will University Ringette be able to hold tryouts in September?
Universities can host ice times/tryouts if there are facilities who will allow the numbers but with a large number of students not returning to the schools come fall, we would not encourage formal tryouts proceeding. Until those formal tryouts can occur, we strongly suggest that all university level athletes register and get out on the ice with their local association, so that they can continue to practice and train, allowing them to be ready when the call for tryouts comes.
Coaching & Officiating:
- Will Coaching Clinics & Referee Clinics still take place this season?
Yes, we are still planning on running clinics this fall. Clinics will be run online. Details will come from the Ringette Canada Technical Director to the Ringette Ontario Technical Director who will communicate with Regional Coordinators and Developers when information is available. Clinic dates will be communicated to membership as soon as they are available. We strongly encourage coaches to get the online pre-clinic modules completed in advance. Questions can be directed to Karla Xavier at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Will there be training for coaches to help with the new measures being put in place?
Ringette Ontario will work with the Coaching Committee and Coaching Coordinators in Associations to ensure that there are resources developed for coaches on the RTA/RTP protocols.
- Will coaches be permitted to be within two metres to help and support the player?
It is recommended that both coaches and players follow public health authority guidelines and continue to practice physical distancing. Review your public health authority recommendations and requirements on the wearing of masks. It is important to note that the trainer or coach may need to be within two metres of a player if the player suffers an injury, but the trainer or coach should wear a mask and, as recommended that non-latex gloves if treating a player for an injury.
Ringette Programming & Events:
- Will RO be delaying the Introduction of Children’s Ringette?
No. The Introduction to Children’s Ringette Program will be released in early July. Associations will be strongly encouraged to adopt this this season, utilizing cross-ice/half-ice play will help ease the cost of ice for players below U10, when numbers are permitted. Associations will only be permitted to host Jamborees following the Children’s Ringette Guidelines this season for U8 and below teams. FUN1/FUN2 will be mandatory for all the 2021-2022 season.
- What does League Play mean? Is this the same as House League?
When we reference the suspension of league play until January 1st, we are speaking on the league circuit within different regions of Ontario, and not specifically with regards to House League. This was to align with expected restrictions on travel between communities. Internal House League may occur as long as the Association adheres to the guidelines of local public health authority guidelines and facility health and safety protocols.
- Will Associations/Teams be required to reduce the number of participants in House League? Is this a decision that is made by Ringette Ontario or Ringette Canada?
The facilities and local public health authorities will determine the numbers which are allowed within their facilities as well as field of play in each municipality – not the sports. However, Ringette Ontario is working on resources which allow for progressions of numbers for practices, games and events.
- Will the season be extended, or will it end in March/April?
It is currently too soon to determine this, but we are not discounting any possibilities at this point in time.
- 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.
- Will Ringette Ontario reconsider their stance on no leagues? Alternatively, if opening league play will not be reconsidered, would exhibition games within the same city be allowed (and insured)?
The decision to suspend leagues was based on the current information we have received from experts with regards to the opening of Phase 3 in the province. We recognize that this is a fluid and constantly changing situation. We are allowing exhibition games to take place, as long as they adhere to their local public health and safety guidelines and facility regulations.
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.
- Would Ringette Ontario consider requesting players to wear full face shields instead of cages to help reduce the spread of droplets on the Benches and ice?
At this time, there is no plan to implement face shields. However, Ringette Canada has had discussions with helmet/cage manufacturers and we will find out from them what the decision will be with regards to equipment modification.
- 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?
It is recommended 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.
- Will Ringette Ontario provide Associations with masks and gloves?
No, Ringette Ontario will not be providing Associations with PPE supplies. We strongly recommend that Associations begin to resource and/or purchase these items now, as we know that there is and/or may be a challenge acquiring PPE supplies.
- 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 associations 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 Association appoint a Safety Officer who will act as the liaison between the facility, Ringette Ontario, local public health authorities and the Association 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 authority and facility guidelines. Families should be prepared to minimize the number of parents/guardians/spectators that attend in order 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 kept clean at all times.
- 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.
- If a participant is currently isolating, can they come to the facility for ringette?
If a participant or person they are residing with is in isolation, neither the participant nor those they are residing with can be in the ringette environment until all public health authority requirements are met. Public Health Authority Assessment Tools here
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 March 18th, 2020
What does “suspended indefinitely” mean?
As of now, scheduled ringette games, tournaments and events will not move forward. Ringette Ontario will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the public health authorities, government agencies and Ringette Canada. We will continue to monitor the situation as new information becomes available and will provide our membership with updates regularly.
How did Ringette Ontario decide to suspend all sanctioned ringette events and activities indefinitely?
Since the outbreak, RO has been proactively monitoring the situation through consultation with Ringette Canada and local health agencies where ringette activities and events were initially scheduled to take place. Based on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer in Ontario, local health agencies and health professionals, RO made the decision to suspend all ringette activities. In suspending these activities, we hope to limit the potential of exposing and spreading the virus to athlete, coaches, volunteers and vulnerable populations within our communities and do our part to flatten the curve.
Why did Ringette Ontario wait until the second day of the ‘AA’ Provincial Championships to suspend the event and other ringette related activities?
Prior to deciding to suspend the 2020 Ringette Ontario ‘AA’ Provincial Championships, Ringette Ontario had been advised that the PHO had deemed events like ours as low-risk and had not recommended cancelling them. Based on their recommendations and expertise, we decided to keep moving forward with the event while continuously assessing the situation.
Once an announcement was made by the Chief Medical Officer of Health in Ontario to immediately cancel all events with over 250 people, Ringette Ontario had to suspend the event immediately for the health and safety of our athlete, coaches and volunteers.
Will the remaining RO Provincial Championship & Event, OAIC and Regional Championships be rescheduled?
Ringette Ontario has made the decision to not reschedule these events for this season as we are unable to determine when or if this would be possible or if we would be able to secure facilities.
Will Team Fees Be Refunded?
Due to the cancellation of events, Ringette Ontario will be refunding the U12 and A Teams 100% of their entry fees. For AA teams, we are currently undergoing an analysis of the amount that teams will be refunded. We ask that all teams please be patient over the coming weeks as we work out these details, as municipalities and host associations have limited accessibility due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Can I still order Provincials apparel?
Yes. The Ringette Ontario Provincial Championships & Events stores are available online through Hometown Rivalry. Visit https://hometownrivalry.com/ to place your orders.
Will there be a Team Ontario?
No. The Team Ontario title is awarded to the team who wins their respective provincial championships and goes on to represent RO at both the Canadian Ringette Championships and Eastern Canadian Ringette Championships, both of which have been cancelled. As we were unable to complete an event to determine who those teams would have been, we are suspending the awarding of this title.
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.
What will happen if Associations and teams run ringette related events during this time?
Ringette Canada and Ringette Ontario have suspended all ringette activities at this time. As a result, any ringette related activities run by associations or teams at this time (please see above) will not be covered by our insurance provider, BFL Canada. In addition, we are strongly encouraging our members to practice social distancing and do their part to flatten the curve.
Is the 2020 U17 La Relève event still happening?
La Relève is suspended until further notice as a domestic activity and a Ringette Canada sanctioned event. Please visit www.ringette.ca for more information and updates.
Are Come Try Ringette events still happening?
No. Come Try Ringette is a Ringette Canada sanctioned activity and as such, these events are suspended until further notice. All events scheduled in March have been canceled. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation for those occurring in the following post March.
Will the Ringette Ontario Offices Be Open?
The Ringette Ontario Offices will be closed until April 6th. 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 email@example.com.
Please review Ringette Canada’s FAQs to answer any additional questions you may have.