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FHO Step 3 Re-Opening Update

By Field Hockey Ontario, 07/15/21, 10:30AM EDT


On Friday, July 16, 2021, at 12:01 AM, the province of Ontario will enter Step 3 of its Reopening Ontario Roadmap. Field Hockey Ontario is providing this update to its clubs and membership to outline what sport activities are permitted during Step 3. More information on public health and safety measures and Step 3 specifics can be found in Ontario Regulation 520/21.

Under Step 3, all outdoor and indoor sporting activities are permitted, and all sports and recreational fitness facilities are open. The following conditions are in place for sports, both indoor and outdoor, while the province is in Step 3:

  • There is no limit to the number of people participating in a sports team or league
  • There are no restrictions on contact for sports or games (full gameplay is permitted). 2-metre physical distancing must still be observed when participants are not actively engaged in a training drill/activity or game. 
  • Facilities, leagues, and clubs must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and have it posted. 
  • Clubs and facilities must actively screen all individuals attending the event and must recover the name and contact information of every member of the public attending the event. 
  • Maximum capacity must be posted
  • Indoor capacity for facilities is limited to 50%
  • Spectators - permitted
    • Indoor capacity for spectators is limited to 50% of the usual seating capacity, or 1000 people, whichever is less. If the facility does not have a designated seated area for indoor spectators, the number of spectators in the indoor area may not exceed 50% capacity, or 1000 people, whichever is less
    • Capacity for spectators is limited to 75%of the usual seating capacity or 15000 people, whichever is less. If the facility does not have a designated area for outdoor spectators, the number of spectators in the outdoor area may not exceed 75% capacity, or 5000 people, whichever is less.
    • Required to wear a mask and observe 2-metre physical distancing, regardless of indoor or outdoor setting

With regards to wearing face masks during sport participation, athletes are permitted to remove their face masks when participating in sport or training, however, they must be worn when entering/exiting the facility or accessing indoor facilities. Any non-athlete participant (ie. coach, support staff, medical staff, spectator, etc) must wear a face mask/face covering, regardless of being outdoors or indoors. Some facilities/venues may require participants, including athletes, at all times, except when engaged in vigorous physical activity. Clubs are encouraged to consult with the facility/venue regarding face mask requirements. water refill, to access the outdoor playing surface), they must wear a face mask or face covering. 

Any clubs operating during Step 3 must ensure they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place and may be asked to present it and other supporting documents to the facility/venue, bylaw officers, and/or public health. Failure to provide a COVID-19 Safety Plan may result in revoke of permit and/or fines. FHO is not approving return-to-play plans or COVID-19 Safety Plans, although we are available to assist you with this process. The FHO COVID-19 Resource page has several resources that clubs and organizers will find helpful as you navigate the continued return-to-play process. 

As there may be differences between facilities/venues and local public health units, clubs are encouraged to discuss their return-to-play plans and protocols with facilities/venues and their local public health units, to ensure all Step 3 restrictions are being followed and a safe training environment is provided for all participants. Clubs must adhere to all facility/venue and public health guidelines.

Field Hockey Ontario is very excited that this announcement of moving into Step 3 means a step towards returning to “normal”, as it allows for full field hockey participation while still respecting public health and safety measures.