Update on COVID-19 and Winter and Spring Leagues
14 April 2020 @ 4:40 PM by Chris Surgeoner

Hello everyone,

We hope everyone is doing well and we'd like to extend a huge thanks to those of you that are out there every day putting your own health at risk to keep vital services running and supply lines open for the rest of us. Whether you are a frontline worker who accepts risk as part of your profession even at the best of times, or a teenager working your first part-time job at a supermarket in the middle of a global pandemic, we are indebted to you and we appreciate what you are doing for us.

Winter Season Update

We don't have any more definitive information on the winter season at the moment. There still isn't any clear consensus of when sporting activities will be able to resume, so everything is still on hold at the moment until we have some concrete information to plan around.

It is still our plan to complete the winter seasons. However, with today's announcement that the state of emergency in Ontario will be extended until at least May 12th, it is very probable that the winter season will have to be shortened or even cancelled. We outlined the three potential outcomes in our last update.

If the winter season is shortened or cancelled, we will have hundreds of prorated credits of different amounts to apply to various different spring and summer leagues. Almost every single one will be different and it will be a manual process. We really want to approach it methodically and work through it in a linear manner to make sure that we don't miss anyone. So we are asking everyone if they can to wait until we are in a position to know what is happening and how much each credit (or refund) will be required for each team and individual player if we are not able to continue with any further games for the winter season.

Credit or refund?

Most of you play with us all year round. If we do have to issue any kind of a prorated refund for games that are not completed in the winter league, we would really appreciate if those of you that are able to can roll it over as payment for your spring and/or summer league season. Like thousands of other business and organisations large and small, we saw our income drop to zero in the space of 24 hours. Being able to move as many payments from winter to spring in this scenario will be vital for our leagues and our company.

Although some organisations have had to take a position that there will be no refunds given (only credits) we know that there are some of you that will be in even greater need than we are and if you need your team or individual registration to be refunded when the time comes, we can assure you that a refund will be issued, not just a credit. We just ask you to consider two things:

1. We will not be issuing credits or refunds until we know what the outcome of the winter league seasons will be.

2. If it is at all possible and you are going to be continuing to play with us at any time in the future, please rollover any potential credit for the winter leagues to future seasons. It is a lot to ask in these difficult times, but rolling over as many of these payments as possible is essential for our organisation.

Spring Leagues

Similar to the winter leagues, we don't have a definitive update on the spring leagues, but the closer we get to May, the more likely it is that the leagues will start later. We aren't going to change the league start dates at the moment, as it would just be a guess. Whatever happens, you can go ahead and reserve your space with confidence. If we do have to make changes to what we are currently advertising for our spring leagues and the changes aren't suitable for your team we will issue a full refund of your deposit before the season starts.

Some FAQs:

How quickly will games resume once the restrictions are lifted? Nothing will happen until Ottawa Public Health confirm that it is safe and reasonable to resume sporting activities. Once that happens, and assuming facility availability, we would expect to be able to restart games within a couple of days.

The city has closed its fields until June 30th, doesn't that guarantee that no games will go ahead before then? We don't actually use ANY city-run fields or facilities for any of our games. All of the facilities we use are at schools, universities or private organisations. We will start to play again once Ottawa Public Health confirms it is safe and individual facilities are available for use again.

Is the field and track at Immaculata available to use at the moment? 100% NO! Like the other fields, facilities and parks in the city, it has been closed until further notice to help to stop the spread of COVID-19, We are all desperate to be out playing and exercising again, but please respect the measures and help to plank the curve.

What is happening with the Kicking Cancer's Butt Tournament this year? We will still be holding Kicking Cancer's Butt 11 and continuing to add to the $120k+ our soccer community has raised for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, but we won't choose a date for it until after restrictions are lifted. Most likely it will become a late summer or fall tournament this year, but it will be going ahead!

What kind of a state will we find the Footy Sevens staff and refs in when we return? Some of the OFS staff have gone very P90X from the infomercials during the enforced break, and some of us have gone very Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And those of us that don't trust our partners around us with hair clippers are beginning to look like a Blue Oyster Cult reunion tour. We look forward to letting you decide who is who once we see you all back out on the field again.

Stay safe everyone,

Andrew, Chris, Dan, Joel, Matt and Ryan and the Footy Sevens Team

p.s. Don't forget your mental health during the current isolation: it's okay not to feel okay and the Mental Health Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week at 613-722-6914.



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