Return to Sport Update – May 21st 2020

As a follow-up to the last week’s posting regarding the return to sport process, we wanted to provide the following update.

Since the Provincial Government’s announcement, we have been engaged with Ministry representatives, legal experts, and insurance providers to both interpret what is now permissible under the law as well as protocols that must be in place for safe delivery of sport activities. This is a very complex process and the OCA will be proceeding with the utmost caution. This means that some of the questions being asked of us will take longer to provide complete and clear answers. We recognize this is frustrating and we ask for your patience. Taking the time to properly prepare appropriate protocols will ensure there is confidence that the information we provide has been properly developed by health and legal experts as well as those within the cycling community to mitigate risks to members, athletes, coaches, and clubs.

It is important to note that “sanctioned” activities are those covered by the OCA insurance program as managed by our broker and do not reflect individual riding or activities outside approved club/team activities. At the present time, club & team rides, training rides, programs and competitions, which are insured under the Ontario Cycling Association program, are not approved or sanctioned. Although the Premier’s announcement regarding “Phase 1” reopening was encouraging, we are still required to adhere to the laws pertaining to organized events and public gatherings. On a limited basis, it appears that some facility-based operations will be permitted for the purposes of training high performance athletes once the appropriate protocols have been developed.

Additionally, under the current restrictions, there are no plans for hosting events or returning to competition, even in a time trial format.

All of that being said, we have confirmed with the insurance broker that the following club/team activities can be sanctioned with prior notice and approval by the OCA:

Virtual Rides/Racing
With the COVID-19 situation, more and more clubs, teams, organizers and associations have turned to online riding/racing simulation platforms to provide their members some semblance of cycling group activity. These activities can now be sanctioned as part of your club/team activities so long as the following information is provided.

1. Club/Team name
2. Name of activity
3. Platform the activity is taking place on (Zwift, Fulgaz, etc.)
4. Date of activity (If weekly, please indicate this)
5. Approximate start time of activity
6. Full description of activity (Race vs Ride, Distance, etc.)

With any non-private activity, there is a potential risk that non-members participate. All those using these platforms will need to strongly consider the potential risk of hosting an activity with non-members on these platforms prior to submitting their activity information.
Clubs/Teams should keep track of all members who registered for each activity.

*NEW* Recorded Club/Team Managed Individual Rides
While the logistics of a Return to Sport for group activities is still being finalized, pending further reopening of sport announcements, we have confirmed with our broker that club/team organized recorded individual rides (Strava for example) can be sanctioned. As with all club/team activities under the OCA program, these activities must be previously reported and approved prior to being sanctioned.

The process for this would require the club to submit in writing the following items:

1. Which Club/Team this is for
2. What cycling discipline this is for
3. What day(s) is this applicable for
4. What is the route map – vetted and approved by club management
5. Method used to record rides by club members (i.e. Strava)
6. Time of day allowance (Maximum 12 hours)
7. Club contact name and email

Example of a possible activity.

Club/Team: Little Johnny’s Cycling Squad
Cycling Discipline: Road
Date: Each Wednesday
Route Map: Insert Strava Link here
Time of Day Allowance: 10am – 7pm
Club/Team Contact: Jenny Cycle, jennyandjohnnyscyclesquad@ontariocycling.org

Clubs/Teams submitting activities must abide by all Provincial and Municipal regulations and ensure its members are aware of these regulations.

Note: this is NOT the same as 24-hour coverage and is only subject to prior approval of the activity by the OCA.