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Recommendations for Returning to Play

Monday, May 11, 2020

To Our Valued Members,


We have certainly seen some incredibly challenging and unprecedented of times in the last few months. Although we all must remain vigilant and committed to protecting the health and wellness of everyone, we have thankfully reached the point in time where the Province of Ontario is in a position to begin to ease restrictions, and is laying the groundwork for the safe, measured and gradual re-opening of our Province, including a much-anticipated return of recreational sports.


Ultimately, it will be the Province who will determine when a return to play will occur when there is a lifting of the Emergency Order.  Then, Municipalities would determine any use of their facilities, and private complexes would make the decisions for theirs, following guidelines within their Municipality. Businesses must follow public health measures and promote physical distancing and hand sanitizing, as well as look to install physical barriers and re-work previously accepted practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19.


SPO is 100% committed to providing our Members with every opportunity to return to play safely and productively this season, through events that we are able to offer, and through our Member leagues and tournaments.


To that end, we are continuing our work with various consultants from multiple Ministries, Municipalities, Softball Canada and other Provincial and Territorial associations on the preparation of a Strategic Plan for Return to Play that addresses matters of concern in five (5) specific areas including On-Field and Off-Field practices, Spectators and Umpires, and General Matters of consideration. A League-only version will be provided to our Leagues to help assist Executives with their own return to play plans, once some general timelines can reasonably be established as the Province works to implement the different stages of re-opening. These concerns may be different depending on the area in which you live, work and play. As well, we are currently working with the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario, the Canadian Olympic Committee and several of the chief medical officers across Canada in the development of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment Tool for return to play.  These two documents will be working documents and may need to be changed, updated and re-evaluated as new “normals” are established, and what may work for small, rural areas, may not exactly fit for those in larger, urban centres.


We want to remind you that SPO is here to help in whatever way we can and that the health and safety of all of our Members, staff, volunteers and partners remains our biggest priority.


If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us at


Stay safe. And remember, when ball is back, it’ll be better than ever.


Yours in slo-pitch,


Tom Buchan, CEO

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