Ontario Hockey League Vaccination Policy
1. Policy Statement
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE VACCINATION POLICY – 2021/2022 Season
The Ontario Hockey League (“OHL”) requires that all OHL Community Members be vaccinated against COVID-19, in accordance with the remainder of this policy at least 14 days prior to the commencement of the 2021/2022 season.
This policy applies to all OHL Community Members, which includes individuals who attend training camp, practices, games or play in the OHL, and specifically includes all players, coaches, trainers, team and league staff, officials, volunteers, and billet families. Billet family members under the permitted age for vaccination by applicable Public Health Agencies are excluded.
This policy is effective immediately, with due regard for the availability of COVID-19 vaccines.
2. Reason for Policy
The health and safety of all OHL Community Members is the top priority of the OHL. The purpose of this policy is to protect the health and safety of all OHL Community Members by reducing the risk of exposure to and transmission of COVID-19, an infectious communicable disease, among all persons involved in the OHL; and to promote the health and safety of all members of the OHL community, through vaccinations against COVID-19.
This policy is necessary to prevent, respond to, and alleviate the outbreak of COVID-19 in the OHL because of the significant risk factors for COVID-19 infection that are present while participating in an organized hockey league as a player and non-player, both on and off the ice. These risk factors include close contact in predominantly indoor closed-space environments (i.e arenas, dressing rooms, buses and hotels etc.).
The close contact nature of organized hockey makes compliance with social distancing impossible and reduces the effectiveness of other infectious disease transmission protocols such as masking.
3. Vaccination Requirement and Records
All OHL Community Members are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and must present evidence satisfactory to the OHL demonstrating that they received the necessary doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination at least two (2) weeks prior to the start of training camp, or the date on which the OHL Community Member shall begin engaging in hockey or providing services to the OHL. Such evidence shall be provided in advance of attending any OHL event.
Subject to the below, where an OHL Community Member has not been vaccinated and/or has not provided evidence satisfactory to the OHL demonstrating that they received two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccination in accordance with the timelines above, the OHL may:
- In the case of a team or league employee, place the OHL Community Member on an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk;
- In the case of a player, remove the player from the team roster for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk;
- In the case of a volunteer or billet parent, require the billet or volunteer to cease involvement with the OHL for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID- 19 no longer poses a significant public health risk.
4. Acceptable Vaccines
The OHL recognizes all vaccines approved by either Health Canada or by the World Health Organization. All Community Members will be required to confirm they are vaccinated regardless of which approved vaccine they receive.
5. Acceptable Documentation
Acceptable documents serving as evidence of COVID-19 immunization include:
- A digital or physical Dose Administration Receipt
- Medical records signed by a licensed health care provider indicating vaccine name and date(s) of administration
If an OHL Community Member cannot provide satisfactory evidence of vaccination, the following will be taken into consideration:
- Proof of vaccination is not possible due to the lack of availability of the vaccine at the time of this Policy;
- The OHL Community Member’s reason for not being vaccinated; and,
- Documentation to substantiate a medical or protected ground reason for not being vaccinated.
The OHL will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code (OHRC) (or applicable State and US Federal legislation) and provide accommodation up to the point of undue hardship to any OHL Community Member who is unable to be vaccinated for substantiated medical reasons and/or on grounds protected under the OHRC. The OHL will work with an independent medical advisor appointed by the Commissioner to assist with accommodation issues.
Any OHL Community Member requiring accommodation must provide documentation to substantiate their reason for not being vaccinated. Where accommodation is not possible without undue hardship, the OHL may:
- In the case of a team or league employee, place the Community Member on an unpaid leave of absence for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk;
- In the case of a player, remove the player from the team roster for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk; or,
- In the case of a volunteer, order the volunteer to cease completing work for the OHL for the duration of the pandemic or until such time that COVID-19 no longer poses a significant public health risk.
To begin the accommodation request process, email or call OHL Vice President, Ted Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 299-8700, ext. 227.
7. Reporting and Record Keeping
All records about COVID-19 vaccinations and accommodations for OHL Community Members will only be collected, used, or disclosed as may be necessary for legitimate operational purposes or as directed or requested by governmental authorities.
All records will be kept in a secure manner consistent with the OHL’s privacy policies and practices.