Update 22 – Gymnastics Ontario | Interpretation of Rules for Step 3

All Clubs,

As you are well aware of by now Ontario will be moving to Step 3 as of July 16 at 12:01 am. You can review Ontario Regulation 364/20 (version current as of July 9, 2021) or you will find it attached.

Although the rules are fairly clear in this version there still might be some concerns that I will try to address.

Capacity Limits for Business or Facilities Open to the Public

  1. (3)For the purposes of this Order, the maximum number of members of the public permitted in a business or facility, or part of a business or facility, that is operating in an indoor setting at 50 percent capacity is determined by taking 50 percent of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility, as applicable, as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • If you do not know this information then you need to reach out to your regional fire service for this information, or your municipality’s building department. However, be certain that your facility is in compliance before opening yourselves up to an inspection which may cause more issues for member clubs.

Businesses that Provide Teaching and Instruction

  1. 1.The space for any in-person teaching or instruction must be operated to enable students to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the space, except where necessary for teaching and instruction that cannot be effectively provided if physical distancing is maintained.
  • We can now resume hosting in-person NCCP courses. I have asked Danielle to only open up courses until four weeks from today through to August 15 while we are in Step 3. Also, preferential treatment for a host club will be given to clubs who can guarantee that the NCCP course will have exclusive use of the entire facility, no exceptions or considerations. This is because of the 50% capacity restriction. I do not want Danielle to be micro managing capacity numbers when organizing courses. Her focus over these next few weeks will be Foundations courses since Competition or Level 2 courses run longer than two days which may pose challenging for a host club to provide exclusive use of their facility. If a club has not reopened and their space is available for Competition or Level 2 courses in any discipline then please reach out to Danielle at education@gymnasticsontario.ca Limited instruction for spotting will be permitted at the courses (where applicable), the challenge will be getting demonstrators. This is also why I am suggesting a four week delay in running these courses so that gymnasts can get back to training first.

Facilities used for Indoor Sports and Recreational Activities (review this section in the Regulations in their entirety, below are just a few excerpts)

  1. (1) 1. In the case of an indoor facility, the total number of members of the public permitted to be in the facility at any one time must be limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the facility, as determined in accordance with subsection 3 (3) of Schedule 1.
  • This is previously explained. You should also review clause 2.i. and 2.iii. for rules on spectators.
  1. (1) 7.The person responsible for the facility or, where there is no such responsible person, the person holding a permit for the use of the facility, must actively screen individuals who enter the facility in accordance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health before they enter the facility.
  • Clubs must continue to actively screen participants, staff, volunteers or service people who enter your facility. See clause 16. (1) 6. for the specific requirements of screening. Clubs may use electronic screening that can be sent to families to complete prior to their arrival for your programs.
  1. (1) 8.Prior to permitting any participants in an organized sports league or event to practise or play the sport in the facility, the facility must ensure that the league or event has prepared a safety plan in accordance with section 3.3 of Schedule 1.
  • If you already have your club’s protocols prepared then this only needs to be updated based on current regulations.
  1. (4)Paragraphs 1, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 of subsection (1), and subsection (3), do not apply to any part of the facility that is being used,
  2. (4) (a)for a day camp or overnight camp for children described in section 19;
  • This is an exemption that Gymnastics Ontario is not quite comfortable with in Step 3, especially since many of our member clubs will be offering competitive programs or regular recreational classes simultaneously with Day Camps. For consistency to our members, staff and volunteers we are strongly recommending (just shy of mandating) that member clubs continue to actively screen all participants, follow masking guidelines where applicable and physical distancing in Day Camps throughout Step 3.


  • Limited spotting will be permitted for Recreational and Competitive Programs with some guidelines. By limited I mean where absolutely necessary at this time, in most instances progressions and basics are still only required especially in the Recreational Programs. Please use your best judgement to determine if a spot is absolutely necessary at this time.
  • A face covering is required when spotting that is to be worn by the coach. I strongly suggest that you acquire a mask that is snug to your face to ensure that a mask can be worn when spotting.
  • A mask must be worn when a coach is manipulating an athlete’s body alignment and/or positions when the athlete is in a static, or relatively static position. For example, a kick to handstand, or body position hold, and etc. Verbal cues should be your first option to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
  • The coach and the athlete should both ensure their hands have been properly washed and/or sanitized before and after a skill is spotted as another preventative measure.
  • Again, spotting should be use sparingly and especially for clubs in the Red (Control) public health regions. This email is being sent to clarify what is permitted, it does not give clubs permission to actively promote spotting in their programs. Progressions, progressions and more progressions should be incorporated into your programs, but I know there are moments when that little bit of assistance is necessary.

We have waited a long time for this reopening, especially member clubs in Toronto and Peel who have been closed since November. Lets make sure that we are doing our small part to ensure the safety of our participants, staff and volunteers.



Dave Sandford

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