Today, League1 Ontario announced that they have optimistically targeted July 29, 2021, as the new start date for a 2021 campaign for both Women and Men, which will run into early November.
On May 7, 2021, League1 Ontario announced the intention to kick off the 2021 season on July 2, if the Provincial Government’s COVID-19 re-opening plans would allow full team training to commence by June 7.
As of June 11, the province’s announced Roadmap to Reopen, Step 1 Return to Play regulations limit teams to socially distanced training sessions with a maximum of 10 players per quadrant on a pitch. Open Trials are not permitted in Step 1 of Return to Play and as a result the July 2 kickoff will not be possible.
The League1 Ontario Board of Directors are optimistic that a return to competition is possible for this summer and fall, especially considering the progress the Province of Ontario is making battling COVID-19 and getting the residents of Ontario fully vaccinated.
“Although it is disappointing that a July 2 kickoff is no longer possible, we are feeling very confident and optimistic that a July 29 start date is feasible, with the provision that we can enter Step 2 of the Provincial Government’s plan within 21 days of the launch of Step 1 and that the next step of reopening indeed allows for a return to full team training and competition,” League1 Ontario Managing Director, Matthew Braithwaite said.
L1O officials have presented license holders with additional scenarios for kicking off in August if there are delays in transitioning to Step 2 of the Return to Play strategy.
More details about the competition format for the 2021 season will be shared as we await further Step 2 and 3 details from the Government of Ontario through Ontario Soccer’s Return to Play plan.
About League1 Ontario
League1 Ontario is the province of Ontario’s pro-am, standards-based, senior league. Founded in 2014, the league began with a ten team men’s division, which has now grown to 21 teams in the men’s division and includes a separate 14 team women’s division.
League1 Ontario serves as a steppingstone between the high-performance youth level and elite amateur and professional levels of the game.
Owned and managed by Canadian Soccer Business (CSB) and sanctioned by FIFA through the domestic bodies of Canada Soccer and Ontario Soccer, League1 Ontario’s primary focus is the showcase and development of Canada’s future stars.