Ontario Jiu-Jitsu Association Statement – Changes to OJA RTP Protocols – July 24th, 2020
We hope this note continues to find you and yours well.
We continue to welcome new clubs from across the Province to our Association. We welcome you to our Association and hope that you will remain a vital part of our Association for years to come.
More and more of our clubs continue to open each week. Slowly but surely, students are returning to training and the inherent benefits of Martial Arts training. Our clubs/academies/dojos began opening as of June 29th, with the appropriate protocols in place.
On Monday, July 20th, the Province announced that several more regions would be entering Stage 3 of the Provincial Framework as of Friday, July 24th.
As such, those regions entering Provincial Stage 3 will be eligible to move to OJA Step 2 of our Return to Play Protocols.
All other regions are still subject to the reopening stage of the RTP guideline. (i.e. OJA Step 1)
As a reminder, the OJA does not create the Provincial policies – we are required to follow the Provincial Laws, just like everyone else. Additionally, please note that local bylaw and Public Health Units may supersede the OJA protocols – you should always follow your local requirements.
A summary of the Provincial framework for Phase 3 is here -
https://files.ontario.ca/mof-framework-reopUening-province-stage-3-en-2020-07-13.pdf
As a reminder - Permitted changes as of July 24th for regions moving to Provincial Stage 3:
The Regions moving into Provincial Phase 3 will be able to move to OJA Return to Play Step 2.
1) The indoor social gathering limit has been increased up to 50 people, provided physical distancing is possible.
2) This includes limited partner training only under the following circumstances:
• The partners live in the same household.
• The partners are both in the same social circle. (Clubs should have a contract/waiver signed by each partner attesting to the fact they are in the same social circle)
Partner training should be limited to drilling only. No free sparring/rolling. The partners should be physically distanced from other members of the class.
Note – only one partner per class or day (if there are multiple classes in a day). The club owner must keep track of who trains together in each class.
Prior to beginning any partner training in your club/academy/dojo, you should verify with your local Public Health Unit. Each region is interpreting various elements of the framework and emergency order differently – there is not a consistent approach being employed across the province – as many of you will attest to. Local Public Health and Bylaw requirements may supersede OJA Protocols – always follow your local requirements. We recommend written confirmation from your Local Public Health Unit.
3) Washrooms and Changerooms are permitted to be used – provided they are cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Activities still restricted:
Activities that involve prolonged or deliberate contact between athletes outside of the same household or social circle are not yet permitted. Therefore, we are not allowed to resume regular contact training yet.
This is mentioned specifically in the framework document and was mentioned also in a follow up townhall meeting with the Minister after the Premier’s announcement.
A note on mandatory mask bylaws:
Many regions are implementing mandatory mask bylaws for indoor public spaces. These are being handled regionally – there isn’t a consistent provincial approach to this – it does depend on your region. Most of our clubs are in private facilities as opposed to public ones – if you are using a public location, you will be subject to the requirements of your facility.
Most of the bylaws have an exclusion for training in sports/intensive physical activity.
Our recommendation is to familiarize yourself with your region’s bylaw and make the appropriate decision for your club/academy/dojo.
What does this all mean?
For those regions remaining in Provincial Phase 2 – nothing changes yet.
For those regions advancing to Provincial Phase 3 – you are eligible to move to Step 2 on the OJA RTP protocols.
For those areas where clubs/academies/dojos have had difficulties getting reopened due to local restrictions/hurdles, the move to Provincial Phase 3 should eliminate the hurdles you have faced. The OJA continues to be available to offer advice/advocate for you where necessary/possible.
Go forward
As other regions move forward into Provincial Phase 3 – the OJA will communicate that our clubs in those regions can move to OJA Step 2 in our return to play protocols.
The OJA will continue to advocate on behalf of our member clubs. We remain committed and steadfast in providing the best guidance and advice we can for our member clubs. We are in constant contact with the Ministry of Heritage, Tourism, Sport and Culture Industries to have the latest, best information to provide to our member clubs. Additionally, the Board of Directors meet at least weekly to review relevant information to go forward.
The OJA is also sitting on the Minister’s subcommittee for Combative Sport, which will continue to push for restrictions to be lifted when the Chief Medical Officer determines it is safe to do so.
I thank my Board of Directors for their continued hard work on this. We are all volunteers devoting a great deal of our personal time to this.
If we can be of assistance, just reach out – we answer every e-mail that comes to us. Please feel free to use my e-mail below.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, we thank you for your continued patience during this process.
Regards,
Doug Knispel