RMC Paladins: OUA hits pause on university sports

Image via RMC Paladins.

With the safety of its student-athletes and that of the staff and supporters at each member institution, the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Board of Directors has announced a delayed restart to the OUA schedule in January. The Board announced Friday, Dec. 17, 2021, that all sanctioned competition scheduled prior to January 24, 2022, will be put on pause.

“With this pause, OUA programming (scrimmages, exhibition games, tournaments, league competition, championships), which was originally scheduled to start back up on January 6th, will commence no earlier than Monday, January 24th,” the OUA announcement reads. “This decision and corresponding timeline have been established in an effort to better allow member institutions to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student-life programming and allow for student-athletes to have sufficient time to properly train and prepare for the winter championship stretch run.”

Without games in the first few weeks of the New Year, the OUA hopes each school will have a better idea of the COVID-19 situation in their community and on their campuses, which will empower everyone to create the safest plans to return to sport as the semester progresses, according to a release from the RMC Paladins.

The Paladins said that while all regular season, post-season, and exhibition competition has been put on pause, teams will be permitted to train, if local health guidelines and school policies allow it.

Darren Cates, RMC Director of Athletics and a member of the OUA Board of Directors, said the decision was not made lightly.

“We all know the benefits sport can offer, both individually and as a community,” he said. “But in the current COVID environment, we need to be adaptable. While this is not an easy decision, we are making the right decision now for the safety of everyone involved in OUA sport, so that we can have a chance to finish our 2021-22 seasons.”

The decision affects multiple events for the Paladins, whose first game of 2022 was set to take place against Queen’s on January 7 in men’s hockey.

The Paladins listed all of RMC’s affected events:

  • January 7: Men’s hockey vs Queen’s
  • January 13: Men’s hockey vs Ontario Tech
  • January 21: Men’s hockey vs Queen’s
  • January 22: Women’s and men’s volleyball vs Nipissing
  • January 22-23: Fencing at OUA Men’s Fencing Championship
  • January 23: Women’s and men’s volleyball vs Nipissing
  • January 23: Men’s hockey vs Ontario Tech

The regular-season games affected will not be played at a later date, but all OUA Championships affected will be rescheduled, according to the release.

The RMC Paladins will work with the OUA, fellow universities, and public health officials in the coming days and weeks in the hope of resuming the season after January 24, 2022.

RMC said that their competitive clubs will likewise not be permitted to compete at any events before January 24, 2022.

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