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OPFL Return to Play

Ontario has identified and compiled safety guidelines and protocols that have been independently established by leaders in the sport and recreation sector to ensure that Ontarians can safely return to play

The OPFL has put together a Return to Play Plan for all its members based on the resources available from Football Canada and the guidelines and protocols from the ports and Recreation sector to support a safe return to play. The Return to Play Plan contains key recommendations and tips for Club Centers, athletes, coaches and trainers on how to keep all participants safe.  

As we wait for a full return to tackle football, for the Spring/Summer 2021 Club Centers will be offering program options that follow provincial and municipal health guidelines and restrictions as the province continues to respond to covid.

The age divisions for 2021 for the OPFL are:

  • Tyke: Players born in 2013, 2014​
  • Atom: Players born in 2011, 2012​
  • PeeWee: Players born in 2009, 2010​
  • Bantam: Players born in 2007, 2008​
  • Junior Varsity: Players born in 2005, 2006​
  • Varsity: Players born in 2002, 2003, 2004​

The options will vary from one Club center to another based on each Club Center’s particular zone:

Grey Zones: Virtual Online Training Only

Red Zones: Virtual Online Training  and Skill Development / Individual Skill Development

Orange, Yellow and Green Zones: Virtual Online Training,  Skill Development / Individual Skill Development , Group Training and Non-Contact Football (Touch and Flag Football)

Check with your Club Center or find one here for details on local programs / age divisions available.

Why is Flag/Touch Football a good alternative while we wait for the return of Tackle Football?

Become and Stay Physically Fit! By participating on a OPFL team, athletes have the opportunity to stay in shape while engaging in an exciting sport. Playing flag/touch football is a great way to blast calories, tone and expand muscles, and work towards a healthier lifestyle.

Develop New Skills! Playing flag/touch football requires athletes to effectively communicate with both teammates and coaches.  Teamwork is a very important skill involved in football that challenges athletes in drills and team activities. Youth football will also assist in the development of social skills in younger athletes, a vital skill used in the classroom and on the field.

Improve Mental Health! Being surrounded by supportive teammates and coaches can add a sense of mental well-being to athletes involved in the OPFL.  Studies have shown that athletes involved in team sports tend to have better work ethics, organizational skills, and problem-solving abilities. Positive effects on mood and self-esteem can come from being involved in flag/touch football.

It’s Fun! Having fun is what flag/touch football is all about. This competitive sport allows athletes of all ages to come together and strive towards a common goal. The OPFL Club Centers are focused on creating an engaging atmosphere for athletes through games, practices and tournament events.

What if I have never played? Compared to some other sports, flag/touch football does not require much experience. While different levels of competitiveness may require different knowledge of the sport, in its basic form, flag/touch football can be played by anyone, with the stress of competitive tackle football. With different positions available, there is a spot for even for some completely unfamiliar with the sport.

What about linemen? You can also participate in flag/touch football! But stay tuned as we are working on some Big Man Camps as well.