Framework for Return to Artistic Swimming FAQ

We have received several questions and recommendations related to the OAS Return to Artistic Swimming Activity Framework and 2020-21 athlete registration and wanted to share our responses with the OAS community to assist with your planning.

Q: Is an athlete who swam with the Canadian University Artistic Swimming League (CUASL) in 2019-20 allowed to participate in club programming during the summer?

A: The athlete may participate in summer programming. For athletes that swam with a University league team outside Ontario, the club must take the required steps to register the participant with OAS for the balance of this season to ensure insurance coverage is in place.

Q: Is an athlete synchro age 11 and over that was a competitive swimmer but took a year off and was not registered in 2019-20 allowed to participate in summer programming?

A:  The athlete may participate in summer programming as long as the club takes the required steps to register them for the balance of this season. Eligibility requirements are in place to ensure participants are competent swimmers and are old enough to manage physical distancing and hygiene protocols, which has been met here.

Q: Is an athlete synchro age 11 and over that was a competitive swimmer but took a year off and was not registered in 2019-20 allowed to register for the 2020-21 season?

A: The athlete may register for the 2020-21 season. OAS will be discussing the status of participants who are synchro age 10 and under or are new to the sport during a call with other Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) early next week and will provide an update on the Club Call, Tuesday.

Q: Are clubs required to use the return to sport waivers posted on the Canada Artistic Swimming (CAS) website as part of the 2020-21 registration process?

A: The documents posted by CAS were prepared for the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and National Sport Organizations by the law firm Faskens. CAS has shared these for use by PSOs that do not already have waivers in place.

OAS and our clubs have had waivers in place for many years. Steve Indig of Sport Law & Strategy Group updated the waivers to address virtual training and COVID-19 in April, and we have taken the decision to stay with what we and the clubs are familiar with and use these updated documents in 2020-21. In Ontario, we will NOT be using the CAS documents.

Q: We are in the process of updating our registration packages for 2020-21. What are the required documents?

The forms we will require upon athlete registration are those set out on the Framework page of our website. Click here to access these forms. 

  • Athlete Code of Conduct: COVID-19
  • OAS Declaration of Compliance
  • Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Indemnity Agreement (18 & over)
  • Informed Consent & Assumption of Risk Agreement (Minors)

Clubs will also need to collect:

  • OAS Concussion Code of Conduct for Athletes
  • Photograph & Information Permission
  • Agreement to Receive Electronic Communications

There is no change to these documents, click here to access them. The OAS Registration page will be updated over the next several weeks.

Q: In the framework it is stated that The OAS Declaration of Compliance: COVID-19 must be submitted in hard copy rather than collecting paper, can this be a photo of a printed/signed form or an electronically filled and signed form?
A: OAS would like to see the Declaration of Compliance signed by participants (i.e., a physical signature rather than a click and typed name on an online form). How you collect the form is up to the club. A scanned copy or photo of the signed form is just fine with one caveat: The copy must be large enough that it can be read easily.
Q: If we have a swimmer who is absent from practice, but does not give a reason, do we have an obligation to follow up in case it's an illness, or do we simply trust the family?
Yes, if a swimmer is absent without explanation, the coach or COVID-19 Coordinator should follow up with the family to confirm the swimmer is not ill with COVID symptoms. This should be documented in or to manage liability.
Q: The Risk Assessment tool states: “Will the club have members relocating from outside the training location that have documented active local transmission of COVID-19 (community spread)? What is meant by “outside the training location?” Does this capture swimmers who live outside our town or region (e.g., a swimmer that lives in Hamilton but trains in Burlington)?

A: The Risk Assessment tool was designed for national level athletes coming from across the country to train together at a single training location. For application to clubs, we would suggest this be interpreted to capture athletes that are not within the typical club catchment area from which the club’s participants are drawn.

Q: We have a couple of AWD swimmers who will be starting training this month. One of the guardians asked if she would be allowed to be in the building (in the stands) during her daughter's practices for medical reasons. Since the framework clearly states that no parents or guardians are allowed in can clubs in this situation receive an exception?

A: Version 3 of the Framework addresses this situation by stating, “spectators (excluding parents or guardians where necessary for athlete support) are not permitted in the training environment”. One parent or caregiver would be permitted in the stands during practice for athlete support. No exemptions are required.

Q: The Return to Training after COVID-19 section requires the athlete to have clearance from a medical professional. Does this mean that an athlete needs a negative COVID test before return? It does not state it in the below section and a parent has asked the club.

A: No, we are not requiring that a participant have a negative COVID test before returning to sport. Our intent with the Framework is to defer to public health on this. The participant would need to be cleared by a medical professional, which MAY include a negative COVID test depending on local public health guidance.

Q: We have an athlete whose mother tested positive. It is my interpretation that the team can still swim but the athlete must either self isolate for two weeks or have a Covid test that is negative. Should the athlete be waiting until the mother is negative as well if their test is negative?

A: The athlete has to self isolate for two weeks from their last contact with the mother. It doesn’t matter if the athlete tests negative as they would still have to complete two weeks of self isolation as they are considered a high risk household contact to their mother.  The reason being is that they could still develop COVID anytime in the two weeks from the last contact with their mother. 

The athlete can resume in person activity as soon as their self isolation is complete. The mother would be done self isolation before the swimmer as most healthy individuals who test positive are only required to self isolate for 10 days. 
Public Health does not recommend a test based approach to return to school/work etc.  Sometimes individual employers require that of their employees. However that is not under the direction of Public Health. 

If you have any further questions, please contact Ruth Belcher at 
[email protected].

0