Return To Sport Update

 (Updated February 11, 2022)

Legal Disclaimer


This document is provided on an "as is" basis and for information purpose only. Water polo Canada and Ontario Water Polo make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the direct, inferred or implicit information, directives, recommendations included in this document. To the full extent permissible by applicable laws, Water polo Canada and Ontario Water Polo disclaim all warranties, express or implied, including but not limited to, implied warranties related to the quality, accuracy, truth, timeliness, sequence, completeness, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, non-infringement, or continued availability of this document.

Water polo Canada and Ontario Water Polo shall not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this document including but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental punitive and consequential damages related to the return to training or competition in Water polo. The participant in Water polo accepts to use this document and the information herein contained at his or her own risks.

The participant in water polo declares that he or she is entirely and solely responsible for the use of this document and the information herein contained, for his or her return to sport and for following public health directives as prescribed by the municipal, provincial, and federal health authorities applicable to his or her context and place of practice of the sport.

The participant in Water polo agrees to indemnify and holds Water polo Canada and Ontario Water Polo harmless from any and all losses, damages, liability and costs resulting directly or indirectly from any claim or demand against Water polo arising out of or related to the accuracy or completeness of the document, his or her use of the document or information herein contained or his or her violation of the present conditions or any applicable laws and regulations.

Water Polo participant must complete and sign the WPC COVID-19 Acknowledgement of Risks Form on the RAMP platform.




Return to Aquatics - Principles for a safe return to sport framework


The four Aquatics Canada sport organizations (Canada Artistic Swimming, Diving Plongeon Canada, Swimming Canada and Water Polo Canada) are committed to a safe and healthy return to the pool for all aquatic sport participants.  To that end, the four sports have created a joint working group to share information, best practices and align in our shared belief that a safe return is possible, and that the health of our communities remains our top priority.


Each organization has developed its own sport specific return to sport framework.  The tenets of each plan are consistent and follow all current public health information.  These include a commitment to physical distancing at all stages of training, equipment cleanliness, hygiene, health monitoring, safe sport and on-going communication.


Sport is valued by Canadians and is a proven mechanism to strengthen, unite and build Canadian communities.  Aquatic sports and our athletes are looked at as role models not only in the sport community but in the country at large. Our return to sport/work can show a way forward and can help Canadian communities re-unite. A safe return to the pool is critical to this process.


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the collective aquatics community has had to significantly adapt its routines and activities in order to prioritize the health and wellbeing of Canadians as a whole.  Aquatics Canada would like to thank everyone in the aquatics community for their leadership and commitment to flattening the curve.  While it has been difficult to step away from the pool, our efforts have played an important part in combatting the pandemic.



Establishing the Principles of Return to Sport


According to the Centre for Disease Control (USA), there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through swimming pools. COVID-19 has a fragile lipid outer membrane and is therefore highly susceptible to elimination by soaps and oxidants, such as chlorine. Proper maintenance and disinfection with Chlorine or Bromine should inactivate the virus (CDC 2020).


A return to sport must strictly adhere to the policies and procedures outlined by provincial and municipal governments and public health agencies that have been established to ensure a safe environment for all. The aquatic sports joint working group has agreed on a number of key principles that will form the foundation of the return to our respective sports.  These principles include:


Physical Distancing: Physical distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. Return to sport must adhere to physical distancing in accordance with requirements of public health authorities and facility operators. Protective mask must be worn when mandatory by your facility, city and/or PHA.


Hygiene: In addition to physical distancing, handwashing and cough etiquette add another layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19. Return to sport plans must implement and monitor appropriate individual personal hygiene practices among staff, coaches and all participants at home (away from training) and during training.


Individual Health Monitoring: Daily individual health monitoring processes and tracking need to be in place. Monitoring will be under the responsibility of participants (or parents if under 18 years old) and monitoring will be under facility/clubs/program responsibility. Individuals should not return to sport if they have been unwell (even mild symptoms).


Safe Sport Environment: In these unique times, our commitment to providing a safe sport environment for all participants cannot waver. A return to sport program must be designed to ensure all aspects of a safe sport environment can be implemented and followed.


Planning and Communication: A robust return to training plan that includes regular communication and education with key stakeholders including athletes, coaches and others, is key for any club.


Finally, our four Aquatics National Sport Organizations would like to thank Dr. Suzanne Leclerc, CMO of the Institut national du sport du Québec, who has collaborated closely with us to produce this document.

Overarching Health, Medical and Safety Information and Considerations:


Health Monitoring


  • Members who are sick or symptomatic must not enter/participate. 
  • Athletes, coaches, and staff must stay home when sick, even with mild symptoms
  • If a person becomes sick, they should immediately stop participating and return home.
  • Any athlete or staff member that is required to leave a training session as a consequence of experiencing signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 needs to follow all PHO measures. Public health officials will determine any requirements related to facility and/or group operations, as well as any requirements around contact tracing as it relates to managing the spread of the virus. The athlete or staff member may not return until they have followed all guidelines. 
  • Staff or athletes at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are recommended to review their specific health concerns with their primary care provider prior to attending training sessions (common underlying health conditions which may place an individual at higher risk would include hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma and those who are otherwise immunocompromised)


Returning to Training following a positive COVID-19 test and/or Home Isolation


The decision on when it is appropriate to return to training following a positive COVID-19 test, or direct contact with a positive case is in accordance with Provincial guidelines. Recommendations will vary based on a number of factors and may include further testing in some cases. Please seek the advice of your health care practitioner.


Physical Distancing 

  • Avoid being exposed to COVID-19 by physical distancing. Keep a safe distance at all times. This is critical as COVD-19 can be spread prior to symptom onset.
  • Avoid greetings with handshakes, hugging, high fives, etc.
  • Protective Masks might be made mandatory by your facility, city or by Ontario Health Authority. Clubs/programs and participants must comply when implemented.
  • Where possible, participants should supply their own equipment. Bring extra suits, swim caps, and/or goggles to training sessions.

Hand and Personal Hygiene

  • Clean/wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol). Coaches and athletes are encouraged to carry a personal supply of hand sanitizer for use as needed before, during and after training.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
  • Do not share food and drinks.


Use of Equipment

  • There is no permitted sharing of water bottles. Athletes, coaches, and staff are required to fill their personal water bottles at home, prior to a leaving for the facility.
  • Sharing beverage containers and other similar behaviours increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and are not permitted. Participants must bring their own water bottles and not share with other participants.
  • In general, pool set-up such as putting in lane lines and nets should be left to the facility to complete. Where this is not possible, specific protocols should be developed to perform the task safely.


Safe Sport                              


  • All efforts should be made to ensure that Open and Observable environments are maintained at all times. Open and observable environments means making meaningful and concerted efforts to avoid situations where a coach, official or other representative might be alone with an athlete and/or vulnerable individual. All interactions between an athlete and an individual who is in a position of trust should normally, and wherever possible, be in an environment or space that is both “open” and “observable” to others.
  • All training sessions shall respect the principles outlined in the Coaching Association of Canada’s Responsible Coaching Movement including the Rule of Two.


Return to Sport - Water Polo Training Guidelines












Date in Effect


January 5th, 2022

 January 31st, 2022


Training Locations

Available outdoor spaces

Available outdoor spaces

Available indoor/ outdoor spaces

All Available Spaces

In Water Physical Distancing Recommendation

2 metres

2 metres

Resume Regular Sport

(No physical distancing required when allowed by your facility/ city)


Mask Wearing Outside of the Water


Protective masks must be worn wherever mandated by your facility/ city/ Ontario Public Health

Protective masks must be worn wherever mandated by your facility/ city/ Ontario Public Health


Training Capacity*

Please adhere to facility capacity limits based on health and safety and fire code

Please adhere to facility capacity limits based on health and safety and fire code

Please adhere to facility capacity limits based on health and safety and fire code

Please adhere to facility capacity limits based on health and safety and fire code

Scrimmages/ Games

Not permitted

Not permitted



Please note that the above are recommendations from Ontario Water Polo. They are subject to revision at any point in time, and do NOT supersede your facility rules. It is the responsibility of the club to adapt all their training to remain within the recommended guidelines above AND to adapt to the requirements of the facility. If your facility requires approval from OWP for your return to training plans, please send in your request to 





Public Health

Public Health guidelines must be followed at all times.

Arrival Procedures

Facility guidelines must be followed at all times.

Sanitation Procedures

Participants should wipe down dryland equipment after use

Offices or

Shared Spaces

Limit number of people within the office depending on size.

Team Meetings

Please make an effort to distance when possible.


Participants in the pool

Respect all recommendations provided by your provincial & municipal health authorities, as well as the guidelines outlined by your local public training facilities. The number of participants allowed will be determined by the available pool space in each facility and adaptations will be given by the training facility in use.

*Note the recommendations above are based on the pool space available, Cities or facility management might add additional restrictions that clubs MUST follow and comply with.

Interactions between Team Members

2m physical distancing must be maintained when possible. The distance between each individual will be determined and should be followed based on you provincial & municipal health authorities, as well as the guidelines set by the public training facility. A protective mask must be worn when mandatory by your facility, city and/or PHO.

Warm up

Facility guidelines must be followed at all times.


Only personal water bottles on deck, no food allowed.


Sanitation measures after use by each person -Facility guidelines must be followed at all times.

Individual ball or technical skills

Maintain the recommended distance between persons as recommended by the provincial & Municipal health authorities (and stage), and the public training facility for drills. 

Duels/ opposition - close contact work

Please refer to the above table

Close contact situational activities, or scrimmages



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