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For Immediate Release 

April 4, 2023

Football Ontario Announces New Game Defaults Policy 

Football Ontario Announces New Policy to Ensure Player Safety and Ethical Gameplay

Hamilton, Ontario – Football Ontario has announced a new policy on game defaults aimed at ensuring player safety and promoting ethical gameplay. The policy establishes clear guidelines for handling situations where a team is unable to field the minimum number of players required for a game.


According to the policy, player minimums are established to ensure player safety and are not negotiable. Contravening this regulation is unethical and places decision-makers in a precarious legal position. Therefore, when game forfeitures occur, coaches and game officials should decide upon one of the following options. Under no circumstances should a regular football game be played.

The new policy offers two options to be considered in case of game defaults. The first option is to cancel the game completely. This means that everyone goes home, and the game is not played.

The second option is a controlled scrimmage of 60 scrimmage plays or 60 minutes. In this option, Team A runs 10 plays starting at the 25-yard line, followed by Team B running 10 plays from their 25-yard line. Teams alternate possessions moving up and down the field. There is no kicking or special teams involved, and coaches are permitted on the field. Officials manage the scrimmage.

The new policy aims to ensure that all games are played fairly and safely, with the best interests of the players in mind. It is the responsibility of all coaches and officials to ensure that the policy is followed at all times.

Football Ontario encourages all teams, coaches, and officials to familiarize themselves with the new policy and to work together to ensure its successful implementation.


ABOUT FOOTBALL ONTARIO: Football Ontario is the sanctioned provincial governing body for football in Ontario, through its focus on transparency, growth, alignment and excellence, is engaged in providing football opportunities for all of Ontario. Football Ontario is driven by a commitment to deliver football programming, opportunities and resources for its members and the provincial football stakeholders. Please visit: