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1. Women and Sport Mandate

Women and Sport programs have been developed to increase quality sport and physical activity opportunities for girls and women with a philosophy that encourages FUN, Participation….and a slogan that says EVERYONE GETS TO PLAY.

2.  Women and Sport History

Women and Sport was endorsed by City Council and initiated in 1985. City of Ottawa Parks and Recreation Branch under the astute direction of Don Gamble and led by Jan St. Amour recognized the importance to support sport opportunities for girls and women to level the playing field.

The program was created in conjunction with the school boards, School Board Trustees, City of Ottawa Councilors, Office of Equal Opportunity and the City of Ottawa to offer and promote sport opportunities for girls 13 to 17 years of age. Girls were (and still are) 25% less active than boys of the same age. Girls did not have the same opportunity to participate in team sports that were less costly such as softball, volleyball and basketball. Accessibility and affordability of programs were key components as they are today.

Women and Sport program objectives focus on having fun, making new friends, and developing skills in order to build self-confidence while playing in a team setting.

Presently, today over 6400 women and girls participating in over 70 various sport leagues, skill sessions. Over 300 women representatives volunteer as team contacts for their teams to support sport leagues and are very instrumental in the success of the programs.

Women and Sport facilitates the sport leagues and programs with guidance from the Women and Sport Advisory Committee comprised of representatives from all our leagues.

3. Fair Play Policy          

Women and Sport promotes the ideals of fair play so that all participants enjoy and benefit from each and every sport. Participants and teams are asked to:

*  Respect the rules

*  Respect the officials and their decisions

*  Respect your opponent(s)

*  Give everyone an equal chance to participate

*  Maintain your self-control at all times

The spirit of FAIR PLAY is a responsibility placed on each and every player. Participants must consider the safety of all players in the game.

Women and Sport Leagues enforce a “0" tolerance ruling in situations involving any inappropriate behaviour.

Actions such as speaking back to the official(s), taunting of opposing players, dangerous aggression, intentional fouling, or other “win at all costs” behaviour are contrary to the spirit of the game and must be avoided by all players.

Should a player or team play at a level of ability that exceeds the accepted standard for the division within which they are playing, Women and Sport reserves the right to move the team or player to a higher division. Should a team already be playing in the top division, Women and Sport will provide recommendation and assistance in helping the team find a more appropriate League within which to play.

4. Unfair Play  

The Women and Sport Staff will inform a player or a team about a complaint lodged against them pertaining to UNFAIR PLAY.  Should continued complaints be lodged against the same player or team, disciplinary action may have to be taken to resolve the situation.

A disciplinary matter will be handled with fairness and impartiality and shall provide a full opportunity for all parties to be heard.

5. Registration Information

 i) All players must register and be paid in full prior to the team deadline. Women and Sport players are not permitted to play until their registration is completed. All players must bring photo ID to the game, if the opposing team requests to see photo ID, players must willingly show their ID. Photocopy of ID is acceptable as long as the photo clearly identifies the individual.

ii) Spares must register with the Women and Sport office and pay the spare player fee prior to 3:00 pm on the day of the game. Spare players are not permitted to play until their registration is complete.

iii) Refund Policy
All requests for refunds are subject to a processing fee. Refunds will be credited to your account unless otherwise requested. If a refund is requested, a Refund Request Form must be completed and submitted to City Staff for processing. A Processing Fee of $15 will apply to all refunds, whether by cheque or credit card and will be processed within 21 days of the receipt of the Refund Request Form. If less than 50% of the program/membership has elapsed, a pro-rated refund or credit will be offered. If more than 50% of the course/membership has elapsed, no refund or credit on account will be offered.

Credits on Account
Credits can be left on your account for two years. After which, refunds will be issued automatically and subject to a $15 processing fee.

iv) By registering with a Women and Sport League, players agree to abide by the League Guidelines and rules and by the terms and conditions of registration with the City of Ottawa. 

v)  A player can register as a member of a team at any point in the season. They must contact the office to do so. Team contact must send the office an updated roster with the new player’s information. Teams can add players to their roster as long as there is a minimum of five (5) regular season games remaining in the Fall/Winter season and three (3) regular season games remaining in the Summer season.

vi) Non Registered Coaches and Other Team Staff: Any person who acts in the capacity of a coach or team staff who is not a registered participant in our League must fill out a Volunteer Participant form and produce a recent Police Records Check for the vulnerable sector. There is no charge for this check. Please contact gws-ffs@ottawa.ca to obtain the volunteer package.

6. Team Player Information

A. Illegal Player

An illegal player is a person who is not registered with the City of Ottawa in the League/program and who is not listed on the Team Roster (which has been submitted to the Women and Sport office.)

An illegal player is not eligible to play in the Women and Sport Leagues. Should a team have a concern that an illegal player has been used, the Team Contact should notify the Women and Sport office within 24 hours of the game. A team using an illegal player will be penalized (-3) points for the use of an illegal player. 

B. Borrowing Players

i)  Borrowing of players registered in the Women and Sport League is permitted to avoid defaulting a game.

Borrowed players must sign the game (score) sheet.

Borrowed players may be from the same level or a lower level.

Borrowed players are not allowed in the playoffs.

Borrowed players may only be used to avoid a default. (ex. Indoor Volleyball: borrowed player may be the 5th player to avoid a default)

C. Spare Players

A Spare Player is a player who has registered in the League as a spare player (has sent in the spare player form and paid the spare player fee) prior to the game they will be playing in. Spare players must be entered on the game sheet and identified as a spare player.

The Team Contact is responsible for informing the opposing team before the start of the game that they will be using a spare player.

Spare players are not allowed to play in the playoffs unless they have played five (5) regular season games for winter sports and three (3) regular season games for summer sports. Beach Volleyball: Players must be added to the team squad roster by July 15th in order for them to be permitted to play in playoffs.

All teams from all leagues may use a maximum of 3 spare players to bring their team to 3 players above full strength. Ex. Basketball teams may add 3 spare players to bring their team to a total of 8 as there are 5 players on the court at a time. Definition of Spare player can be found above. (No maximum for beach volleyball)

7. Score Keeping and Statistics

i) The HOME TEAM is responsible for inputting the game results on the league website www.citywidesportsottawa.ca by noon the following day. The HOME Team then retains the score sheet until completion of the season and will make this scoresheet available to the Girls ‘n Women and Sport office upon request. The VISITING TEAM is responsible for confirming the score within 24 hours of receiving the automated prompt to do so.

If no scores are entered by noon GWS has the right to submit the scores. We will give the win to the away team (0-2).

ii) IMPORTANT:  The game sheet for the final game of the regular season is to be entered and confirmed in the website by noon the following day. This will allow our office sufficient amount of time to prepare the play-off schedule.

iii) Game (Score) Sheets should have the following:

a) Team names, location, date, time & jersey colour (if applicable).

b) First and Last names need to be clearly recorded on the game sheet

c) Shirt numbers must be listed beside the players’ name (Volleyball and Ball Hockey excluded).

d) The referees name & signature 

e) Captain’s initials

f)  Please indicate if a player is a spare (S) Borrowed (B) player.

iv)  Statistics on wins and losses will be compiled by the Women and SPORT office. The following is the point structure: 

a) Winning team will receive 2 points,

b) Ties will be 1 point,

c) Losses will be 0 points,

d) Defaults not reported by 3 pm on game day. The defaulting team will receive -2 points, the opposing team receives the win.

e) Defaults reported before 3pm on game day. The team that defaults receives 0 points, the opposing team receives the win.

iv) Tie Breaking Procedures for each sport are included with the House Rules for that sport.

8. Seeding

i) Seeding will occur after the 4th week for Summer leagues & 6th week for Fall/winter leagues. Seeding involves moving teams up or down a level to ensure that division play remains enjoyable and consistent with each team’s level of play. The bottom team will be seeded down and the top team will be seeded up. All stats in affected divisions will return to 0 after reseeding

ii) Reseeding is determined by points, win/loss percentage and point differential.

iii) Women and Sport reserves the right to reseed teams at any time throughout the season when a team creates an uneven balance to that level or if the number of teams within divisions creates a BYE scenario.

9. Play-offs

i) Borrowing players are not allowed in the play-offs.

ii) Registered/spared players must have played a minimum of five (5) games during Fall/Winter Leagues and three (3) games during Summer Leagues in order to be permitted to play during the play-offs.

iii) Women and Sport may grant special permission to a team, should unusual circumstances occur, to pick up a registered spare player to play with their team for the play-offs.  Teams must contact the office beforehand & bring an email confirmation from our office to the game.

iv) Teams which have defaulted more than three (3) times during the regular season will not be eligible for the playoffs.

10. Game Cancellations

i)  Should City of Ottawa programming be cancelled on a citywide basis, a Public Service Announcement will be broadcasted throughout the City’s media sources.

ii) Unfortunately, games cancelled due to inclement weather cannot be rescheduled. For outdoor programs, the call will be made on site by staff. Please be aware that conditions can vary greatly across the city.

iii) The Women and Sport office will make every effort where possible to reschedule games in instances of facility or permit cancellations should they occur. Please be aware that these rescheduled games may be on another night or weekend if necessary.

iv) Games will not be made up in such cases where they have run out of time due to the darkness factor during the Spring/Summer season. Officials reserve the right to make the decision to shorten a game length due to the darkness factor

v) Should an official fail to show up for a game, teams are expected to play their game using fair play values and the score will count.

vi) Cancellations due to Humidex:
Should a team decide that they are unable to play due to extreme humid conditions, they will not be penalized as long as they inform the office by 3:00pm at 613-580-2854.The game will be considered a default, but the team will not be penalized points. 

vii)  Cancellations due to Heavy Rains:
Games will be cancelled when it rains excessively throughout the day and it is found that the beaches have endured unacceptable conditions to play.

viii) Cancellations due to Severe Storms near/during the game time:
The Women & Sport Staff and/or officials will determine, often in conjunction with the City of Ottawa Beach Lifeguards, whether or not the game is to be cancelled based on the conditions of the beach, field or diamond should severe storms commence late afternoon or during the game. These calls will be made on site and may not be reflected immediately on the weather hotline.

During outdoor games, at the first flash of lightening, all persons will be asked to seek shelter. Teams will wait until the storms have cleared or until the official or staff calls the game.

Heat protection strategies

  • Drink plenty of fluids whether it be water or a sports drink.
  • Take your 30 second time-outs for water breaks. 

Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

  • It is important to take precautions.
  • Wear light coloured clothing; avoid navy blue and black.
  • Wear insect repellent with DEET, as the mosquitoes are most active in the evening.

11. Default Policy

i) Teams who need to cancel their game due to a lack of players must inform the Women and Sport Office in writing to gws-ffs@ottawa.ca or by calling 613-580-2854 before 3:00 pm on game day.

ii) Defaults not reported by 3 pm on game day. The defaulting team will receive -2 points, the opposing team receives the win.

iii) Defaults reported before 3 pm on game day. The team that defaults receives 0 points, the opposing team receives the win.

iv) Teams who have defaulted more than three (3) games will not be permitted to play in the play-offs.

v) For teams playing on weekends, default notification needs to be made prior to 3 pm on the Friday before.

12. Injuries/First Aid

i) Teams are responsible to carry a First Aid Kit to each game.

ii) The City of Ottawa paramedic services offers free 4 hour CPR C/AED courses throughout the city at various locations throughout the year. Please the websitehttp://ottawa.ca/en/residents/emergency-services/emergency-services-and-preparedness/first-aid-and-cpr-courses  for more information and to register. 

iii) The City Wide Sports unit offers Standard First Aid/CPR C courses to any group of 6 or more people at the current course rate. Please call our office at 613-580-2854 to make arrangements.

iii) If a player is injured and bleeding the wound must be completely covered and the blood cleaned up before the injured player is allowed back into the game. If the blood gets onto clothing, to the extent that it could be transferred to another individual, the clothing must be changed before the player may come back into the game.

13. Incident Reports & Emergency Procedures

i) A Minor accident is usually when a participant does not have to be taken to the hospital (i.e. cuts or bruises). A minor accident must be called in to the Women and Sport office by the following day with the appropriate details.

ii) A Major accident is defined as an injury serious enough to warrant taking the injured participant to a doctor or to the hospital. If an ambulance or other emergency assistance is required, send someone to call 911 or 9-911 if calling from a Community Centre.

In such a case that either a major or minor incident occur, all pertinent information must be sent by email to gws-ffs@ottawa.ca

Information to include:

  • Location/Facility
  • Date/Time
  • Name of Injured Party

A Women and Sport staff must be notified IMMEDIATELY of a major accident. If after hours, you need to have Customer Service 3-1-1 reach one of the following full-time staff:

Office Hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

Jean Ollson (o) 613-580-2854


OTTAWA CLIENT SERVICE CENTRE (Evenings/Weekends) 3-1-1

           EMERGENCY NUMBER    (9) 911  

If you are in a city facility, dial 9 first and specify your city location

14. Jewellery

It is the responsibility of each individual player to ensure that all jewelry is removed (including tongue, nose, eyebrow rings, belly rings, ear jewelry, rings, etc.) before the start of the game. There will be no exceptions to this rule. Medical Alert tags may be worn but they should be fastened and taped so as not to cause injury. The Referee/Official has the decision as to the acceptability of all braces or casts.

15. Lost or Stolen Items

The City of Ottawa, Women and Sport or the individual Schools and/or Community Centers are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged goods. Do not leave any valuables in your vehicles or in the gymnasium change rooms.

16. Gymnasium/Facility Permits

i)  The School Board has the right to cancel any permit with 24 hours notice, without incurring any obligation on the part of the Board.

ii) Use of the showers is NOT included in the rental of gymnasiums.

iii) Nuts and nut products, shellfish and latex (e.g. balloons) are common allergens and pose a significant risk to some students. All teams are asked to avoid bringing these materials and food products into the school facilities.

iv) All teams are responsible for ensuring the facility is left in a clean and tidy condition. Please ensure all garbage and empty water bottles are picked up and disposed of properly; either in the receptacle if provided or take it with you. Teams may be charged a maintenance fee should we be charged for extra custodial duties.

v) All participants must wear non-marking soft-soled shoes in the gymnasiums. Please remove street shoes/boots prior to entering the gymnasium

vi) Use of school equipment is limited and must be returned to its proper storage area. Failure to do so may prohibit further use of our school/centre facilities.

vii) Some schools have special instructions that our program must abide by in order to keep our permit. (i.e. Entrance bell at First Avenue, Centennial schools.) 

17. Referee(s)

i) The Women and Sport Program contracts to the various Referee Associations to hire certified and qualified referees. Should there be a concern pertaining to the referee not showing up please inform our office within 24 hours in writing to gws-ffs@ottawa.ca

ii) Teams are asked to wait a 24 hour grace period before sending in a complaint or concern

iii) Should a referee/official not show up for a game teams are expected to play the game using our Fair Play Guidelines and forward the scores as per League Guidelines.

18. Protests

All protests need to be submitted in writing by the Team Contact or Alternate Contact to gws-ffs@ottawa.ca Please ensure that you have familiarized yourself with the various sporting associations latest rule changes as posted on their websites. Protested games will only be given consideration under the following conditions.

i) The Team Contact records the protested game on the score sheet prior to or during the game and initials the protest.

ii) The Team Contact outlines concerns with the referee/umpire/Women and Sport Staff. The official is required to sign off the game sheet.

iii) Teams protesting the game and walking out of the game without proven just cause may be penalized (-3) points.

19. Questions and Concerns

Your team’s feedback is important to the continuing success of this program. For general comments/inquiries/concerns Team Contacts/Alternates are asked to please e-mail the gws-ffs@ottawa.ca, or call the City Wide Sport office at 613-580-2854.

Women and Sport rev. 2020


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