The group representing university athletics in Ontario says their student athletes not being counted among those allowed to play in indoor facilities is a "disservice" to their abilities and efforts.
Ontario University Athletics says in a statement that the "elite nature" of their members has been consistently demonstrated, citing the fact that many current and former athletes competed in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and have gone on to launch professional careers.
The Ontario government announced on Monday new COVID-19 restrictions, which included a ban on indoor sports activities until Jan. 27, with the exception of certain professional and "elite amateur" sports leagues.
Among the seven elite amateur groups permitted to play indoors are the Canadian Hockey League, Provincial Women's Hockey League, and the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association. Ontario University Athletics was excluded.
The office of Ontario's heritage minister, Lisa MacLeod, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The announcement means that the season for university athletics is on hold for an additional three days, from Jan. 24 to Jan. 27.