There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; 16 are based in the Canadian province of Ontario,three teams in the American state of Michigan and one team in the American state of Pennsylvania. Out of the 18 teams based in Ontario, 15 teams are in Southern Ontario, and 3 teams are in Northern Ontario.
The 20 OHL clubs play a 68 game unbalanced schedule, which starts in the third full week of September, running until the third week of March. Ninety per cent (90%) of OHL games are scheduled between Thursday and Sunday to minimize the number of school days missed for its players. Ninety-five per cent (95%) of the players in the league are attending high school or college.
Effects of COVID-19 pandemic
The league was forced to end its season on March 12th after an order from Hockey Canada that suspended all play in leagues under its' jurisdiction. The balance 2019-20 season playoffs and the Memorial Cup were cancelled shortly thereafter.
The league announced it was hoping for an early December start.
But with an early fall spike in cases that it is seeming to be an unlikely event unless some fundamental changes to the games are made such as no contact between players (i.e. checking and fighting) and the possibility of playing 4-on-4 or even 3-on-3 games and reduced rosters to allow for more space between players on benches. The Ottawa 67's and Mississauga Steelheads are both in "hot zones" and would not be able to play games in their home region. The three U.S.-based teams (Erie Otters, Flint Firebirds, and Saginaw Spirit) are presently unable to cross the Canada-U.S. border and would require permission of the Canadian federal government to do so. The league has already stated it would not be interested in a bubble situations. Other leagues (Allan Cup Hockey, Ontario University Athletics and Greater Toronto Hockey League) in Ontario have stated they would not start until January at the earliest. The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and Provincial Junior Hockey League (OHA) have both had their U.S.-based teams suspend operations for the season due to the border closure and government restrictions in place in New York.
The league will attempt a February 4, 2021 start with each team playing 40 games and only 8 teams (as opposed to the traditional 16) qualifying for the playoffs and that the 2021 Memorial Cup will be held June 17 to 20 with an apparently shortened time frame. No mention was made of the status of the US-based teams in the league as it is subject to border closure which is being renewed on a month-by-month basis.
On April 20, 2021 the league announced the cancellation of the 2020-21 season.
Current member teams
2021 J. Ross Robertson Cup Playoffs
The J. Ross Robertson Cup playoffs consist of 16 teams, the top 8 from each conference. The teams play a best-of-seven game series, and the winner of each series advances to the next round. The Eastern Conference champion is awarded the Bobby Orr Trophy and the Western Conference champion is awarded the Wayne Gretzky Trophy. The two conference champions compete for the J. Ross Robertson Cup and a berth in the 2021 Memorial Cup.
The Memorial Cup would be cancelled prior to the league cancelling its own season.