We will drop the puck again!!
Great news from the Alberta Government this week!! As I am sure everyone has heard the opening of arenas has been moved up to phase 2 of the Alberta relaunch plan, and arenas may open as soon as June 12 with restrictions. At Hockey Calgary we are excited about this news and are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to offer our full program in the fall.
There are still many unanswered questions with re-opening plan of arena facilities, but I will do my best to provide you with the information as I see it. I want it to be clear that our programs are governed and insured by Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada. We will still need to take direction from them as we move forward with planning, and the opening of any of our ‘Sanctioned Programs’.
I have attached a link from the Alberta Government below: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-sports-physical-activity-andrecreation.pdf
My interpretation of this document is as follows:
- Facilities will be responsible for the protocols in their buildings
- Facilities will require participants to sign waiver (I assume our programs will as well, but not clear yet)
- Recommendation is that players come dressed, locker rooms will have limited use
- There may be longer time periods between ice sessions
- Masks are encouraged prior to activity, but not needed ‘during the activity’
- Mini Leagues, bubbles, cohorts of no more than 50 people will be acceptable
- Cohort – a ‘closed’, small group of no more than 50 individuals who participate in the same group or activity, and remain together for the ‘Duration’ of stage 2
- The 50 person cohort includes ALL coaches and referees (if utilized)
- Cohorts should play together in the same geographic area (town or ‘quadrant of city’)
- Teams in different mini leagues ‘cohorts’ CANNOT play each other
- Travel is restricted, cross regional or inter provincial travel should NOT occur
- Spectators ‘May’ be admitted above the 50 number with physical distancing, determined by facility
This is a great first step, but I believe it opens up more questions than answers at this time. My understanding is that there will be 4-5 city arenas opening in the near future and numerous community and private arenas, but I do not have an official number as of yet. While the government has permitted facilities to open (with restrictions), the ultimate decision to open is still left in the hands of those operators.
We are all eager to get back on the ice, but we must realize that the safety of our players, parents, coaches, staff, and volunteers is paramount as we return to play. Hockey Calgary will continue to be as active as possible in developing a ‘Return to Play’ program that meets the criteria as laid out by the health experts in the province and at the same time supports the needs of our membership.
I thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we navigate this difficult an unprecedented time. We too want to see our kids back on the ice. Please note that registration for Hockey Calgary member associations will open on July 1, 2020 as previously communicated. We will drop the puck again!