An Open Letter From Hockey Canada, News (Orono Amateur Athletic Association)

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An Open Letter From Hockey Canada
Submitted By Jeff Caplan on Saturday, May 16, 2020

First, and most importantly, to the front-line and essential workers who have gone above and beyond around the clock to keep Canadians safe – a simple thank you is not nearly enough for what you have done over the last three months.

Second, to our Members, partners, local hockey associations,
volunteers and fans across Canada, thank you for keeping the
spirit of hockey alive. Unprecedented times have called for
unprecedented efforts at every level of the game.

As provinces and territories phase in a plan to reopen in the
face of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are questions about
when hockey will return, and how it will look when it does. 

Hockey Canada and its Members are diligently working on a
multifaceted return-to-hockey plan that will happen when,
and only when, provincial and territorial governments and
health authorities deem it safe to do so.

This plan includes everything from health and safety
regulations to communications, seasonal structure,
customer engagement and national teams.  

As the return-to-hockey plan progresses, it will do so at different
speeds, and at different times, across the country, based on direction
from health authorities. And the game will look different, that much
we do know. We ask for patience as we continue to work towards
ensuring hockey plays its role in bringing the sports community back.

The health and safety of everyone involved in the game will determine
when we return, not our desire to get back on the ice. When our
country is ready, Hockey Canada will be ready. Until then, continue
to follow the guidelines set by your provincial and territorial
government to help limit the spread of COVID-19. Only by working
together will we be able to make a difference and safely return.

For more information and regular updates, please
visit hockeycanada.ca/returntohockey

Thank you for your passion and dedication to our game, and we
hope to see you around the rink as soon as possible.


Michael Brind’Amour - Chair, Board of Directors
Tom Renney - Chief Executive Officer
Scott Smith - President & COO                 


HOCKEY CANADA RETURN TO HOCKEY FRAMEWORK

Hockey Canada has developed a Return to Hockey framework that will
review eight areas that have been identified as opportunities to improve
or align our efforts with the customer experience at the grassroots level.
Although each focus is unique in its challenges and solutions, there must
be collaboration to ensure a shared outcome of a safe return to hockey.

Areas of Focus: 
1. Customer Engagement – Hockey Canada is committed to gathering
first-hand data and direction, directly from current and future players,
coaches and officials, and grassroots organizers, to shape the Return to
Hockey and future state of the game. 

2. Regulations – Hockey Canada will review existing regulations and
their impact on how and when we Return to Hockey; these will include
transition regulations that may be required, taking into consideration
timing, health protocols, and league and geographical structure. 

3. Safety & Protocols: How & When We Resume Play – Hockey Canada
will develop consistent and clearly-defined guidelines for returning to
hockey for all Members, partners and leagues to follow to ensure the
safety and well-being of all participants. 

4. Officiating – Hockey Canada will review existing training and certification
programs for officials to ensure a national officiating certification program
that can be delivered consistently, safely and effectively from coast to coast
to coast. 

5. Coaching – Hockey Canada will review existing certification and training
programs for coaches to ensure a national coach certification program that
can be delivered consistently, safely and effectively from coast to coast to coast. 

6. Seasonal Structure, Delivery Model & Registration – Hockey Canada will
review the current seasonal structure, delivery model and registration process
and make recommendations for post-COVID-19 adaptations, including but not
limited to:

Contingency plans on possible Return to Hockey dates, including an evaluation of
the impact on player pathways.

  • Modified programming required for adaptive seasonal structures (starts late,
  • finishes early, etc.)
  •  
  • An effective delivery model for hockey post-COVID-19, including implications
  • for local hockey associations, ice facilities, etc.
  •  
  • Current registration processes, including improving accessibility for all families.

7. Events, High-Performance Hockey & National Teams – Hockey Canada will
review and recommend a strategy to determine how future championships are
conducted given the potential cancellation of summer camps and the possibility
of shortened seasons. 

8. Marketing & Communications – Hockey Canada is committed to communicating
all nationally-focused developments to educate participants on when and how we
will return to the game.

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