Planning For Minor Hockey During Covid-19, News (Orono Amateur Athletic Association)

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Planning For Minor Hockey During Covid-19
Submitted By Jeff Caplan on Friday, July 10, 2020
Hockey is a team sport and that is no different off of the ice. We all want hockey to return and we all need to work together to make that happen. 

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is following the public health guidelines of the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Hockey Federation’s Return to Hockey Framework.

The framework is currently in Stage 2 – Phase 1, which allows for Individual In-Person Training and Group Virtual Training.



The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the hockey world has affected every
organization. To ensure a safe return to the ice, communication between
associations across the country and around the world is vital to get the best
practices under control.

Ian Taylor, the Executive Director of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association,
and Glen Andresen, Executive Director of Minnesota Hockey, joined the
season finale of 
The Coaches Site's Glass and Out Podcast to discuss how
the response to the return to hockey compares in various provinces and
states.  
“We’ve gone through the process of starting to plan contingencies,
when we can start, what that might look like. We’ve heard a lot about when
we might return to regular hockey and 5 on 5 hockey, and looking more
and more that we may be in a situation where we may get back on the ice
but it certainly isn’t the same hockey that we left back in March,” said Taylor.


The biggest challenges according to Taylor are simply not knowing the
answers to all of the questions. Even when hockey does return, what it will
look like and how it will be different still remains to be determined. During
this time, the typical off-season, preparations are being made for the season
as it would normally happen but with the understanding that there are
contingencies.


“Some days you’re just talking about what-ifs. That’s kind of where we are,
we’re still in a what-if situation. At the end of the day there’s nothing definitive
except for whatever we do we’ve got to make sure it’s in the best interest
of thekids and everyone is safe. When hockey is ready to come back, we’ll
be ready for it.”


Minor hockey associations have had to adapt from simply being users of
city facilities to now partners to ensure that proper protocol and guidelines
are being followed. The OMHA is working with the Ontario Recreational
Facilities Association on what guidelines are be needed for a safe return
to rinks.


It is understood that everyone wants to get back to the rink. Not just to
skate and play games but to see teammates again and socialize. It’s
important to remember that one of the worst case scenarios would be
having to stop the season after starting it again.
 
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