Return to Hockey - OHF notes, News (Drayton Minor Hockey)

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Return to Hockey - OHF notes
Submitted By Jason Jack on Thursday, June 25, 2020
NOTES FROM OHF/ RETURN TO HOCKEY : Hockey Canada June 4 Update


Hockey Canada June 4 Update:

Hockey Canada released a statement yesterday.  Hockey activities can be resumed based on the advice of local government and health authorities.   The timing of each member’s return to hockey will be different.  The full release can be found on the Hockey Canada website:


OHF Return to Hockey Plan:

OHF has developed a staged approach to return to hockey, based on the safety of participants. 


·         Phase 1: No hockey activity


·         Phase 2: Gradual return to hockey

  Stage 1-individual training, with 5 or less people

  Stage 2- small group training

  Stage 3- non-traditional programming, practices

  Stage 4- back to full programming


·         Phase 3: Recovery

Focus on recovery of organizations, ensure participants are back


·         In Ontario, the return to hockey will happen in waves.  Not every location will have the same restrictions at the same time.  We must be attentive to local health authorities (for example, the number of people permitted in an indoor facility will be different from region to region). 


·         There have been several task teams developed by the OHF- a health and safety team, a regulation review team, and a coaching/ officiating team.  Resources are being developed to help members return to the ice and offer a non-traditional program.

Waivers? Insurance?

Should minor hockey associations implement their own waivers?

OHF and HC are working with legal counsel and insurance carriers to see if waivers are needed.  Members should not make up their own waivers.  If necessary, a waiver will be provided so there is consistency. 

Relationship with USA Hockey?

Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have been conversing.  USA Hockey is more active than HC.  For example, there will be no national team camps this summer in Canada, but this is happening in the US. 


Each arena will have different challenges/ regulations (for example how to enter and exit the building).  It is not our job to manage the facilities, but to manage the programs offered.  We will have to work with local facility managers.

Dressing Rooms

The emergency order in Ontario does not allow for the use of dressing rooms.  This will probably continue given the challenge of sanitation.  Players of all ages will have to come dressed from home for the foreseeable future.  We will have to lean on facilities for direction on when it is safe to use dressing rooms again. 

Relationship between OHF and other ice sports

OHF is working with speed skating, ringette and figure skating groups to ensure consistency.

Ice Usage

Facilities don’t have answers yet as to how long they have to book in between ice times for sanitation.  Clearly, there will be less ice time available (can guess that instead of 4 ice times, we might only be able to book 3 now in the same time frame) and it will vary depending on the space in each arena.


OHF stopped the collecting of registration fees because:

a) we don’t know when we will back on the ice, and

 b) we don’t know what it will look like when we are back. 

Any money already collected needs to be put in trust so it can be refunded if needed.    


Facial Protection

Face shields will be needed when small group instruction begins, based on the advice of local health authorities.  There have been discussions with manufacturers about making a face shield / potential filters/ or apparatus to assist with preventing droplets from spreading.  This was raised with Bauer last week.  There is work being done.


Seasonal Structure

If we start the season late when would the season with the OHF end? 

It is very unlikely that we will be back to full programming in the fall.  More likely, we will be offering non-traditional training/ hockey activities in small groups with no travel.   Organizations need to look at how to allow players to participate in hockey activities in a fun and safe way.  This could be the entire 2020-2021 season.

There is a “best case scenario” draft for tryout protocols, etc., but given the staged return, it is unlikely it will be used in the fall. 


All tournaments are on hold.  The future is unknown; “the traditional game of hockey is so far down the highway and we don’t know when it will be back.”  We cannot take money for tournaments when we have no idea when they will be offered again.

Health and Safety Policies/ Protocols

There are specific checklists and safety policies in “Hockey Canada Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines.” It can be found at:

***This will be an important resource.


HC has a task team looking into what are necessities in the short term for coaching certifications, especially given that they may not be able to offer coaching clinics. 

The role of the coach this year will be to make the experience for players fun.  It will be a reset; not about winning, but taking it back to skill development.


They don’t have specific answers about support yet, but are working with the provincial government and other groups like Canadian Tire Jumpstart and Optimist Service clubs to look for opportunities to keep kids in hockey.

How do we make the game affordable, knowing that the game is going to be more expensive due to all the new regulations?

Goalie   Equipment

What do we do about shared goalie equipment? 

They are working with Bauer etc. to look at getting more equipment, but are also not going to be hard and fast on all rules.  For example, the rule of not having a full-time goalie for atom and under.

How will associations get information moving forward?

 Hockey Canada has created a portal, and the OHF website is a good source.  They also plan to hold another meeting in 4-6 weeks with updates for associations.

Main messages:

·         Every level of hockey is going to be about skill development this year.


·         Hockey is not going to return in the same way, it will look different.  Different could mean:

-          3 on 3

-           Play your town/city only, no travel

-          Only practices/ skill development activities

-          Adjusted seasonal timetable

We don’t know exactly what "different" will look like, but we do know that 5 on 5 games are not possible when social distancing is required.

·         Flexibility is going to be key until a vaccine is developed.


·         Need to think outside the box to keep players involved in the game.


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