RETURN TO PLAY
EXTENDED PAUSE ON HOCKEY ACTIVITIES
WHEN DO THE RESTRICTIONS ON MINOR HOCKEY END?
Based information we have at this time, all levels of sport will be restricted for at least three weeks starting November 27, 2020. Our understanding is that restrictions will be in place until at least December 18, 2020, and the government will further review restrictions prior to Dec. 15, 2020
ARE ALL HOCKEY ACTIVITIES PART OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS?
Yes. This restriction includes all hockey related activities under the Hockey Calgary umbrella, including Jr. B and Jr. C programs. The restriction includes (but is not limited to) the following activities surrounding your teams:
- No games
- No off-ice sessions (unless virtual)
- No team dryland (4) No team building (unless virtual)
- No skill sessions
ARE WE ABLE TO PRACTICE OUTSIDE AS A TEAM?
All levels of sport (whether indoor or outdoor) are currently restricted. Hockey Alberta is currently working with SPAR (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation) to determine whether or not outdoor activity could still be permitted by applying the outdoor social gathering limit of 10 people to the activity and still prohibiting the use of locker rooms.
CAN WE DO INDIVIDUAL TRAINING?
The current Government restrictions will only permit one-on-one training. No team/group activities are permitted to operate. Our understanding is that facilities can rent ice for one-on-one training only, all inquiries surrounding this must be directed to your facility of choice.
CAN WE SPLIT THE ICE FOR INDIVIDUAL TRAINING? EX. TWO INDEPENDENT ONE-ON-ONE LESSONS HAPPENING ON SEPARATE HALVES?
No, one-on-one training sessions must be given the entire ice sheet. No one else is permitted on the ice.
CAN MY FAMILY BOOK THE ICE FOR A SESSION?
Yes. Should a family (household) wish to book ice on their own they are permitted to do so. However, only family members who reside in the same household are permitted to be in the facility for the ice time. For more information you must contact the facility directly.
IS HOCKEY CALGARY APPLYING FOR AN EXEMPTION TO CONTINUE OPERATIONS DURING THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS?
Hockey Calgary is actively exploring this option and will do everything we can to provide our players the opportunity to play if government restrictions permit. Currently, it is our understanding that exemptions will only be considered for activities that have aggressive testing protocols and operate in a ‘bubble’ format similar to the NHL or the World Juniors. We will continue to research this option and communicate as we receive new information.
IS HOCKEY CALGARY LOBBYING THE GOVERNMENT FOR MINOR HOCKEY ACTIVITIES TO CONTINUE DURING THE CURRENT RESTRICTIONS?
Hockey Calgary is actively looking at ways to communicate the benefits of youth sport, specifically hockey, and the robust protocols we have had in place since the onset. However, we do not expect restrictions to be lifted prior to December 18, 2020.
ARE WE PERMITTED TO TRAVEL OUTSIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT DEFINED ‘PURPLE’ RESTRICTED AREAS TO PARTICIPATE IN HOCKEY ACTIVITIES?
No. All Hockey Calgary, association, and team hockey activities are strictly prohibited. Based on clarification Hockey Alberta via SPAR (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation), teams are not permitted to travel to a community that is not currently within a ‘purple region’ to host a practice or game.
WHO SHOULD WE CONTACT IF WE IDENTIFY OPERATORS OR INDIVIDUALS ACTING OUTSIDE THE PUBLIC HEATH ORDER?
Violations of Public Health Orders are subject to fines up to $1,000 and complaints can be submitted to the Public Health Inspectors by Clicking Here.
HAS HOCKEY CALGARY RELEASED A SCHEDULE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE 20-21 SEASON?
Prior to the government announcement Hockey Calgary released the ‘Competition Season’ schedule as communicated that was to begin with our first cycle effective Dec. 1. We will now be cancelling all games up to and including Dec. 18, 2020. This schedule includes all games until March 7 and can be found on the Hockey Calgary website. This schedule is final unless further restrictions are put in place.
WHEN HOCKEY CALGARY LEAGUES RETURN AFTER THE PAUSE, WILL THE SCHEDULE OF GAMES BE PUSHED TO THE NEW START DATE?
There are still a lot of details that need to be clarified and worked out upon return to hockey activities. It is too early to determine what the structure of hockey will look like when we return. However, when it is permitted to return to Hockey Calgary League Play (sanctioned games), we will pick up the schedule at that date. All cancelled/missed games will not be rescheduled.
WILL HOCKEY CALGARY’S SEASON BE EXTENDED DUE TO THE PAUSE?
Hockey Calgary and its member associations are in the early stages of analysis on whether an extension to the season is possible and if so, identifying what needs to be done. There are a lot of stakeholders that would need to be involved in any discussions including Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, Facilities, and other sports organizations, to name a few.
WILL HOCKEY CALGARY BE PROVIDING REFUNDS DUE TO LOSS OF PLAYING TIME?
Hockey fees are not paid directly to Hockey Calgary, they are paid to our Member Associations, therefore any potential refunds will come directly from those Associations. As we have communicated from the onset, we are in very unprecedented times and concrete refund policies in the event of a pause or missed program time are being reviewed. Hockey Calgary and our Member Associations will work together to be fair to all members. At this point and time, we can say the following:
- Hockey Calgary and our Member Associations are reviewing the policies.
- These are uncertain times, and we are still unsure about potential time lost and the option of extending the season.
- In the event of significant program reduction each Association will make every effort to provide fair and appropriate refunds based on their individual programs’ expenditures.
- Potential refunds will be reviewed in the new year, once there is better understanding of how much of the season is played. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we manage this process.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS WE CAN ENGAGE WITH OUR PLAYERS AND TEAMS DURING THE PAUSE?
Hockey Calgary encourages teams to participate in virtual team activities using Zoom or another online meeting application. Specifically, Hockey Calgary will be launching a Virtual Team Bingo to help assist teams with ideas and ways to engage with each other. There are prizes for teams that participate!
(Also, Check out GHC BINGO activities on our website!)
IS THERE DATA THAT INDICATES WIDESPREAD COVID TRANSMISSION IN MINOR HOCKEY?
Hockey Calgary and its member associations have worked hard to set up guidelines and protocols to keep our members safe and our programs running during the pandemic. To date, we have been forced to temporarily pause several cohorts across the city. Most of these pauses were due to close contact issues and were done out of abundance of caution. Due to our quick action, we have seen minimal transmission within a hockey environment.
RETURN TO PLAY: HEALTH & SAFETY
How will safety be addressed this season?
Safety is our first priority, and will be a shared responsibility among all members. GHC is committed to ensuring that all of its members can return to the game in a safe manner as we continue to deal with COVID-19.
It is GHC's expectation that members follow all guidelines and by-laws put in place by the facility and/or local government in relation to COVID-19, including physical distancing, proper hand hygiene practices and face coverings. Not respecting facility and governmental protocols and procedures jeopardizes our safety, the safety of others and the entire Hockey Calgary program.
Girls Hockey Calgary Association (GHC) has published our Health and Safety Guidelines for Return to Play will serve as the guidance for our association as we enter the upcoming season.
Hockey Calgary has released its Hockey Calgary Return to Hockey plan commitment to players, coaches and volunteers to offer a safe, positive hockey experience for the 2020-21 season.
Hockey Alberta has released its Hockey Alberta Return to Hockey plan that addresses the safety of all participants, reflects the current guidelines and protocols in the Province, and provides information to members to properly plan for the 2020-21 season.
Hockey Canada has released clearly-defined Hockey Calgary Safety Guidelines on how to prepare for a return to hockey, hygiene, return-to-play protocols and the use of facilities. It is important to recognize this is a national document, and many of the health and safety protocols in any particular geographic region will be managed at the provincial/territorial level.
RETURN TO PLAY: STRUCTURE & SCHEDULE
What will the 2020-21 minor hockey season look like?
Hockey Calgary released a Return to Hockey document that will guide member associations over the coming months:
1. REGISTRATION PERIOD
Registration for the 2020-21 minor hockey season is open from July 1-August 31, 2020.
2. SORTING/EVALUATION PHASE
When our GHC family returns to the ice for the upcoming season, we will be in Hockey Calgary’s Sorting/Evaluation Phase. This purpose of this phase is to create like-skilled ‘Cohort Groups’ via physically-distanced evaluation sessions. The Jr. Inferno Community evaluation schedule is now posted on the GHC Evaluations page. Calgary Fire try-out dates are available on the AAA/AA Try-Outs page.
3. DEVELOPMENT SEASON PHASE
Following the evaluation/sorting component, players will be grouped into Cohorts. Cohorts will consist of approximately 36-48 players, depending on the age category and registration breakdown. Once in formal Hockey Calgary Cohorts, players are permitted to engage in drill where they will come into close contact with other players.
Within each Cohort, GHC will create 3 or 4 evenly balanced Mini Teams of 9-12 players (with goalies) to facilitate game play. The GHC development team is working diligently to prepare and assist coaches, and to ensure every players skill level will be challenged. Whether it’s individual skills, decision making, compete drills or an overall increase of hockey IQ — these game-like situations can be recreated in whatever format AHS guidelines allow.
During the Hockey Calgary “Development Season” throughout Phase 2, the Evaluations Committee may re-balance accordingly to confirm skill compatibility within the Cohorts. Teams will be notified ahead of time. Players will not be permitted to play against teams or players outside of their cohort until government restrictions are lifted. This phase will begin when cohorts are formed in late September/early October.
4. COMPETITION SEASON PHASE
Competition Season "Game Cycles" will begin December 1, 2020, and will mean a return to our more familiar traditional team sizes and tiers (both co-ed and all-female divisions) within Hockey Calgary. Game "cycles" will be scheduled in a way that reflect government guidelines to keep our players, team officials and members safe. We expect that there will be a two-week transition period in November to allow players to move from their current Cohorts to their newly formed teams after November 15, 2020. This transition may include physically distanced practices and/or other measures directed by Hockey Calgary and Hockey Alberta.
RETURN TO PLAY: COMPETITION SEASON
What is the “Competition Season?”
The Competition Season will mean a return to our more familiar traditional team sizes and tiers (both co-ed and all-female divisions) within Hockey Calgary. “Game Cycles" will be scheduled in a way that reflect government guidelines to keep our players, team officials and members safe.
What is a “Game Cycle?”
- For U11, U13, U15 and U18, Game Cycles will be a three-game series (one weekday game, one Saturday game, one Sunday game) with another team in your division.
- For U9, Game Cycles will be a two-game series with games on Saturday and Sunday.
- Each Game Cycle will be followed by a two-week period of practices.
- There will be four Game Cycles for U9, U11 and U13 beginning December 1, 2020.
- There will be three Game Cycles for U15 and U18 beginning January 2, 2020.
- To effectively manage ice, officials and scheduling, divisions will be allocated to different weeks of the cycle (i.e. Round A, Round B, Round C. Please see Appendix A.)
- Teams will be assigned a new ‘Sister Team’ for next cycle.
How will my daughter’s Mini Team and Cohort change?
U7 Cohorts will not change. U9, U11 and U13 players will be re-sorted into traditional-sized teams and will begin practices with their new teammates after November 15, 2020. U15 and U18 players will be re- sorted into traditional-sized teams and will begin practices their new teammates after December 20, 2020. Head Coaches will be selected and formally assigned over the next few weeks. Assistant Coaches, On-Ice Helpers, Managers, Health & Safety Coordinators and other team volunteer roles can be appointed / re-appointed once formal teams are confirmed and communicated to all members (Nov 13- 15, 2020).
GHC Jr. Inferno U15 and U18 will skip Game Cycle #1 in order to preserve their Dec 4-5, 2020 ice booking. This event is centered on cohort mini-teams and includes 4 games for each team and skill competitions for each of the cohorts.
How are schedules impacted?
Schedules for U9, U11 and U13 from November 16 to December 20, 2020 will be cancelled and rewritten. Game Cycle #1 schedules for U9, U11 and U13 will be released on November 24, 2020. Practice schedules will be released shortly after Game Cycles are confirmed.
Schedules for U15 and U18 from present to December 20, 2020 are subject to minor changes to accommodate the new schedules for all other divisions. GHC Jr. Inferno U15 and U18 players will remain in their Cohorts and Mini Teams until January 2, 2020. At that time, they will enter into the Hockey Calgary Competition Season.
What will Hockey Calgary’s team and division structure be for the Competition Season?The Competition Season will mean a return to the traditional tiering (both co-ed and all-female divisions) within Hockey Calgary. (i.e. U11 North 4, U13 Girls, etc). There may be some adjustments this season as Hockey Calgary requires all divisions (both co-ed and all-female) must have an even number of teams so their Game Cycle grid functions properly.
GHC teams from U9 to U18 will return to traditional sizes and will have a similar structure as previous seasons (i.e. GHC Jr Inferno U9 North 1, GHC Jr. Inferno U11 Spark, etc.)
We are working alongside Hockey Calgary to confirm our team numbers, age division structures, rosters and scheduling. As is always the case, this depends several factors, including the number of players registered in an age division, ice availability, and the grid prescribed by Hockey Calgary.
How will formal teams be formed?
Our Sorting/Evaluation and Development Phases were designed to transition easily from Cohorts to traditional teams and tiers so that full evaluations are not required to be redone.
Players have already been evaluated based on skill and placed in skill-like Cohort groupings. During the Development Phase, Cohort coaches will be evaluating “Hockey IQ” and “Compete” level to supplement each player’s evaluation profile, so that formal teams will not be created based solely on skill-based evaluations.
- Player exhibits work ethic
- Player possess a desire to succeed and win
- Player is a great teammate / displays leadership qualities
- Player displays positive (engaged) body language and non-verbal cues
- Player understands positional play
- Player supports the puck on the defensive and offensive side of puck
- Player communicates with teammates
- Player is able to read and react
Our intention is to ensure that all players are placed on the appropriate team and tier to allow for maximum skill development and maximum enjoyment. We want every player to have the opportunity to contribute to her team both on and off the ice resulting in a positive hockey experience.
Can I appeal my daughter’s team placement?
No. Formal teams are final and will not be modified.
Can I submit a Friend Request?
Yes. Friend requests forms should have been sent to all members through your Age Group Coordinator and will be accepted until Oct 23, 2020. Friend requests can be honoured for players who are placed in non-tiered or B levels, however GHC must take Competition balance and team parity into consideration. All requests will be considered but are not guaranteed.
Will my daughter need to isolate for a two-week period when she moves from her current Cohort to her formal Team?
U7 Cohort structures will not change.
U9, U11 and U13 players will have a two-week on-ice transition period in November to allow players to move from their current Cohorts to their newly formed teams after November 15, 2020. Practices will include specific safety criteria that will be outlined by Hockey Calgary.
U15 and U18 players will not have an on-ice transition period because they will have a natural transition period over the holiday break.
How will formal teams practice during the Competition Season?
Each Game Cycle will be followed by a two-week period of practices. Hockey Calgary is going to release a more detailed plan as to what practices will/should look like. Our goal will be to schedule partner teams within each age division to share the ice for the majority of their practices (i.e. U11 Spark and U11 Scorch, U13 South 1 and U13 South 2, etc).
Will teams have affiliates?
Will there be an exception for goalies?
At this time, there is no exception for goalies to affiliate outside of their Cohort and/or formal teams.
Does the Competition Season mean we can attend tournaments?
No. Hockey Calgary will not sanction tournaments at this time.
Will there be Esso Minor Hockey Week? Subway City Championships?
There will be no Esso Minor Hockey Week this season.
Hockey Calgary has scheduled a “Playoff Cycle” from March 8-28, 2020. As teams cannot play traditional double knockout event due to AHS Guidelines, Hockey Calgary will create divisional brackets based on winning % (tie breaking rules in effect) for final positioning. For example:
- 1 vs 2 (for 1st overall)
- 3 vs 4 (for 3rd place)
- 5 vs 6 (for 5th place)
Will volunteer requirements be re-instated?
Yes, GHC will re-instate the volunteer requirements and will be collecting a volunteer bond from families. GHC will examine how to fairly re-introduce the requirements to encourage families to volunteer while still reflecting the reduced roles available to members this season. We will not retroactively apply volunteer requirements on parents. Members are not required to track their hours during the Development Season.
Will we have another Coach / Manager / Health & Safety Coordinator meeting?
Yes, we will be scheduling a new meeting to address any changes and housekeeping items for the Competition Season. Stay tuned!