UPDATE - Return to Play, News (Almaguin Minor Hockey)

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UPDATE - Return to Play
Submitted By Cathy McNichol on Monday, September 28, 2020
Hockey this year is going to be a fascinating journey of new experiences and change as things continue to fluctuate with COVID 19.   Please be assured that the AMHA Executive has been working overtime creating Return to Play Plans, coordinating with local arenas and are in continued conversation with Hockey Canada and OMHA.

We are committed to bringing the best hockey experience to Almaguin and are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work things out.  At times, it seems our plans change almost daily and we expect this may be our reality for a while.   We need to pull together to get our players on the ice to continue to create those amazing hockey memories. This year will be memorable if nothing else!!

We want to assure all families that we are taking all the necessary precautions to make sure kids are safe this season.

Some key points to be aware of are as follows:

· Our hockey “experience” this year must remain within our Local Health Unit district.  This changes the landscape for AMHA as we will no longer be able to go south for Hockey (MPSHL).  Our area of play covers Parry Sound, Almaguin, Powassan, East Nipissing and Mattawa and we are currently in conversation with these centers to create some game play.  This requirement has resulted in no OMHA REP hockey for this season, no play downs and no tournaments.  Centers are encouraged to work within their region to set up a hockey season instead to keep kids involved and active. Never more than now have our kids needed an outlet like Hockey!

· We are approaching this season as a “developmental” season and will be looking at offering 2 practices a week to teams.   As mentioned above, we will be working with other centers to try and get each team some game play, although this will not happen until November/December.

· Arena Lobbies are well organized, and we are grateful to our partners for their diligence and hard work in cleaning, setting up and monitoring the sanitization of the arena.

· Parents will not be permitted in the Arena.  We realize this is different than “normal” and might affect your Hockey Experience as a parent, but at this point we have no control over that.  Please consider that your involvement is only part of your player’s experience, and, although they appreciate your cheers and thumbs up through the glass, they also enjoy the time with their teammates and coaching staff.  With any luck we will get back to watching our players before we know it, until then, we thank you for understanding

· Being players have to be fully dressed to enter the arena, we recommend they get dressed out in the parking lot, and not at home due to safety reasons with seatbelts/car seats.  Please click on the link for an article from OMHA regarding hockey gear and car seats: https://www.omha.net/news_article/show/1124668


· 
There WILL be 5 coaching staff on ice and 2 managers permitted in lobby.  We will need lots of extra help for these roles so please consider taking the online courses and become certified!   These folks will all be available for skate tying etc. and directing players where they need to be.  Your kids will be well supervised at all times. 


· 
There will be extra waivers, screenings and tracking done this year which have never been necessary before.  Be prepared to complete at or prior to each practice or game.  Your manager/coach will be looking after this for us.

· We NEED to know your plans.  Many of you registered before the restrictions were put in place and we have to know if you have changed your mind about your players.  We do have wait lists as registration is closed now.  Email [email protected] to let us know your players status if changed, or of your interest in helping out in a volunteer role this year. 

 

This organization is run exclusively by volunteers in a combined effort to bring Hockey to Almaguin.  If you are a volunteer, a HUGE THANK YOU, if you would like to volunteer now is the time and if you can’t commit to that please “Thank a Volunteer” yourself by offering patience, understanding and compassion during this unique experience.

 

Sincerely,

2020-2021 AMHA Executive

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