RETURN TO PLAY UPDATE 01/06/21

Minnesota Hockey has released its guidance for Phase 5, following the Governor's announcement and MDH updates (also attached) yesterday. As usual, changes are highlighted in red font. A few key notes include:

- Phase 5 goes into effect Jan. 14 when games begin. One exception is one spectator per player may be allowed at practices effective immediately, but spectators at practice should still be minimized to the greatest extent possible. 

- 2 spectators per player with exceptions for young siblings will be allowed at games

- 3 coaches will be allowed on the bench during games

Minnesota Hockey is continuously evaluating these rules and guidelines and may have additional tweaks (ex: locker rooms, bags) to Phase 5 before it goes into effect next week. However, we wanted to get the changes regarding spectators to you as soon as possible.

 Below is Phase 5 and the MDH Sports Guide as  of 01/06/21

Update for Governor's Executive for Youth Sports Jan. 4 and a message from WHA President Nikki Siddons:

Hello WHA Members

What a whirlwind of a year! We are hoping that things will settle down and we will be able to move forward with our hockey season. Information has been fast and furious with several changes during the "pause". However, today it appears we have the most concrete information on what to expect and that is why we are reaching out to you all. The caveat of the year---this is all subject to change should the need arise. 

Here is a timeline everyone should be aware of as we move forward with the WHA Season: 

  • January 4th: Full steam ahead with practices. 
  • January 14th: Game start date. Teams will start with a fresh slate. Games that were played prior to the "pause" will not count towards season records--they will be considered scrimmages. Each team will get 10 district games (5 home/5 away). 
    • No resurfacing during a game. 
      • Game Length:  All games will remain as outlined in the District 6 rulebook (60 minute and 75 minute) with the exception of 90-minute games (Bantam AA, Bantam A, Girls 15UA) will be reduced to 75 minutes as ice resurface between 2nd and 3rd periods will be eliminated.
  • Regular Season Dates: 
    • AA/A/B1/B: January 14 – March 12
    • B2/C:  January 14 – March 19
    • Squirt/10U: January 14 – March 28
    • Mites/8U:  January 14 – possibly into April. More details to follow.
  • NO District 6 Playoffs!!!!

Lots of New Rules, Some the same...

  • Pod sizes for practice are 25 with two pods allowed on the rink at the same time. 
  • Rostering has been extended until January 31. 
  • Face coverings are required at all times, including practices and games. 
  • NO SPECTATORS AT ALL. 
    • May have all coaches-- but only two on the bench. 
    • May have team manager(s) present. 
    • May have a videographer (1 only). 
    • Must have minor officials (2 families only--clock, scoresheet, penalty boxes). 
  • Can only enter the arena 10 minutes in advance of ice time. 
  • Kids must arrive fully dressed (minus goalies who must come 1/2 dressed). 
  • No locker rooms to be used at all. 
  • No bags into arenas at all (minus goalies). 

These are subject to change at any time!

Please see the attached Phase 4 Return to Play Rules & Guidelines and the Positive COVID-19 Case Guidelines. You will also find the MN Department of Health COVID-19 Sports Practice Guidance for Youth and Adults

 

Minnesota Hockey is planning to implement Phase 5 of its Return to Play Rules and Guidelines when games begin on January 14. Details regarding Phase 5 will be released upon further guidance being released by the State of Minnesota.  

 

We are adding volunteers to help us support the new rules. We will be offering DIBS hours for adults to help the WHA and the WIA manage the flow of the skaters, to direct them to appropriate locations for skate tying and get them in and out of the building in a timely manner, as well as to enforce mask usage, and dress requirements. Please consider signing up for these DIBS opportunities!

Thank you for your patience as we bring hockey back to life! It will take every single one of us to get the job done. We appreciate your support moving forward. 

 

Sincerely, 

Nikki Siddons

WHA President