Covid-19/Return to play

All OWHA Return to Hockey updates and bulletins can be found on the OWHA website:

http://www.owha.on.ca/

Return to Hockey updates can also be found on the Hockey Canada website:

https://hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/2020-news-update-on-return-to-hockey

 

OGHA Prez Communique July 21 (excerpt)

 
Hello Everybody:
 
Judging by the way that my inbox filled up after my last Prez Comm, the current status of female hockey is at the forefront of many members minds.  And I get it, because we are all looking for some semblance of structure for our young female athletes as school (whatever that looks like) and the Fall beckons.  As I said though, we are in a truly dynamic enviornment and some of the information that I relayed to you from last week is NOW out-of-date.  The most impactful for our membership would be:
  • Associations are allowed to accept new Registrations. These can be from minor hockey, other associations, other sports, etc...as long as they are aligned with the Player Movement policy AKA Import Policy that OGHA, GCGH, Kanata and Nepean all signed and implemented for last year;
  • Releases will also be allowed BUT for those that have NOT YET received a release, it is requested from the OWHA Registrar that players register with their 2019-20 Assn to initiate the process and the transfer of players will be done thru the new OWHA system;
  • OGHA will run a FUNdamentals program, starting in Sept/Oct timeframe which will consist of 1-2 ice times per week (40 min lengths @ McNabb arena) on the weekends BUT this will be contingent upon numbers.   
There still remains no further information on female hockey progressing from Phase 1 (10 skaters / ice pad) to Phase 2 even though Ontario has loosened the restrictions on many other activities as have facilities in our region.  As well, Registration Fees can NOT be collected at this time.  The female hockey situation remains fluid in Ontario and your BoD will keep you abreast of any changes to the current posture.

 

OGHA Prez Communique July 12 (excerpt)

All OGHA families:

Bottom Line Up Front: OGHA Hockey is returning in September with OWHA's Return to Hockey and Ottawa Public Health protocols guiding a revamped start to the season. Getting our players on the ice and back with their age groups/friends is the primary objective in Phase One but advancing to more team-oriented activities has no timeline amidst the COVID-19 uncertainty. 

I hope that this Communique finds all of you well, safe and healthy. With one of the hottest summers on record so far, hockey may not be on the radar screen, but the "dog days" have a habit of flying by and before we know it...Labour Day...and the question of Returning to Hockey will arise.  I have already fielded many ??? about how female hockey is aligned with public health guidelines and the restrictions that have been implemented due to COVID-19.  In a snapshot, here is what we know so far for the 2020-21 season based upon direction from Hockey Canada, the OWHA's Return To Hockey phased approach and the City of Ottawa:

 

  • Post-Labour Day: Phase 1 of the OWHA's Return to Hockey Protocol. The goal of this Phase is to get girls back on the Ice and playing together in groups of similar age/skill level AND become accustomed to the new measures at facilities (wearing masks, dressing room protocols, ingress/egress, etc..);
  • As per the OWHA, in Phase 1 there will be NO Tryouts, NO releases nor New Registrants from other OWHA Assns. This means players can only be on the ice with the Assn that you were registered with in 2019-20 - Intermediate AA is an exception;  
  • On-Ice: 10 skaters ONLY per ice surface. For U13 and above that would be 9 players+ 1 coach and for U11 and below this would be 8 players + 2 coaches. Off-ice trainers do not count towards this number. These groups will be of similar age/skill-level and form their own "Bubble". All drills will maintain physical distancing and focus on skating / passing, i.e. no battle drills, small-area games, etc..;
  • Off-Ice:  Each hockey facility will have its own specific guidelines. This will include the use of dressing rooms, washrooms, showers, requirements for face coverings, etc. Players, coaches, spectators (which will be limited) and all hockey partners will be required to follow these guidelines when in the facility. Data on who has entered a facility and when is also compulsory for every ice time;   
  • The public health criteria for transitioning to Phase 2 is TBD and it is unknown if this will be Regionally dependent.  The four main Associations in our Region (OGHA, Kanata, GCGH, Nepean) have collectively asked that this be considered.  
  • It is highly likely that there will be NO tournaments or Out-of-Town Games for the season.  
  • Regional games are being tentatively planned to start in Jan 2021.  
  • OWHA and HEO (minor hockey) are working very closely to harmonize their RTP protocols.

For OGHA, we are in the process of signing ice contracts and planning the overall framework for 2020-21.  If there is an extended Phase 1, OGHA is segmenting the Sept-Dec time period into: 1. Sept - Thanksgiving; 2. THanksgiving - Remembrance Day; and 3.  Remembrance Day - end Dec. At each stage, the relevant guidelines will be evaluated with our ice allocation and registration numbers. Some other key points for OGHA:

 

  • All levels (67s, Comp, HL) and ages will be on the ice from Labour Day onwards;
  • The small groups of 9 (or 8) will be organized by the OGHA Board, Technical Director and the Comp/HL convenors with input from previous/current year coaches;
  • In lieu of tryouts, Phase 1 will be used by the Technical Director and our HP1-certified coaches to continually evaluate players to form Comp and HL teams IF we progress to Phase 2;
  • Given Phase 1 restrictions, we will be delaying the start of FUNdamentals until Jan 2021 as well as another offering of the Bauer First Shift program.