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Stage 3B Update and Frequently Asked Questions

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 08/23/20, 9:00AM EDT

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Return to Play information

In continuing to adhere to public health guidelines that will for a safe return to sport, OMHA Return to Play - OHF Stage 3b) programming will begin effective September 1st.

  • Players must be registered for the 2020-21 season in order to be eligible and covered by Hockey Canada insurance. Players may participate with their Home Association or the Association with which they were registered for the 2019-20 season.
  • Players registering for the very first time will register with the Association identified as their residential (home) Association.
  • Associations may now begin to collect registration fees for programming associated with Stage 3.

We have outlined a number of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Stage 3B. Please reach out to your minor hockey association with any further questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rosters and Seasonal Structure

Can I register my child now?
Yes, you can register your child for Association programming for the 2020-21 season. 

What will rosters look like?
Teams will be rostered to a maximum of 9 players + 1 goalie during Stage 3B. Five (5) Team Officials can be rostered to each team, however, one Coach and one Trainer can be on the bench during 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 games in order to maintain physical distancing on the bench.

What will seasonal structure be for the 2020-2021 season?
During Stage 3B, players will be grouped to a maximum of 50 or less depending on the Public Health Unit (PHU). The OHF will review the allowable maximum upon amendment by the Ontario Government. The number of 50 refers to players only. Bench Staff are not included in this cohort/bubble.

What about Tryouts? Will there be Representative hockey this year?
During Stage 3B, there will no traditional representative hockey leagues and no tryouts.  Local associations have the ability to tier players based on skill.

Gameplay

Will there be 5-on-5 hockey?
Following a minimum two-week development phase for any new programs, modified 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 game play with no physical contact may begin. All game play is within the local Public Health Unit. All game play must be conducted in conjunction with the local PHU and facility protocol and guidelines.

Will score be kept?
The local association will determine how their programming is delivered and is based on approval from the OMHA.  

Will there still be Referees? 
Game officials are required for all game play. 

Are the modified game formats (3-on-3 or 4-on-4) required to be played using modified ice?
U9 & Below is required to be played using a modified ice format.  U10 and above divisions can be played using modified ice or full ice.

Local associations will be responsible for determining programming.

Safety

Please refer to the Hockey Canada Safety Guidelines and FAQs for comprehensive information.

What will the process be for entering and exiting our arena?
This process will be communicated by your local association and is determined by your local Public Health Unit in cooperation with your facility. Please contact your local association for the policies and processes that will be implemented at your arena.  

Are masks required to be worn on the ice?
Masks are not required to be worn on the ice. Please ensure you are following the guidelines of your local facility as to when a mask is required to be worn.

What happens if someone in my cohort/bubble is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Please refer to the Hockey Canada Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines document.

What do I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?
Keep your child home and out of the hockey environment. It is also important to communicate with your physician and public health authority, ensuring you follow the steps identified.

What if a parent/family member tests positive for COVID-19? What protocols do we follow?
If a parent or family member tests positive for COVID–19, the player and their family will need to stay out of the hockey environment. They should contact their physician and public health authority for instructions. The player will need a note from their physician or public health authority to return to play.

If someone on my child’s team tests positive for COVID-19, will the team be allowed to continue to play hockey?
If someone on your child’s team tests positive, public health authority guidelines will determine contact tracing and isolation requirements. It is possible, therefore, that one diagnosis on a team could lead to that team being required to pause hockey activities until the public health authority determines it is safe to return.

What if my child is sick but does not have COVID-19?
The player should follow up with their physician and the public health line. They will require a note from their physician to return to play.

Will parents be allowed in the stands to watch games?
This will be determined by public health units and facility guidelines. Families should be prepared to minimize the number of parents/guardians/spectators that attend in order to limit the number of people in the facility.


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Registration

Can my child apply for a release from their association?
Players have the option of playing with the team they were rostered to during the 2019-2020 season or returning to their home association.  

What is the difference between a sanctioned and unsanctioned league?
Refer to the OHF Policy on unsanctioned programming.

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