This has been a very challenging year and a hockey season like never before. We want to recognize the tremendous efforts of all families, volunteers and administrators that go into providing a positive minor hockey experience for all involved.
Due to the Stay at Home Order currently in in place through the first week of May across Ontario, the OMHA Board of Directors has decided to officially end the 2020-21 season effective April 12, 2021. The overall health and safety of our participants was at the forefront of the decision as well as the challenges faced by many communities and municipalities to keep facilities open.
Just like in our lives this past year, the hockey season gave us a new appreciation for things we previously took for granted. Through navigating the adjustments and safety protocols in our schools, stores and rinks, we’ve all been teammates in getting through the pandemic together.
Sometimes it’s felt hard to escape the negatives of what these changes have brought to our lives. That’s why I want to bring a light to the positives that we can all look forward to ahead.
Planning is already underway for the upcoming 2021-22 season with exciting new changes taking effect. The OHF has confirmed the 2021-22 Seasonal Calendar, the first day of on-ice activity will be September 7th, with tryouts for U12 and above beginning on September 10th. Hockey Canada’s Canadian Player Pathways will be implemented at U11 and below. With Tryouts for all age groups moving to after Labour Day, tournaments will kick off on October 8th. In addition, our goal of keeping as many players playing for as long as possible will see all players playing meaningful hockey until at least March 1, 2022.
We understand the frustrations and uncertainty the stops and starts have had on the schedule. As a result of the ups and downs of this season, the OMHA anticipates that over $1.2 million in rebates from assessment fees and insurance fees will be refunded to our minor hockey associations across the province.
While we wait for puck drop again, I encourage players to stay active during the off-season. Practice your skills at home and enjoy the summer weather and the time spent with your families. Let’s continue to work together to keep each other healthy and safe so we can all get back to the game we love as we know it.
The OMHA remains optimistic that we can return to hockey in September. Thank you for sticking with us and making hockey the sport of choice for families across the country.
I hope to see you at the rink soon.
-Bob Hill, OMHA President
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