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Government of Ontario Outlines for Return to Minor Hockey

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 01/21/22, 9:30AM EST

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Restrictions being eased beginning January 31


Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography

The Government of Ontario announced on January 20th the details of steps to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures, starting on January 31, 2022. 
 
Among the restrictions that will be eased include areas that impact indoor recreational facilities. The capacity limits would be brought back to 50%, which is similar to where we were prior to the current shutdown and early September. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is currently awaiting further details on how this will affect programming over the coming weeks. As always, we will share any new information when it becomes available.
 
January 31, 2022
Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
    • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
    • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

Existing safety measures such as social distancing and masking will remain in place. Effective January 4, 2022, the use of the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app has been required where proof of vaccination is required. You can download yours here. The OMHA Vaccination Policy remains in effect.
 
We are excited to return to the rink in whatever capacity we are permitted to and understand the excitement from players, parents, coaches and administrators. Let’s bring our players from the cold outdoor rinks to the warmth of the arenas!


Frequently Asked Questions
When will practices and games start again?
Teams are permitted back on the ice for practices and games beginning January 31. Please check with your Local Association on specific return to play dates/guidelines. 
 
Are we able to play during March Break?
The OMHA has scheduled a seasonal break during March Break. This includes regular season games and league playoffs. However, teams may choose to offer skill development or participate in jamborees/tournaments.
 
Will I be able to watch my child play?
Spectator areas of recreational facilities can operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less as per Ontario government guidelines in place at the moment.
 
Are tournaments still happening?
Yes, tournaments can still take place. If you’ve already registered for an upcoming tournament please confirm with the organizer of any changes.
 
Will U9 programming be full-ice when we return to the rink?
Associations have the option to transition to full ice game play at U9, consistent with the January 15 date identified in the Player Pathway. 

What does the rest of the season look like?
Check with your Association and League for updated and adjusted schedules as they relate to regular season, playoffs, championships and tryouts. The OMHA will soon be announcing exciting new details about Championships.  Stay tuned for more details.

Will there be any changes to the vaccination policy?
There are no changes to the OMHA’s Vaccination Policy for this season.


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