TNT MINOR HOCKEY RETURN TO PLAY UPDATE – SEP-4 2020, News (TNT Tornados Minor Hockey Association)

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TNT MINOR HOCKEY RETURN TO PLAY UPDATE – SEP-4 2020
Submitted By Webmaster on Friday, September 4, 2020
OMHA APPROVED RETURN TO PLAY PLAN:
The TNT Board has been in constant contact with both municipal authorities and our minor hockey governing bodies over the past few months and based on their input and suggestions we are now in a position to provide a return- to- play plan for the 2020-21 season. While some elements of this plan still need to be finalized and others could change, we believe the following will enable you to proceed with your personal hockey plans with some confidence.

We have based this plan on several key assumptions:

1.       The health and safety of players, officials and volunteers must remain our top priority and, accordingly, the TNTMHA will operate in full compliance with guidelines and regulations provided by government, health authorities and minor hockey governing bodies.

2.       While the TNTMHA will make every effort to ensure that any New Tecumseth resident who wishes to play minor hockey will have the opportunity to do so, we are subject to strict regulations and protocols imposed by governmental authorities and governing bodies which will limit the number of participants in specific programs or specific age groups.

3.       Registration numbers and governing protocols permitting, the TNTMHA will offer two programs – one recreational and one competitive- each combining elements of skill development and games.  Both programs will have a maximum of 9 skaters and 1 goalie per team.  One coach and 1 trainer max per team.

4.       Initially, our programs will not involve any interaction with teams from other centres; we anticipate and hope that  current governmental restriction may be lifted early winter allowing for an abbreviated York Simcoe regular season (and possibly OMHA championships) for Rep teams and exhibition games for Select.

5.       Should OMHA give the go- ahead to resume games against teams from other centers, the TNTMHA will hold try-outs for AA and A teams.  Players wishing to try out for AAA teams will have similar opportunities with AAA centers.

 

Health and Safety Considerations/ Protocols

In consultation with the Township, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association we will be adopting a series of protocols designed to deal with player, official and volunteer health and safety considerations.  They include traffic flow, facility scheduling, dressing room and washroom use, participant and spectator limitations, PPE requirements, water bottles, contact tracking etc.  We are all subject to many “new normal” and the time you spend at the arena will not be an exception. We will do what we can to minimize inconvenience, but compliance with these protocols is a prerequisite for participation.

Prior to program commencement we will provide all participants with a detailed description of applicable protocols and procedures based on the latest information available at that time.  We can tell you now, however, that we will have in place a very comprehensive process for:

 

·         screening all participants prior to every game and practice. We will be using the OHF Health Screening questionnaire and the Session Participation Tracing sheet.

·        tracking all participants at each “event”.

·        Immediately notifying each member of any confirmed or suspected incidence of Covid-19 within their “bubble”.

·        At this time, we anticipate each player to only be allowed one parent/guardian/spectator to enter the arena with them.

 

 

 

Agnes McLachlan will be our primary contact to ensure that these protocols are implemented for all participants at each game and practice. 

Finally, should there be any reported case of a confirmed incidence of Covid-19, that player or coach will immediately be removed from the hockey environment and must follow the following steps:

1.      Report case to public heath authority

2.      Public Health Until will determine communication process for tracing.

3.      Must cooperate on any necessary communication.

4.      Note Required from a physician or public health authority to return to play.

Per the Simcoe Muskoka District Health, if a player or coach gets a confirmed case of COVID-19, that does NOT mean the entire team needs to be shut down. 

If a player or coach gets a Confirmed case, all other players on the team or anyone who has been in close contact (less than 6 feet for more then 15 minutes) should closely monitor to make sure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Recreational (Traditional House League) Program

The recreational hockey program is designed for players who previously played house league in the past and wish to continue with a similar program.   After the evaluations stage, all Recreational house league teams will get 1 – 1 hour game and 1 – 1 hour practice per week. Games will be based on a modified (4 on 4 or 3 on 3) format.  All practices will be shared with another team.

Players will be assigned to a “bubble” or league comprised of (currently) 50 members maximum.  There will be a minimum of 4 teams per bubble.  The players will be of similar age and skill and will also include one coach and one trainer per team.  Roster sizes, the number of teams or game formats may be adjusted if government limitations on bubble sizes are relaxed.

1.       Skills Development: Team practices under the direction of certified coaching staff and trainer will be used to assist players in developing individual and team. Coaches will follow the Hockey Canada- approved “pathways” for U11, U9 and U7 in terms of skills, and practice plans.  Please note: since health and safety regulations requires a “no contact” protocol for adults providing on-ice assistance in games and practices, all players will be required to meet a basic skating skills proficiency standard in order to participate i.e. be able to skate the width of the ice without assistance.

2.       Games: Each bubble or league will consist of a minimum of 4 teams.  Players will be assigned to teams based on several evaluation sessions and we will make every effort to balance the teams competitively.  Player numbers permitting, we are initially planning on a 4 on 4 format with playing regulations appropriately modified to accommodate health and safety precautions and smaller roster sizes (ex reduce/eliminate faceoffs).  No games will be scheduled During the Christmas holidays.  As we have been doing for years, we will try our best to schedule Recreational House league on Weekends only.

3.     Other: Assuming restrictions allow it, we will make every effort to run our goalie        clinic.

Competitive Hockey Program

The competitive hockey program is designed for players who played rep hockey (AAA, AA, A or AE) last season.  This program will include individual and team skills development as well as games based on a modified (4 on 4 or 3 on 3) format.

Each cohort (U9, U10, U11 etc.) will constitute a “bubble” or league in compliance with current Ontario Phase 3 regulations.  A typical league of, for example, 4 teams might include 36-40 players (including 1 goalie per team), 4 coaches and 4 trainers. The members of this group must essentially remain the same for the duration of the season to comply with Provincial regulations.

1.       Skills Development: For purposes of individual and team skills development the competitive leagues will be divided into multiple groups (but stay within their bubble).  We will use rep teams from the 2019-2020 season as development teams.  So for example, last year’s Minor Peewee AA Team (now named U13) will have their development practices together as a team.  These development practices will be run by the coaches from last year’s teams.  If last year’s coach does not wish to return, and a replacement will be picked by TNTMHA.   

2.       Games: We are planning a minimum of 4 teams for each cohort comprised of rep calibre players.  Players will be assigned to teams following several on-ice evaluation sessions and every effort will be made to ensure competitive balance. Player numbers permitting, we are planning on a 3 on 3 format with playing regulations appropriately modified to accommodate health and safety concerns as well as reduced roster sizes.  We are targeting a 24-game schedule from September to December with the assumption and hope that restrictions on games with other centres may be lifted prior to the new year, and a more traditional rep program re-established.  A contingency plan for the period from January 1 to March Break will be developed should the resumption of traditional rep hockey not be possible.

3.       Program Description: Our competitive program will offer, on average 2 – 50 minutes games per week and 1 -1.5-hour practice per week.   The games will be 45-minute run time games.  The teams will be made up from players within each bubble. 

 

Facilities:

All arenas used by TNTMHA are allowing players to use the change rooms.  We must enter as a team and can only enter the arena 15 minutes prior to our scheduled start time. 

·        Everyone entering the facilities must enter with a face mask or face covering that must always remain on.

·        Players can remove their facemask once their helmet is on.

·        Coaches are required to wear a facemask on the bench but not on the ice.

·        Each team must meet as a team outside of the arena before entering while

·        The seating in the arena changes are marked with “X’s” on the benches that are 6 feet apart to allow for social distancing.

·        We ask that players playing in U11 (formerly Atom) and below, show up to the arena in full equipment (except for skates).  These players can put skates on in the team change room.

·        Players in U12 and up, can show up to the arena to get changed in the change room only if, they can get dressed in less than 15 minutes.

·        Showers are not available for use.

·        Everyone must bring their own water bottle already filled with water as water fountains will not be available.

·        Each team will have sanitizer available for players. 

·        Parents /guardians/spectators are encouraged to wash and sanitize hand frequently.

Key Dates

Registration and Competitive Program Application: September 11 (To be confirmed)

Player Evaluation/ Assignment: September 21 - 27

Recreational and Competitive Programs Start: week of September 28

Registration Fees: We are very close to finalizing registration fees and payment schedules for the 2020-21 season.

Competitive Program Fees: Players who wish to participate in the competitive program (and eventually try out for Rep when and/if it resumes) will pay an additional fee for the season.  The competitive program fee will be an additional $400 on top of the regular recreational house league fee.

 

*Should games with other centers resume, we will hold tryouts and determine team fees for the remainder of the 2020-21 rep program.  If games with other centers are not possible the interim program will be extended for the period from January 1 to March Break and potential participants will be advised of additional fees for this extended period.

 

Any questions re: the return-to-play plan should be forwarded via email to [email protected]

We will do our best to respond as quickly as possible.

 

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