KMHA Return to Play, News (Kincardine Minor Hockey Association)

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KMHA Return to Play
Submitted By KMHA on Thursday, September 3, 2020

     KMHA has devised what our return to play guidelines will look like for the upcoming season in accordance with our Governing bodies and the Municipality of Kincardine guidelines. Please read the below information carefully and monitor the website for updates. It is important to note that many of our guidelines and processes for the upcoming seasons are set out by Hockey Canada, the OHF, OMHA, OWHA, WOAA, Ontario Government, the Municipality of Kincardine and the Grey-Bruce health Unit and as such are not within our control . Changes may occur as those guidelines are modified and we will do our best to update our members and our programming  as these changes are initiated.

Development Phase

    Over the next couple weeks the KMHA will be opening registration for the initial phase of our Return To Play programming. Development phase programming will take on a hockey school-type approach for an estimated 4-5 week duration with the emphasis being on development and engagement for boys and girls of all ages and skill levels. Sessions will run locally within the KMHA bubble as required by the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and the Grey Bruce Health Unit. Cost will be determined shortly for this initial stage and posted on the registration page once details have been finalized. Due to COVID-related policies and facility availability, space will be limited and registration will only be open for a limited time, so please check back to our website and social media channels as often as possible to ensure members do not miss any important information. 

You are not required to register in the development phase if you wish to participate in Return to Play phase.

Return To Play KMHA Phase

     The Return To Play Phase will commence after the Development phase is complete and will include inner-association 3-on-3 or 4-on-4  play with ‘teams’ inside an Association ‘bubble’. Teams will be divided into age categories, taking skill level into consideration to keep development and engagement as the main priorities. Teams will participate in practices and games within the association based on ice availability. The KMHA will strive to provide a minimum of one practice and one game time per week. Size of rosters will not exceed10 players (nine skates and one goaltender) as per OHF Return To Play regulations ,but minimum numbers per team will be dependent on age and ‘bubble’ size. Registration for this phase of the program will follow that of a normal KMHA yearly registration, will be set for the remaining portion of the hockey season and will be set by the KMHA Executive.

Return To Play WOAA Phase

     The Return To Play WOAA phase will once again follow OHF protocols and consider game play with Associations within the local Public Health Unit. The KMHA will work with the WOAA in developing a structure of league play within each age/skill group that will keep maximum player numbers within the allowable OHF framework. The intent will be to organize league play in a fair and consistent manner within the WOAA. 

Should we be advised at any time that the OHF has authorized a full return to regular play within the OMHA, OWHA and WOAA, then the KMHA will re-evaluate our program and make any necessary changes to allow for a regular-season format to begin.

Safety Protocols

     Strict safety and screening protocols have been laid out by both the OHF and the Municipality of Kincardine. The KMHA is in the process of determining its own protocols to match or exceed those advised by the OHF, and will adhere to all protocols (screening, distancing, 
etc.) without exception. Any player or guardian not adhering to the strict screening and/or safety protocols will be denied entry to facilities or asked to leave immediately. Any intentional disregard for screening and/or safety protocols will result in immediate, non-refundable suspension for at least the remainder of the 2020-21 season. Adherence to all current Municipality of Kincardine facility guidelines is mandatory.

What will this season look like?

     As per the OHF we are currently in Stage 3b of the Return To Hockey framework. Please refer to page 8 of the OHF Framework for a summary of phases, and the Framework's Appendices for what game play will look like. Younger players may see more development, whereas older players will see more game play to keep them engaged. The KMHA may explore opportunities to join limited travel leagues at later dates based on player engagement, guidance from governing bodies and in accordance with local health authorities. In all likelihood, what hockey has looked like in the past is not what hockey will look like in the near future. We ask that all our members to remain open minded and focused on encouraging players to remain active, have fun and utilize our programming to the best of their abilities and opportunities. The KMHA executive has been hard at work over the summer in an effort to be able to provide programming that is in alignment with what is outlined by all the applicable governing bodies, and is focused on offering the best programming available during these times.

Thank you 

KMHA Executive

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