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Submitted By Dianne Skirving on Sunday, September 6, 2020
By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 09/04/20, 1:00PM EDT


In support of the announcement of OMHA Return to Play - OHF Stage 3b) programming, please find below additional answers to more specific FAQs for the upcoming season.

If you seek any further clarifications or have any other questions, please reach out to your Association.

·      Stage 3B Framework

·      Hockey Canada Guidelines 

·      Hockey Canada FAQs

·      OMHA COVID-19 Updates


What is the predicted start date of the season?
Seasonal start date will vary by Association with the earliest start date of September 1 and will always begin with a (two) 2-week minimum development phase. Associations have the discretion to progress at a slower pace.

The OHF Framework Document refers to ‘Leagues’.  How are Leagues identified and created?
‘LEAGUE’ in the OHF Framework Stage 3 refers to the cohort or bubble of 50 players that are eligible to participate in team/game play against each other and not any other team or players that are part of another League of 50 players. There are no traditional Representative Leagues in Stage 3.

The OHF document uses the term Public Health Unit (PHU). Does this not imply that beginning at Stage 3b modified game competition is allowed between teams in the same league? So for example, a league could be established between 3 teams of in different towns within the same PHU? 
Each OHF Member has established Return to Hockey plans based on the OHF Return Hockey Framework. Associations should be working with their applicable Member for approval of sanctioned activities.

At Stage 3d the OHF document indicates travel permitted between Adjacent PHU's. Does this not imply that we are then allowed to travel for game competition between adjacent PHU's within our LHIN (so for example including the Hamilton and Niagara PHU's within the OMHA zone)? 
Each OHF Member has established Return to Hockey plans based on the OHF Return Hockey Framework. Associations should be working with their applicable Member for approval of sanctioned activities.

What is the process if an MHA or Zone is still in Stage 2?
Refer to the OHF Return to Hockey Framework for Stage 2 programming.


Is there any information available about team formation or tryouts following Stage 3e? What is the structure being discussed for transitioning from modified to regular competition? This will be important to understand and factor into any modified program structure introduced assuming we progress into Regular Competition at Stage 4.  
A process for player evaluation and selection when transitioning to Stage 4 has not yet been determined but is under discussion with the OHF and its Members.

The OHF document indicates under Stage 3b "Competition (Game Play) that modified 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 with no physical contact may begin following a minimum two-week development phase. Does this allow us to have modified game play at that point in time? 
Modified Game play can begin following the required two-week development phase.  The earliest that modified game play may begin if approved is September 15, following the two-week development phase that begins September 1.

Progression Summary: Stage 3b – OHF document indicates a maximum of 30 participants while an MHA memo indicates maximum of 25 participants. 
Number of Participants is a maximum number outlined by the OHF for sanctioned programming, however, all participant numbers are dictated by the restrictions for gatherings that have been established by the Ontario Government, local Public Health Unit, facility or OHF Member. Maximum numbers are based on the largest ice surface 100x200 and should be adjusted accordingly for smaller ice surfaces and/or age and size of players.

Will standard Minor Hockey penalties and suspensions still apply?

How many times are players to be on the ice in a week?
The Hockey Canada Player pathways will still be in effect for seasonal structure and Members have approved programming for those levels and others. 


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.


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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