New rules have been implemented to ensure a safe return to the ice for minor hockey players.
Kitchener Minor Hockey Association has outlined its rules for the season this fall.
Only one adult is allowed to accompany the player to the rink to assist with gear or watch games if the facility allows.
Face masks are to be worn going into the buildings and only removed when players are ready to put on their helmets. Kids will also have to come to the rink already dressed in their equipment. No dressing rooms will be open for teams.
Rolland Cyr is the General Manager of Kitchener Minor Hockey Association and he tells the Mike Farwell Show on 570 NEWS that players and parents will have to submit daily health screening to the team.
"People are going to have to contact trace," said Cyr, "they will have to fill out screening forms before they come to the rink and identify that they've met all the same safety precautions you see when you go to the dentist and doctor."
Those precautions include:
- Immediate removal if you are displaying signs of COVID19.
- A doctor’s note or public health note are required to clear you for return to play if you have been ill.
- Players are expected to remain physically distant when not on the ice. This includes distancing at the bench area.
Cyr adds that he hopes an app will be available beginning next week to help streamline the process and make screening a little bit easier.
"We hope that the app will be more convenient for everyone involved."
On the ice kids won't be able to use contact, they will have to stay a stick's length apart, and no faceoffs will be held.
Rules will be augmented and KMHA are waiting for direction from Hockey Canada on what that will look like.
"The rule will say what a contact penalty will be for this year," said Cyr, "nobody is sitting in the penalty box this year and all penalties will be penalty shots."
Kids 9 and under will play 3-on-3, while kids 18 and under will play 4-on-4.
Cyr says that regular disinfecting will happen in facilities across Kitchener.
"We'll be making sure everything will be disinfected regulary," said Cyr, "we're keeping players safe. No shared equipment this year. That will have to change a little bit and we are finalizing what that is going to look like."