Important Information for Return to Play, News (Dorchester Minor Hockey Association)

News Article
News Article Image
Sep 12, 2020 | Katie Haasen | 971 views
Important Information for Return to Play
Welcome back to hockey! As we approach our start up of the 2020-2021 hockey season, there are some important details to review. Our executive and our coaches worked hard this week to sort players into their groups, schedule the ice times, finalize the Return to Play Plan, create rosters and work behind the scenes to prepare for the season. We know the turn around time is quick and we appreciate your flexibility. Thank you to everyone!

Coaches should be reaching out to their groups by the end of the weekend. They just received their rosters yesterday, so please allow them time to get organized. If you haven’t heard from your coach yet, the rosters for U9 and above have been uploaded to the website and the schedule is posted on the organization calendar under the Games Centre tab. Some teams begin on Monday, so please check the calendar!  It is important to emphasize that these groups are development groups, they are not teams. DMHA’s goal during this unprecedented year is to get the kids on the ice playing hockey and developing their skills while having fun.

Like everything else, hockey will look differently this year and it is essential that all players and parents know the procedures to follow. We are aware that some of these are an inconvenience, however, they are mandated by OHF, OMHA and our municipality and we must abide by them if we wish to play hockey.

We request that you familiarize yourself and your players with our Return to Play Plan. The most important details to know before your first session are highlighted below.

Arriving at the Arena:
· You must enter through the SOUTH SIDE.

· You must arrive dressed in your hockey gear (minus skates, helmets, gloves), no sooner than 15 minutes before your scheduled ice time. Goalies can come dressed minus their pads, blocker and trapper.

You must enter the arena wearing a mask.


·  Any participant who is not able to attend a scheduled ice session must notify the designated group or team bench staff person no more than 1 hour before the scheduled ice time.

· Every person who will enter the arena for a DMHA scheduled ice time must accurately complete an OHF screening questionnaire on the day of the activity and before arrival. Players are responsible for printing off their own screening questionnaires. It is a good idea to print several copies of this form and keep them in your vehicle or child’s hockey bag in case it is forgotten one day. We are working on getting an online version of this form, but for now hard copies are required. The form is linked on our website under quick links and in a banner on the top of the website page, or available here.


· Each group is going to select a “COVID Manager” who will be responsible for collecting these forms before entry into the arena. The COVID Manager will need to be at the arena 15 minutes before the scheduled ice time to start collecting.

·  Each screening questionnaire must be filled out completely and must include the players’ and/or parents’ cell phone number in case of an emergency. There is no designated spot on the form for this, so please print the players name and a phone number on the bottom of page 3.  If anyone has answered “yes” to any of the questions, they should advise the group coach and not attend their ice session and/or will not be allowed into the facility. The completed screening questionnaire will be provided to the group Covid manager before entry to the facility.  Anyone who does not provide a complete and acceptable screening questionnaire will not be permitted to enter.

Hand washing and/or hand sanitizer use is required before entering and before exiting the facility. 

Anyone exhibiting any COVID symptoms should not attend at the facility.

You must follow the one way flow pattern to the dressing rooms.


Dressing Room (when arriving):

· To allow for physical distancing, two dressing rooms will be provided per ice session.  There will be a maximum of ten (10) participants plus two bench staff in a dressing room at one time. Players must space out in the dressing rooms.

· Participants going onto the ice can remove their face covering once they are ready to put on their helmet.  At no point before this should a participant not be wearing a face covering. 

·  Coaches will minimize the amount of times that players enter and leave the dressing room.  In general, it is expected that a player will only exit the dressing rooms to go onto the ice or to exit the facility.  Players will stay in the assigned rooms until the ice is ready and then they may proceed as a group onto the ice through the designated ice entry point in a physically distant format.

· Participants must keep all equipment, including gloves and helmets, on and properly secured from the time they leave the dressing room until they return to the dressing room.  No sharing of sticks or other equipment is permitted.
· Each group will designate bench staff to tie skates for those participants who cannot do so on their own. (Parents are NOT permitted to tie their players skates in the hall or lobby area)


On the Ice:

· Participants must keep all equipment, including gloves and helmets, on and properly secured from the time they leave the dressing room until they return to the dressing room.  No sharing of sticks or other equipment is permitted.

· A maximum of 20 registered players (the word players as used herein includes goalies unless otherwise specified) and up to 5 approved and certified bench staff or skills development instructors will be permitted on each ice session as per Thames Centre guidelines.  

· Each participant will bring their own clearly labelled and filled water bottle to the facility, and may only use their own bottle.  Bottles will be spaced out on the boards/bench.

· A trainer must be present for each on-ice session for each group.  The trainer will use hand sanitizer and wear gloves and a mask at all times while attending to an injured or ill participant.

· No more than four people may be on a bench at one time, and they must maintain physical distancing.

· No body checking or intentional physical contact is permitted.  Physical distancing is required in the facility, including on the ice where practical, for the purpose of individual and group training.   

· Pucks, pylons and other training tools will be sanitized by bench staff after each on-ice session.  Participants should sanitize their own equipment, jerseys, socks, water bottles, etc. after each ice session.

· No spitting will be permitted in the facility, including on the ice.

· Greeting and congratulatory contact such as high fives/handshakes/fist bumps/hugs are discouraged.



· A maximum of one spectator per player will be permitted to remain in the facility, although people are discouraged from attending to watch on-ice activities unless necessary

· Any person who wishes to stay at the facility must present a current, complete, accurate and acceptable screening form, including the person’s contact information, to the group COVID manager before each entry to the facility and will comply with all rules and guidelines for spectators entering the facility.  

· Any such person may enter the facility no more than 15 minutes and no less than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled ice session, and must leave the facility no later than 5 minutes after the completion of the ice session. 

· All spectators must comply with the facility guidelines and follow all directions at all times.  Spectators may clap but may not whistle, yell, shout or cheer. No parent/guardian/spectator may open any door to the ice surface or verbally communicate with any participant on the ice.

Spectators are to sit in sections H, I, or J ONLY, and may not access the track from the assigned seating area. 

If spectators need to use the washroom, the main washrooms located in the lobby must be used.  

No one is to congregate in or watch on-ice activities from the lobby.

Dressing Room (after the ice session)

· Once back in the dressing room, participants may remove their helmets and must then immediately put face coverings back on.  Face coverings must continue to be worn until they exit the facility.

· Players will remove skates, helmets and gloves in the dressing rooms only after completion of ice session, quickly gather their things and exit without showering.  

Players must exit dressing rooms within 15 minutes after the completion of on ice session.  Bench staff will monitor this time limit.  No participant may exit the dressing room until the participants using the next ice slot have fully entered the ice surface.

Exiting the Facility:

  • Participants and spectators who are within the facility will be required to exit through the main entrance in the designated lane. 
  • Users and participants are not to gather in the lobby and/or hallways.
  • It’s a good idea to plan with your child where you will meet them after their ice session. It is recommended to have them meet you outside the main doors so as not to congregate in the lobby.



· If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you must 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. 

· 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 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.


We know that this is a lot of information. If we all work together to ensure we are following the rules and procedures set in place, we should have a great year of hockey. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

As always, thanks for your patience as we continue to navigate unknown times!