FAQ (Dorchester Minor Hockey Association)

DMHA is in the process of getting the 2020-2021 hockey season up and running. We would like parents to understand that we are governed by our Health Unit as well Hockey Canada, OHF, and OMHA.  There are many guidelines and rules set out by these organizations as well as our municipality in which we need to adhere to. Our players safety is our first concern.  

As we look at starting hockey back up in September, there are many questions and concerns during this time of uncertainty. Hockey will happen, but in a modified format. Below we will attempt to answer questions you may have. If you have additional questions that are not answered below, please submit them via the website feedback tab and we will do our best to answer them. Also, please review OHF’s Return to Play Framework.

Regular updates will be provided as we get closer to our September 14 start date and throughout the season.  It will be important to monitor communications from DMHA and the DMHA website regularly.  

What will our return to hockey look like in September?

In the initial stages of the season, the focus will be on group training and development.  Tryouts are not permitted this year.  Players will be divided into groups designed to foster individual and group development while adhering to limits on the number of participants on the ice. The current plan is for each group from U8 to U18 to have two on ice sessions per week throughout the season. Because competition is also a component of development and fun, we are diligently working on options for competition within our local health unit as mandated by OHF.

How will players be divided into groups?

At this time, DMHA is not permitted to run try outs as per the rules outlined from Ontario Hockey Federation. DMHA’s goal during this unprecedented year is to get kids on the ice playing hockey and developing their skills while abiding by the rules and regulations that have been put in place by our governing bodies. As an executive, we are working with the selected coaches to place as many like players together as possible. Our hope is that this will create opportunities for players to further develop their skills while having fun at the same time. We understand this process is not ideal in all situations, however, we are working hard to create the best possible experiences for our hockey players under the given circumstances.

Who are the coaches for each group?

The coaches for the groups will be the coaches previously selected by the coach selection committee, as well as the local league coaches that applied. The coaches selected as BB coaches will coach one group of players, the coaches selected as AE coaches will coach another group of players, and the coaches who were selected as LL coaches will coach another group of players. All bench staff must have appropriate certification and a valid criminal records check before being permitted in the facility.

Who is creating the development/practice plans?

The coaches are responsible for creating their own development/practice plans. 

What’s happening with coaching clinics for the 2020-21 season?

Coaching clinics will not be held in person during the 2020-21 season. Hockey Canada and the OHF are currently working on a plan for training NEW coaches for this season. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

When is DMHA's Return to Hockey Start Date?

The season will begin on September 14, 2020 for U8 (formerly novice) to U18 (formerly midget) players, and shortly thereafter for U7 and below.

What is the plan for the Initiation Program?

The DMHA Initiation Program includes U5, U6 and U7 divisions.  
Activities for the U7 division are planned to begin on Saturday, September 26th.  U7 group sizes will adhere to limits of participants on the ice.  The current plan is for skaters at the U7 division to have two on-ice sessions per week throughout the season.  Should competition be possible, options for competition within our local health unit, as mandated by OHF, will be explored.
The start date for activities for the U5 and U6 divisions is still being determined.  It is hoped that activities can begin in early October.  U5 and U6 group sizes will adhere to limits of participants on the ice.  The current plan is for skaters at the U5 and U6 divisions to have two on-ice sessions per week throughout the season.  As in past years, the focus at the U5 and U6 divisions will be skating and hockey development.   
Details for the U5, U6 and U7 divisions will continue to evolve based on the latest information available.  Please monitor communications from DMHA and the DMHA website regularly.  

Will there or when will there be traditional 5 on 5 hockey?

There is no plan to commence with the traditional 5-on-5 hockey during the 2020-21 season until we move into Stage 4. This timeline is unknown.

Are cages still acceptable or are fishbowls required?

Cages are acceptable. Fishbowls are NOT required by DMHA.

Why did the registration fees increase this year?

Registration fees are generally based on the anticipated costs to run the minor hockey program.  The primary costs are for ice and officiating fees, which traditionally vary between age groups and levels of play.  The costs increase every year.  Some of the costs are offset by fundraising, including the yellow ticket program, sponsorships and other events, which allow us to moderate registration fee increases.  


For the 2020-21 season, a fee increase was anticipated to cover ongoing annual increases in the association's costs.  Due to the pandemic and related restrictions, there will be changes to how players/groups will practice and compete.  Those changes include smaller groups per ice session (meaning fewer players to share the cost of each session).  With no tryouts and no league play or playdowns/playoffs, we anticipate that the amount of ice time will equalize across the levels of play, consistent with the plan to have two ice sessions per week per group from U8 up.  We do plan for some limited competition if possible, which means that there will still be some officiating costs incurred.  Other relatively fixed costs include insurance, and fees paid to Hockey Canada and OMHA.  In addition, we are planning for our overall registration numbers to decline slightly based on the pre-registration response, and we expect that fundraising will be very limited. Due to the pandemic, we will not be hosting all of the fundraising events that we had originally planned, we are not seeking sponsors through our gate banners, and we have eliminated the yellow ticket program for this seasonIn the past, these fundraising efforts have greatly assisted in offsetting costs.  The registration fees were set for 2020-21 based on a cost-recovery model taking all of these factors into account.

When does registration close?

There is no "official" registration closing date. We are asking players to be registered by September 4th to allow our coaches to sort the players into the groups accordingly for the September 14th start date. Players may register after this date, however they will be placed into a group that has open space as we are restricted to the number of players on the ice in each group. 

Why is the goalie registration fee the same as the player registration fee this year?

In the past, our goalie registration fee was less than our player registration fee. Starting this season, goalies will no longer see a reduction in fees over other players within DMHA. DMHA sees all players as equal participants in our hockey program. Furthermore, goalies will have opportunities for goalie development ice sessions throughout the season in addition to their regularly scheduled group/team ice times.  

Are face masks required in the arena?

Face coverings are to be worn at all times when entering the Flight Exec Centre. Participants 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. As per By-law 46-2020, All persons entering or remaining in these premises shall wear a mask or face covering which covers the nose, mouth and chin as required under The Municipality of Thames Centre.

Are the dressing rooms available?

All participants are encouraged to arrive at the facility, dressed and no sooner than fifteen (15) minutes before scheduled rental. There is limited amount of space and time available within the changerooms. To allow for physical distancing, changerooms will only accommodate a maximum of ten (10) participants at one time. Standard rentals will be provided two (2) changerooms, per rental, allowing for a maximum of twenty (20) skaters per rental. If a user requires their skates to be tied, a coach or guardian may assist while wearing a mask but must exit the dressing room immediately.

Participants are to follow the directional signage to the changerooms and ice area. Players are to stay in their rooms until the ice is ready and they will proceed onto the ice through the designated ice entry point in a physically distant format. Players who just exited the ice surface have fifteen (15) minutes to change and exit the facility through the identified exit. No player is to exit the dressing room until the other players have fully entered the ice surface.

Are parents allowed to stay in the arena and watch their child during their ice time?

Due to gathering limits of 50 people, we will only be allowing one (1) spectator per family and we are encouraging spectators to not be in the facility if they do not need to be. The FlightExec Centre Lobby is for in and out traffic only; this area is not for a warm viewing area. Users and spectators are to sit in the assigned seating within the South Rink Bowl. Spectators are to sit in sections H, I, or J ONLY. If spectators need to use the washroom, they are to use the main washrooms located in the lobby.

Are there guidelines for entering the arena?

Each organization or renter who is utilizing the facility shall conduct a passive screening of all participants and spectators before gaining entry into the ice area. DMHA will require that each player submit a self assessment document prior to each ice time.

Can I register in a different association this year?

According to OHF Return to Hockey Framework, players are to stay with the Association in which they played with in the 2019-20 Season or return to their Home Association if they played outside their Association. 


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