We are a just a matter of days away from starting our 2020-2021 hockey season!! The GMHA Executive has been working hard, in collaboration with Gan's Rec Department and the OMHA in putting together our Return to Play (RTP) Plan & Protocols.
We are living in strange and confusing times right now and hockey will be no exception. Yes, there will be hockey but it will be different than what we are used to!!
Below is a copy of our RTP Plan & Protocols that was submitted to the OMHA last week.
Please take the time to read it -- there is important information in it!
HEALTH & SAFETY
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To help us get ”back on the ice” the GMHA Executive established a RTP Committee, with various sub committees :
· Health and Safety
· Player development
GMHA’s President and Centre Contact have been working together as the main communication liasions for GMHA, with the President taking the lead with our local Public Health Unit and our Centre Contact with Gananoque’s Recreation Manager. All information is shared amongst our members via our website, social media and emails.
GMHA’s Centre Contact has been in communication with the Town of Gananoque’s Recreation Manager via emails and phone calls.
President and Centre Contact will be meeting with Gananoque’s Recreation Manager and Rink Staff on September 3rd to do a walk through of the arena so we can see how the operation flow will be once the ice is in and our schedules are set.
Team staff responsibilities -- specific to practices
· GMHA will provide all rostered staff GMHA’s expectations of player/coach behaviours on and off the ice during their designated ice times.
· Teams will be max of 10 –- 9 players and 1 goalie
· One coach and one trainer only on each bench during games
· Rosters can still have a bench staff of 5
· Players and bench staff do not count towards the maximum 50 people allowed in the building; however, the Gananoque rink has set a max limit of 22 people on the ice at one time (this would not include coaches and referees)
· GMHA will have to adhere to policies and practices implemented by both the PHU and the Town of Gananoque
Arrival at facility -- organized to meet guidelines
· Masks or face coverings will be required to enter the arena and to be worn at all times while in the facility. Players may remove their masks when they put on their helmets -ideally just before going out on the ice. Masks should be kept with their personal belongings (ie – hockey bag, gym bag)
· Players, coaches, trainers and spectators will enter through the main entrance of the arena.
· The upstairs viewing area will not be available for use.
· The warm viewing area will also be closed unless an individual is in a wheelchair.
· As noted earlier, a run through of how the flow of people will look like will be done on September 3rd
· The arena will be open 15 minutes prior to scheduled ice time – people are not to arrive early as this can impact the number of people allowed in the building
· Players should be prepared to come dressed as much as possible in order to limit the use of dressing rooms -- if possible please arrive with just having to put skates on -- Ideally dressing rooms will be used only by goalies. The square footage of the dressing rooms at our facility will allow only for 8 players while maintaining social distancing of 2m. Younger players may need assistance with skates – coaches could help here
· We are asking that only one adult per child enter the arena.
· There will be a GMHA volunteer to meet the players, bench staff and spectators in the lobby upon arrival, they will direct them where to go once they have completed the contact tracing and health screening documentation.
· The Health Screening and Contact Tracing forms can be asked verbally, this would eliminate the need to use pens, pencils and the need to be sanitizing them after each use.
· GMHA, if permitted, would like to look at setting up the Health Screening and Tracing forms electronically on our website. This would allow for immediate receipt of forms and easy correlating of data from one central location should the PHU require it. The Recreation Manager is in favour of this as it would also assist in getting people into the arena quicker.
· Unless otherwise notified these forms are required to be completed each and every time you are on the ice or in the arena.
· Hand sanitzer will be available for use
· If you exit the arena during your child’s ice time you will not be permitted back in the arena.
· Advised by the Recreation Manager that they will have increased staffing onsite to deal with the cleaning and change over of ice rentals with no impact to rental time – therefore we need to advise all that they must try and exit the arena as quickly as possible after your designated ice time (15 minute max) – as well please do not linger in the parking lots after your ice time!
The Recreation Manager has discussed the use of dressing rooms and the number of people permitted in them – no more than 8 people allowed in the dressing rooms.
The showers and bathrooms in the dressing rooms are not to be used and will be closed off.
The water bottle fill station in the lobby will be operational; however the drinking fountains will not be working.
Physical distancing and requirements for parents/guardians at the facility
· Face covering/mask must be worn at all times in the rink
· Gathering limits, as per our local PHU, is 50 people – this does not include anyone working at the arena (e.g., Rink staff, coach, trainer, referees, scorekeeper)
· Due to the numbers recommended by the PHU GMHA will be allowing 1 parent/guardian per player to be in the facility
· Spectators must maintain physical distancing of at least 2m
· Arena will have designated areas for spectators
· The upstairs viewing area will be off limits; as well, the warm area will be closed unless one is in a wheelchair
· The canteen will be closed and outside food & drink is strongly discouraged from being brought in the arena – this will help for cleaning purposes
· Leeds Grenville and Lanark District PHU strongly suggests to parents that verbal cheering and yelling is strongly discouraged at this time as it presents an increased risk of spreading respiratory droplets
Physical distancing during on ice sessions
· Physical distancing should be practiced as much as possible during on ice instruction
· On ice activities will be limited to power skating and skills development for the first 4 weeks of the season
· No battle drills or physical contact will be required or encouraged
· Players may remove their masks when they put on their helmets, ideally just before going out on the ice. Masks should be kept with their personal belongings (ie – hockey bag, gym bag). Upon leaving the ice players should put their masks back on as quickly as possible.
· Players are to bring their own water bottles already filled and are responsible to carry them to and from the bench -- Water bottles must be clearly labelled with their name
· First aid kits will be provided to all teams with extra masks and gloves.
· Sanitization options will be available for the teams – ie., hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes.
· When playing 3on3 or 4on4 no pre/post handshakes will be permitted
Departure from facility organized to meet guidelines
· Once ice time is over – leave the ice and put mask back on, remove skates and exit building as quickly as possible --- must leave within 15 minutes
· Current direction by the rink is to leave by the main doors, if this is to change we will be advised by the arena and will advise all players and parents of the new direction
· Do not linger in the parking lot
Procedure if participant is sick
· If a player is sick, they are not to come to the arena!
· Contact tracing will be mandatory each and every time players/parents/guardians/bench staff enter the arena. If a positive COVID-19 result were to happen it will be immediately reported to our PHU and GMHA will provide all records available to assist in tracing. A return to play form will be required before the player is allowed back on the ice.
· Should an on ice illness occur then GMHA will require the parent/guardian to remove the player and to update GMHA of the status of the player’s health status, a return to play form may be required before the player is allowed back on the ice.
· Once our RTP Plan has been approved, our plan will be distributed to our members via our website, social media, email and possibly through a zoom call.
· GMHA will regularly review what is expected and what safety steps have been put in place with parents/guardians.
· GMHA will also advise parents/guardians the importance of their roles this hockey season in order for hockey to continue this season in Gan.
ON ICE PROGRAMMING
Gananoque is located in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit. This means that we are unable to play with the centres to the west of us as they are in Kingston, Frontenac and Addington’s Health Unit. To the north and east of us is HEO, so that precludes any play with those centres as well.
It is expected that the ice in Gananoque will be in September 14th and our programming will commence after that date -- subject to approval of our plan by the OMHA.
Approximately September 14th to 25th – coaches to indicate to President and Vice President on ice times needed and ice will be pay per session.
September 26th to October 11th --First two weeks will be dedicated to skills sessions per division – not exceeding PHU/OHF and OMHA limits of on ice numbers. Ice will be spilt into appropriate areas to limit numbers within a skill zone. skills development with introduction of scrimmages per division – not exceeding the HC/PHU and limits of on ice numbers
Maximum 50 players per cohort bubble
Maximum 10 per team – 9 players and 1 goalie
One coach and one trainer per team on each bench
October 1st to 11th – players will be ranked for creation of balanced teams within each division
October 12th – schedule of in-house league hockey to commence
Goal is that teams will have one practice per week and 1-2 games per week
Games would be 4on4 when possible
First five minutes of game will be warm up
Referree required for 4on4 games
Games will follow the format outlined in the OHF Return to Play bulletin
Preschool to U9 will be half ice and programming will follow guidelines set out by Hockey Canada Programming Novice (U9) and below
At any time the PHU/Hockey federations alter the rules for the season GMHA will reorganize and revise any such plans to meet those guidelines
We hope to be able to offer advanced skills clinics /sessions – this would be additional ice times and offered to those players who have expressed interested in attending – these would be at an extra cost to the player.