COVID-19 and Return to Play Updates
As of last Thursday November 19th, 2020, an updated Provincial Health order was published that allows group sports activities (including hockey) in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions to move back to Phase Three operations.
The caveat to that is that each Minor Hockey Association was directed to stay 'in house' through to at least December 7th. BC Hockey and PCAHA reviewed this against our projected schedules set to begin in January, and decided the best route would be to continue that program through to the winter break. The City of Surrey issued an update today which approved us to proceed with this as of tomorrow - November 24th.
So - we will begin game play and other Phase Three activities starting tomorrow, November 24th. All game play will be Cloverdale vs Cloverdale and that will be the case until the winter break. In January we will hopefully be able to resume normal PCAHA play.
All of the above caused some juggling over the weekend to figure out how to put our A teams that don't normally play within our own Association into appropriate groupings to provide competition and fun, as well as to determine the best Colts vs Colts cohorts for our C teams. We thank all the Coaches and Division Directors who helped with putting in their feedback to put this plan in motion, with help from Craig and our other Exec members.
We also need to make a HUGE shout out to our Ice Allocator - Shelly Gardiner - who took charge and made the schedules for all the teams impacted over this weekend. In some case this was quite the juggle of ice times.
As of tomorrow, team practices can also resume to follow Phase Three protocols. Skills will continue to follow Phase Two protocols.
One worth repeating to our members, is what the expectations are in regards to parents. What has been observed (that is part of why these orders are happening), is that parents congregating outside of Arenas has led to community spread.
This is not saying that our Association is part of that problem, as that has not been reported to us, but it is worth reminding everyone that this has led to spread in other communities. It is very important that we follow social distancing outside of the arena as much as we are doing so inside the arena. Where possible, please space out in the parking lot, and please also stay separated when greeting your child outside the arena at pickup time.
We want to stress to our members that, as Covid cases rise in the community, it continues to be imperative that we are leaders in following the Provincial Health guidelines to minimize the risk of spread within our teams and cohorts. The more careful and compliant we are, the better the chances of preventing outbreak and further shutdown of hockey activities. Please do what you can to keep your circles outside of school, work and hockey very small.
We recently created an online quiz to review the current restrictions and Association policies that our Parents need to know. The results were that most of our parents do know the rules - thanks for your help to keep things safe for our Colts!!
Previously Announced Information:
Hockey Canada has confirmed that we have insurance through Hockey Canada for all members throughout this season. viaSport continues to revise and improve upon their guidelines for player safety, and recreation specific guidelines are also constantly being updated. These actions all allow minor sport recreation programs to continue to proceed, but they all look a little different than normal this season.
BC Hockey continues to update their framework for Return to Play, along with guidelines and protocols, and even more great ideas continue to come from all directions.
The City of Surrey currently has the following Arenas operational:
- NSSIC - all three sheets are now open
- SSLC - all three sheets are now open
- South Surrey - is now open
- Newton - will remain closed
- Cloverdale - is now open - check out our fun 'barn re-opening' video:
On July 22nd we held our first ever Town Hall meeting, which was well attended and lots of great questions were asked.
From a provincial perspective, we are now a few months into Phase 3 of the Provincial re-opening plan. We have also received our full expected BC Gaming grant, which we are very grateful to receive. A new grant for minor sports which will be administered through ViaSport has been applied for, and we are waiting for response to that application. More info to come on that front. We will also be looking into launching a new Sponsorship program this season, as well as creating alternative fundraisers to tournaments, as it appears unlikely that we will be able to have tournaments within the cohort hockey model.
On Sept 10th we held our second Town Hall meeting, which was well attended and more great questions were asked.
BC Hockey is operating in Phase Three, and the City of Surrey is now also able to run within Phase Three operations.
However - as per the above - the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions have moved Ice Hockey back to Phase Two for at least the next two weeks, only in those regions, in an effort to reduce the cases of Covid-19 within those two communities.
Craig and the Executive are also still participating in multiple weekly or semi-weekly meetings with PCAHA and our neighbouring Minor Hockey Associations. We are also still attending calls with BC Hockey, viaSport, and other sports regulatory bodies as they are available, both to gather as much information as possible, and to ensure our the voice of our membership is heard.
We have recently updated our Local Sport Organization (LSO) guidelines and safety plans again. We will update those guidelines further as City and other regulatory body changes are communicated to us.
With the move back to Phase Two, the main changes are:
- Only absolutely necessary attendees should be in the building.
- Social Distancing must be maintained at all times - on and off the ice.
- Spectators are NOT permitted.
So far, we are finding our expenses vs income relative to our budget are fairly on track to expectations, especially when balanced against reduced fundraising opportunities, as our primary fundraisers are our tournaments, which are still not permitted and are unlikely to occur at all this season. Tournaments bring in at least $50-60 per player in revenue. We are working to keep expenses down where possible to balance this. As far as ice costs go - while we are still being shorted on game ice across all divisions by 15-30 minutes each ice slot, we are also in many cases getting 'better' ice times for a bunch of our practice ice times. Overall, this translates to close to the same cost per ice time. We are working with the City on a request to re-extend our game ice times to their usual length as soon as possible, which will eventually result in a net increase. For this reason, we expect our expenses to run a little higher than previously expected, but we are planning that our cost controls in other areas will balance that out.
As announced at the second town hall, our volunteer program cannot be effectively supported this year, again due to no tournaments as well as due to less other volunteer opportunities due to facility attendance limits. This is why volunteer deposit cheques were not collected from families who did not opt out. Instead, we urge our members to step up as often as possible to help out with the tasks that still will need to be done this season. Once the final registration payments are processed later this month, we will be working to refund all of the 'opt out' families their opt out fee.
As we get new information available, we will continue to update our members. In this uncertain time, we are well aware that transparency to and involvement of our members is very important.
GO COLTS GO!
- your Executive Committee
Province Of British Columbia
- The Province of BC and the Provincial Health Authority will lead the re-opening plans for the entire Province.
- This includes the resumption of all amateur sports in BC, including ice hockey.
- We are currently in Phase Three of BC's Restart Plan. Recreation and sports were allowed to restart in Phase 2. In Phase 3, careful further reopening will occur. Local travel within BC is now permitted with certain preparations and cautions expected.
- Phase Four - TBD - Conditional on at least one of the following; wide vaccination, “community” immunity, broad successful treatments. This phase would be back to the 'normal' we previously operated under.
- BC's Restart Plan
City Of Surrey
- The City of Surrey is currently in Phase Three of their Four Phase reopening plan:
- As the province continues with its Restart Plan, we are working to evaluate what this means to the City of Surrey. Our goal is to ensure the greatest possible protection for citizens’ and employees’ individual health and the stability and economic well-being of businesses and the community during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Arenas will begin re-opening on August 17 & September 8
UPDATED!! Due to a condenser issue that requires repair at SSLC, the re-opening of SSLC has been delayed.
- North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex opening August 17 with two sheets of ice
- September 8 – October 1 will include a total of 6 sheets of ice between Cloverdale, Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre (1), North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex (3), and South Surrey Arena
- October 2 to December 31 will add the other two sheets at Surrey Sport & Leisure Centre, for a total of 8 sheets.
- June 4: Hockey Canada has released its Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines, but it is important to recognize that most health and safety protocols are managed at the provincial/territorial level.
- Hockey Canada defers to Provinces and their re-opening plans and timeline.
- Hockey Canada is ready as soon as ice hockey is approved for re-opening.
- Hockey Canada has confirmed we will not have a communicable disease exclusion in our policies until Sept. 1, 2023 at the earliest. Hockey Canada insures coaches, managers, assistant coaches, trainers and players if they are members of their provincial sports organization.
- Hockey Canada COVID-19 & return to play update
- Interview with Hockey Canada CEO Tom Renney
- BC Hockey has released a Return to Play one pager, as well as a Return to Play planning template, following the framework laid out by viaSport.
- BC Hockey Return to Hockey One Pager
- BC Hockey Return to Play Planning Template
- PCAHA is holding weekly meetings with Minor Hockey Associations to work on a game plan for a return to hockey.
- This collaboration will go a long way to make return to play as efficient and quick as possible, once permitted.
- Minor Hockey Associations stick together to map out COVID-19 gameplan
- PCAHA Pass the Puck
- PCAHA Return to Hockey