It’s finally time to get back on the ice! As many expect our season will look very
different than any season we have experienced in the past. The focus for the year will be on fun and
development and any time at the rink should be considered a blessing given the
current global health situation.
Here are the key details for the upcoming season:
· All programming is subject to OHF, OMHA, Public Health Unit (PHU) and Township of Woolwich guidance and policies and therefore is subject to change at any time including advancing or downgrading OHF stages or season cancellation.
· WMHA is in the process of submitting our Return To Play Framework to the OMHA for review and approval. Once approved this will be posted to the website.
· Registration will remain open until September 20, 2020. Any player registering after September 20 will be placed on a waiting list until team numbers are confirmed.
· Payment for the season can be made in 2 installments – September 25th and November 2nd . Any cheques already received will be cashed on September 25th. Anyone who has already submitted a cheque but wishes to pay in installments instead should contact the registrar.
· Refunds requested prior to the season will be subject to the administration fee. Refunds after the start of the season will be subject to the administration fee and fixed fees and then prorated based on date. These refund policies would also apply to season cancellations.
· WMHA will be offering hockey in 2 tiers – Recreational (traditional house league) and Competitive (traditional rep). No Select program will be offered this season.
· Recreational play will be based on 2 ice times per week and Competitive will be based on 3 ice times per week once all township rinks are operational. An additional fee of $250.00 will apply for all players placed on Competitive teams.
· Placement of players within those tiers will be determined based on last year’s placement subject to adjustments by coaches and WMHA executive to fill holes as required.
· All players will be placed on a team of a maximum of 9 skaters + 1 goalie. Teams will be grouped into “bubbles” for practice and play to a maximum of 50 players. No players and coaches will be allowed to cross bubbles (no Ap’s, coaches may help only in 1 age bubble).
· Recreational teams will be formed by the traditional coaches draft after an evaluation skate.
· Competitive teams will be formed by placing the prior year’s representative players on the new competitive team (eg: 2019/20 Major Atom A becomes 2020/21 Minor Peewee A) and splitting that team into 2 rosters after any open positions have been filled (ie. Minor Peewee A White and Minor Peewee A Blue). Selected “rep” coaches will lead the teams with coaching staff split to achieve 2 rosters of less than 10 players. Players will have evaluation skates to confirm numbers and roster split only. There will be no tryouts for Competitive teams.
· Season structure will begin with a minimum of 2 weeks of development followed by a transition into 4 on 4 games as the governing bodies and PHU allow.
· U9 and U11 pathways as laid out by Hockey Canada will continue to be followed.
· All play will be internal only at this time. Should the governing bodies and PHU guidance allow us to advance stages some external play may be introduced later in the season.
· The start date for Competitive will be the week of September 28 and the start date for Recreational and all IP programs will be the week of October 5.
· As determined by the OMHA all non-resident players who played in Woolwich during the 2019-2020 season may choose to return to Woolwich for the 2020-2021 season. All players from Woolwich who played in other centres (Guelph & Waterloo) for the 2019-2020 season may choose to remain in those centres or return to Woolwich. The traditional NRP and Permission to skate paperwork is not required for these players. No NEW player movement between associations is allowed for the 2020-2021 season.
· Any player who played in an older age division in Woolwich for the 2019-2020 season through exceptional player movement is eligible to continue for the 2020-2021 season. No NEW exceptional player movements will be granted for the 2020-2021 season unless required to fulfill team numbers.
· All players signing up for Initiation hockey must be able to stand up and move on their own in order for coaches to maintain physical distancing.
WMHA continues to work with the Township of Woolwich on protocol and prior to the beginning of the season will share the requirements for players and fans in addition to hosting a town hall meeting for Q&A. At this time we know that limited dressing room use will be allowed and 1 parent per player under the age of 18 will be permitted in the rink. This is subject to change at any time.
Without a doubt it’s going to be a very different looking season. We thank everyone for their patience to date and ask that you continue to be patient as we work through the challenges of this season. Please keep an eye on the website for upcoming dates and times to kick off the season. Its time to play some hockey!