Hockey Edmonton is reinforcing the restrictions imposed by the provincial government, which earlier this week extended the suspension of all indoor and outdoor team activities for at least the next three weeks, among other measures. The health of all Albertans is our top priority and we want to ensure everyone has a clear understanding the government’s new rules mean absolutely no team activities on or off the ice. Hockey Edmonton warns if any team is found in violation of these rules it is subject to possible disciplinary action up to and including suspensions and/or fines.
In a related matter, Hockey Edmonton and Hockey Alberta are still seeking clarification in regards to other directives contained in the government news release. It appears it is still permissible to take part in one on one instruction for initiatives such as skill development and power skating and Hockey Alberta is looking to clarify if outdoor practices of less than 10 participants are permitted. We are working to confirm that is, indeed, the case.
In addition, many people have asked us if we will apply for the exemption for sports. Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer says the only exemptions that will be considered will be for organizations that will employ “aggressive testing” and ensure other measures are in place and applied as broadly as possible. Dr. Deena Hinshaw added these measures will be difficult for many.
It appears those robust measures may be intended for events such as the World Junior Hockey Championships and are not intended for minor hockey. With children being redirected from school to home for their studies, it appears unlikely those kids would be allowed to go to arenas to play hockey. Again, we are still seeking clarification and confirmation.
Hockey Edmonton is now exploring other options for our players back when they are safe to go back on the ice. We are looking at extending our season in a few different ways, including stretching our season into the spring to make up for lost games and practices. We are also studying the possibility of increasing the number of ice slots in a more compressed timeline early in 2021. Finally, we are also looking at games over the Christmas holidays, if Alberta Health deems it is safe to do so. Our ice schedulers are putting in yeoman service plotting different schedules for all the various scenarios.
It is a dynamic situation and the only constant is change. We will continue to work hard and do our best exhausting every option to try and get our kids back playing hockey when it is safe for them to do so and safe for all the others around them.
Stay safe and healthy.
Hockey Edmonton Executive