February 11, 2021
Dear St. Matthew Families,
February sure has been a whirlwind month, hasn’t it? Who could have imagined that after the disappointing news of hockey league games being cancelled and practices not starting until March 1st, a few days later practices would get the green light to start again. I know that there continue to be a lot of questions and uncertainty about what is happening with our sport, especially regarding refunds. There have been meetings all week long with the governing bodies and decisions have been changing by the hour. I wanted to provide a comprehensive update to all our members of where things stand right now. However, please note that an Edmonton Federation Hockey meeting is happening this evening and the expectation is that more decisions will be made tonight.
RETURN TO PLAY
On Saturday morning, the Government announced that team sports could resume in a socially distanced environment. This included indoor activities in groups of 10 (including coaches and players). This restriction was modified a few days later by the Government and Hockey Alberta, allowing the ice to be split in half so that two groups of 10 could be on the ice at the same time. A full list of the current rules governing Return to Play can be found on the Hockey Alberta Website here. Hockey Edmonton has been posting updated Return to Play information here. Hockey Edmonton has determined that the season will conclude on April 30th, 2021.
It is great to be able to pick up where we left off in November. All players can return to their respective teams and coaches will continue to work on skill development in a fun manner, while adhering to social distancing rules. Hockey Edmonton is still hoping to be able to return to cohort style games in March or April, if AHS deems it is safe to do so. Ice allocation is slowly being distributed to the clubs with both KC ice and City ice. U9, U11 and U13 teams are being assigned ice as it is allocated. No team will receive a second ice slot until all teams have had the opportunity to return to the ice. We are waiting to hear from Hockey Edmonton on when the Timbit program will receive ice.
IMPORTANT PROTOCOLS TO FOLLOW
- All players (including goalies) need to enter and exit the arena dressed in full gear.
- Masks must be worn into the arenas and all coaches need to wear a mask for practices.
- It is suggested that players come wearing skates and skate guards, but skates can be put on at the arena and tied by the player or one of the coaches.
- Parents and spectators are not permitted into the arenas. This is the rule for the KC arena as well as the City arenas.
- Alberta Health protocols for symptoms still apply. Team Snap Health Checks need to be filled out prior to stepping onto the ice.
OPT OUT OPTION
Though many will be excited to return, we understand there may be some families who are anxious to resume play at this point. As such, the Knights of Columbus organization, including all the KC Hockey Parishes, have made the decision to allow families a one-time opportunity to opt out of the remainder of the season. Should you choose to opt out, please note the following conditions:
- The deadline for St. Matthew to receive your opt out request is Saturday, February 13, 2021 at 12:00 Midnight. We will not be able to accept any opt out requests that are received after this time. There will not be an option to rejoin the season at a later date, if you choose the opt out option. If we do not receive an opt out email from you, we will expect that your player is continuing with the season.
- Refunds will not be calculated immediately. As previously mentioned, we are still waiting for final refunds to be calculated by Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta and Hockey Edmonton. Until we see what is being returned to KC and the Parishes, St. Matthew will not be able to complete a calculation of refunds. Matthew is a not-for-profit organization and the intention is to return what we can to members once hockey operating costs have been accounted for.
- Refund calculations will be different for opt out families versus families that continue to play until the conclusion of the season.
ST. MATTHEW OPT-OUT INSTRUCTIONS:
Please send an email to our Club Registrar at email@example.com no later than SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 at 12:00 MIDNIGHT. Please include in your email:
- Player’s full name
- Player’s date of birth
- Player’s current team number and name (if known)
- How you would prefer the refund to be issued:
– cheque (please indicate who the cheque should be payable to and confirm the mailing address)
– e-transfer (please indicate the preferred email address to use)
– credit card refund through Team Snap
– a registration credit for next year
We want to ensure that we handle the mandatory volunteer component in the fairest way possible. Some members have already worked their mandatory bingos for this season, while others have not had the opportunity to do so. Bingos provide the greatest single source of revenue to our club. With the shutdown that occurred between March and June, St. Matthew lost over $45,000 in bingo revenue. The St. Matthew Board of Directors will be making a decision on how to move forward on this very soon and the decision will be communicated to members as soon as possible.
We have received some inquires regarding team pictures. With the restrictions, it makes things difficult to plan as a club and it may come down to individual teams scheduling pictures with the photographer. We will be communicating with team managers to discuss the options available for pictures.
Thanks again to everyone for your patience and we look forward to seeing people back at the rink soon!
St. Matthew Hockey and Sports Club