Message from the President, News (Georgina Minor Hockey Association)

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Message from the President
Submitted By Katera Mahussier on Thursday, September 3, 2020
Hello everyone, the Georgina Minor Hockey Association Executive and the Return to Play Committee have been working diligently during these unparalleled times to come up with a “Return to Play” program for our membership.  Our return to play program follows all protocols put in place by our governing bodies which include the OMHA, OHF, Hockey Canada, the Town of Georgina, The Province of Ontario and The York Region Public Health Unit.

****Please note this information is subject to change at any time as the COVID situation evolves and changes.**** 

Based on the information and direction that we have received from the OHF and the OMHA, the GMHA will now resume play the week of September 21st, 2020 starting with a two (2) week development period for all divisions.  We were originally set to resume on September 14th, 2020 but due to town ice issues and availability we cannot start until the 21st. 

Upon completion of the development period, divisions of U10 to U15 will move into their regular season phase which will consist of one (1) game and (1) practice per week and will run for a twenty three (23) week period.  The games will be either a 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 format based on the number players on the ice for that particular game.  U18 will play two games a week and no practices.

There will be two (2) divisions in each age grouping, a house league division and a rep division with a maximum of 9 skaters and 1 designated goalie per team.  The divisions will not interchange and play each other.  Rep players will play against other rep players and house league players with other house league players. 

 

THERE WILL BE NO BODY CONTACT ALLOWED AT ANY DIVISION.

Players will be placed in divisions (House League or Rep) based on where they were rostered during the 2019/2020 season.  There will be no movement up or down, if you played on a rep team during the 2019/2020 season you will play in the rep division, you cannot move down to a house league division and vice versa.  (This is subject to change upon GMHA board approval based on the number of registrants in certain divisions).

 

The Ice Palace in Keswick is the only arena that will be open at this time.  The Sutton arena will not be open for the foreseeable future. 

Safety Protocols

Subject to the Town of Georgina and the OMHA approval the following safety protocols will be put in place:

 

  • All players and parents must complete and sign the OHF waiver;
  • All players, coaches, volunteers and referees must complete a COVID-19 Screening Checklist no more then twenty four (24) hours prior to their scheduled ice time.  A COVID-19 Screening Checklist must be completed at every scheduled ice time for every person on the ice.  The screening check list form will be a digital form and a link for this form will be placed on the GMHA website;
  • Players, coaches, volunteers, and referees must check in with the reception table at the front of the Ice Palace and be lined up (while maintaining social distance rules) no more then 15 minutes before your scheduled ice time (practice or game);
  • All players, coaches, volunteers, and referees will sanitize their hands with sanitizer provided and at the fifteen (15) minute mark prior to your scheduled ice time you will be escorted into the facility as a team (group) and directed to your designated change room or area.  If you are late and your team/group has already entered the facility then you will be denied entry to participate in that days ice time, NO EXCEPTIONS;
  • Players, coaches, volunteers and referees must arrive at the arena partially or fully dressed.  The dressing rooms will be open but social distance guidelines will apply and you will only have a very small amount of time in the dressing room so we are asking that you only use the dressing rooms for the purposes of putting on your skates, gloves and helmet.  There will be no washrooms or showers available to be used within the dressing rooms or designated changing areas. Goalies will have the opportunity to put their goalie pads on in the dressing room.  Players that cannot tie up their own skates will need to either learn to do it themselves, have them done before they arrive or they will have to seek assistance from their coach;
  • Face-masks will be mandatory for all coaches and volunteers and children over the age of 5 when they enter the facility as per Provincial guidelines.  The masks must remain on while in the change room and or change area and until their ice session begins.  Coaches and volunteers are NOT required to wear masks while on the ice during practices, but are required to where masks while on the bench coaching during games.  The two (2) deep rule still applies for all dressing rooms and changing areas;
  • Players, coaches, referees, and volunteers must bring their own water bottles with their names clearly marked on the front of the bottle.  The bottles must be filled up outside of the facility as there will be no water bottle filling stations available within the arena. There will be no sharing of water bottles of any kind NO EXCEPTIONS;
  • Upon completion of your ice session, players, coaches and volunteers will return to their designated dressing room or changing area and put there masks back on once they have removed their helmet.  Players again will have a very small amount of time within the change room to take off equipment, and then will exit the facility as a team/group;
  • Players, coaches, and volunteers are asked to remain within their designated dressing room or changing area until their designated permit start time (No waiting in the hallway or runway up to the ice surface);
  • Upon leaving the facility the Town of Georgina rink employees will be responsible to sanitize the area and all touch points used by the last group so that next group coming into the facility can use that space.
  • At this time Town of Georgina has informed us that there will be no spectators allowed in the facility.  Please be assured that the GMHA is continuing to work with the Town to identify when parents would be allowed into the facility to watch practices or games. 
  • The GMHA will provide updates to parents if and when restrictions are eased to allow parents into the facility. When that time comes, families should be prepared to minimize the number of parents/guardians/spectators that attend in order to limit the number of people in the facility.
  • These rules will be strictly enforced, any member that cannot follow the safety  rules will be removed from the program with no refund.
  • The Georgina Minor Hockey Association would like to remind their members that by using the indoor recreation facilities, each member voluntarily assumes all risks, including any risk of injury, loss, damage and possible exposure to a communicable disease such as COVID-19.

The entire safety protocols and return to play program will be posted on the website once it is approved by the OMHA and the Town of Georgina.

 

Rep Division 

Players who participated in the rep program last year will be grouped together by age, for example: 2019/2020 U12 A team and 2019/2020 U12 AE team will be grouped together in one bubble and between the two teams they will be split into four (4) teams for 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 game play.  Due to the atom Pathway Program the U10 and U11 Rep programs will be combined and those three (3) teams will be split to form six (6) teams.

For practices all REP players will return to the team they were rostered to for the 2019/2020 season for their one (1) hour weekly practice with the new coach selected for the 2020/2021 season.  They will not practice with their bubble or game play teams.  For example the 2019/2020 U12 A team players which were coached by Eric CLARKE last season and are now being coached by Jason SPENCER this year, will return together once a week together for a practice.  THIS FORMAT WILL BE FOR ALL REP TEAMS U10 to U15 ONLY. This practice is for rostered players only, NO AP’s as they will be in some instances in a separate bubble.

New players to the association who did not play with Georgina (NRP’s AA, AAA players or players who are new and have moved into the area) will practice with the closest equivalent of where they played during the 2019/2020 season.  AAA and AA players will practice with the respective A team. New players moving into the area who played A for another association will practice with the A team, and new AE and MD players will practice with the respective AE or MD team. 

House League Division

 

Those players who participated in the house league divisions last season will be placed in the house league division this season and will be grouped together based on their age division, for example, U14/U15 (Bantam) HL, U10/U11 (Atom) HL.  Players in their respective house league divisions will be split into four (4) teams for 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 game play.  These bubble teams will also stay together for the season for their practices as well.  There will be two (2) bubble teams on the ice together for a one (1) hour practice.

 

House league coaching applications are open and available on the GMHA website.  Please forward any inquiries in regards to House League coaching to Marcus Attridge VP of House League at [email protected].  


U9

 

Hockey Canada novice and below Pathway Program will continued to be followed for this age group.  Upon completion of the development phase all players will be grouped together to form four (4) teams for game play.  The games will consist of cross ice (half ice) hockey play until January 15th, 2021 where we look to transition this age group into full ice play.  Each player will receive one (1) game and (1) practice per week.  Those players who participated on 2019/2020 U8 team will return to their team for a 1 hour practice with the newly selected coach for the 2020/2021 season.  The remainder of the U9 players will be grouped together for their 1 hour practice session led by the  respective house league coaches. Players may move between groups based on the registration numbers and subject to GMHA board approval.

 

 

U8

 

The Hockey Canada novice and below Pathway Program will continued to be followed for this age group.  Upon completion of the development phase all players will be grouped together to form four (4) teams for game play.  The games will consist of cross ice hockey only. Each player will receive 1 game and 1 practice per week.  Players in the U8 division will be split into two groups for practice, Advanced and Beginner.   Children may move between groups based on the registration numbers and subject to GMHA board approval.


IP Division

 

The GMHA will continue to run the IP division for this upcoming season based on the guidelines put forth by Hockey Canada in the IP pathway program but with some limitations.  IP Senior program will consist of players born in 2014. The IP Junior program will consist of players born in 2015 and 2016.  Unfortunately due to limitations placed on the number of children we can have on the ice at one time and ice time availability, we are un-able to accept any players born in 2017.  

 

Due to physical distancing guidelines children participating in the IP program must also be able to get up from the ice un-assisted and be able to skate the width of the ice with limited difficulty.

 

Players within the IP program will have two development sessions per week and amongst those development sessions will be game days where the children will participate in modified ice games in either a 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 format.

 

It is imperative that parents with children in this age group understand that some physical contact may be necessary during the program between coaches and players to help players with equipment etc. The GMHA and its volunteers will do everything we can to operate this program as safely as we can to ensure both physical distancing and

player safety.  We are dedicated to try and provide the best hockey program we can, given these challenging circumstances.

 

This year the IP program will be run by our IP Co-ordinator Todd BEVAND and parent volunteers following the Hockey Canada Model for the IP program.  Further volunteers are required for this program to be run successfully, so if you would like to volunteer for this program please contact Todd Bevand at [email protected]

 

Non Resident Players (NRP’s) 

Any player that belongs to the GMHA, that played for another association (i.e. Newmarket AA, Aurora AA, Richmond Hill AA etc) during the 2019/2020 season as an NRP, has the option of returning to play with that association where they played as an NRP for the 2019/2020 season or can return home to Georgina.  The one stipulation with this rule is that if the centre that you are trying to return to as an NRP does not want to accept NRP’s then you MUST return to Georgina in order to play hockey.  THERE WILL BE NO NEW NRP CARDS HANDED OUT TO ANYONE AT THIS TIME.


AAA Players

Any player that belongs to the GMHA that played AAA last season for any AAA team has the following options: 

Returning to play with the AAA team that they were rostered with during the 2019/2020 season, returning to their home AAA zone which is York Simcoe Express, or returning home to Georgina.  Any player on a AAA minor release who chooses not to return to their AAA team where they were rostered for the 2019/2020 season and chooses to go to their home centre will not lose their last year of eligibility.  THERE WILL BE NO PERMISSION TO SKATE FORMS HANDED OUT AT THIS TIME.  YOU MUST HAVE PLAYED AAA DURING THE 2019/2020 SEASON IN ORDER TO PLAY AAA THIS SEASON.

***If you have registered for the GMHA and have secured a spot with your previous team as an NRP or are returning to AAA, please advise us immediately so we can remove you from the registration list. *****

 

Player Movement

Players are not permitted to move to other associations unless you have physically moved (change of residence to outside of Georgina) and then you would no longer belong to the GMHA.  Players can also only play with one association, there will be no sharing of players or affiliated players (AP’s) to any other team for the 2020/2021 season.  Also if you were on loan to another association for local league or house league purposes, you must return to the GMHA for the 2020/2021 season.


Non Sanctioned Hockey

According to the OHF Unsanctioned League Policy, after September 30th, the player would have to choose between programs. If the player opts to continue to participate in the unsanctioned league then the player would need to appeal if they wish to come back to OHF programming after October 1.  


Registration

Registration is currently open and is available online through Hockey Canada, the link can be found on the GMHA website (www.georginahockey.com).  Registration fees for the 2020/2021 season are as follows

 

IP Program - $625.00

Registration can be paid by either one (1) lump sum payment of $625.00 or, by making two (2) payments. One (1) initial payment of $400.00 due by September 18th, 2020 and then a second payment of $235.00 which includes a $10 administration fee due by November 2nd, 2020.

 

U8 to U18 (REP and HL) - $725.00


Registration is open now until September 11th, 2020

 

I know that many of you had registered for hockey back in April and May of 2020 and that we had set an early bird registration of $625.00.  When we as the GMHA executive set that early bird registration fee it was based on the fact that we assumed that hockey would return to normal, as we all now know, this is not the case.  Therefore, based on numerous factors such as the added expenditures we as an association have to incur this season in order to run our programs as well as limited ways in generating revenue we have no choice but to eliminate the early bird price of $625.00.  Please be aware that the GMHA executive did everything in their power to honour the early bird price but it is just not financially feasible.  If you have questions regarding the budget for this Covid season please feel free to email the Treasurer Carol Orchard through the website.

 

Registration can be paid by either one (1) lump sum payment of $725.00 or, by making two (2) payments. One (1) initial payment of $400.00 due by September 18th, 2020 and then a second payment of $335.00 which includes a $10 administration fee due by November 2nd, 2020.

 

If you have extenuating circumstances and require more time to pay your fees please email [email protected] for assistance


If you have already registered and already paid some monies towards this years registration that money will be applied to your child’s registration and the remainder of monies owed will be required to be paid in full by November 2nd, 2020.  Please contact GMHA administrator Katera Mahussier at [email protected] for assistance.

 

If you had signed up for the 2019/2020 GMHA meltdown tournament and have not received a refund, that money can be applied to your 2020/2021 registration fees. Please contact GMHA administrator Katera Mahussier at [email protected] for assistance. 

 

If you have registered and not paid any money towards your registration and need information please contact GMHA administrator contact Katera Mahussier at [email protected] for assistance.

 

***If you have registered and no longer wish to play please email GMHA administrator Katera Mahussier at [email protected] for any assistance and to let us know for the purpose of registration numbers.***

 

The GMHA will still honour the multi family discount of three or more participants from the same family.

 

All players will receive matching jersey and socks

 

Please be advised in order to keep registrations cost low, there will be no pictures, trophies, banquets, or championship Sunday included in the program.  If things change based on Provincial rules and guidelines then we can revisit this at a later time. 


If at some point the Covid situation deteriorates to the point that hockey is once again shut down you will be refunded your money based on a pro-rated amount of the ice already used minus an apparel fee for your jersey and socks and an administrative fee. 

 

***If you intend on playing hockey this season please register ASAP to avoid disappointment as most divisions will be capped due to ice availability and on-ice restrictions implemented by the OHF and the Province of Ontario.***

 

 

In closing I would like to thank the membership for your patience and understanding during these difficult past six months.  The GMHA board is looking forward to getting all of our players, coaches, and volunteers back on the ice and enjoying our great game of hockey.

 

Thanks

Sean Whittaker

Georgina Minor Hockey Association - President



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