NHHA RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN, News (New Hamburg Hockey Association)

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NHHA RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN
Submitted By Allison Soulliere on Thursday, September 3, 2020
Introduction
- Following the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) Return to Play Framework and OMHA guidance, NHHA will provide the following hockey program for U5 (Initiation) to U21 (Juvenile) age categories.

- This plan is an outline and may change based on public health, OHF, OMHA, and Wilmot Recreational Facility direction.

- Changes due to unforeseen circumstances might cause reduction in ice times, increased costs, or season cancellations that are out of NHHA’s control.

- Further information can be found at www.newhamburghockey.com and www.omha.net .

Team Layout / Season Structure
- Possible 32 teams of 16+2 to 18+2 (player + goal tender) roster sizes split into two teams for 64 teams total.
- Approximately two 50-minute ice times per week for each of the 32 teams from September 14, 2020 to March 12, 2021 with a week off at Christmas time and season ending before March break.
- While all teams will be registered as Local League there will be two groupings per age category of competitive and recreational players. There will be no tryouts held for player team assignments. Players will be assigned to teams by NHHA Executive and NHHA coaches based on the level played last season. Effort will be made so that players on the ice are of a similar skill level. Players will be notified of their team assignment by their head coach via email before Sept 14.
- Ice time schedules are posted on the NHHA website according to teams.
- Starting with skill development in September and progressing to team scrimmages 3v3/4v4 based on OMHA allowances.
- 36 to 40 player bubbles of two NHHA teams to allow for future 3v3/4v4 internal NHHA games later in the season based on OMHA approval.
- Potential future playing of other local centres within the Waterloo Region Health Unit boundaries later in the season if allowed by OMHA. Whether it will be a 3v3, 4v4 or 5v5 format is not yet determined.
- U9 teams (Novice and below) will play half-ice or cross-ice matches 3v3 for the duration of the season utilizing only the partial ice surface.
- Activities during ice times led by coaches will incorporate social distancing implementing a development plan built by NHHA Executive following a template provided by the OHF and OMHA.

Registration
- All players who pre-registered in July will be assigned to a team. Late registrants will be placed on a waiting list and assigned to teams as spots are available. Players are able to de-register at any time and receive a partial refund during the season.
- Players who played for NHHA last season, including NRP’s can register with NHHA for this season. New players meeting the strict residential criteria may register with NHHA. Players from out of boundary not registered with NHHA last season cannot register with NHHA this season.
- Players living within the NHHA residential boundary who played AAA, AA, B, or NRP’d elsewhere last season can return to that centre (if that centre accepts them) or return to NHHA, whichever they prefer.
- Registration cost for the season is $600 per player with payment due before September 14, 2020. Players must pay the fee prior to participating in any NHHA event. Currently all players will receive the same amount of ice time and similar resources. NHHA reserves the right to adjust the fees or apply rep fees should changes be made to the program that result in additional costs to NHHA for some teams. Amounts paid in excess of $600 will be refunded. - Payments to be made via e-transfer to [email protected] . The password is nhha2020. Please include the player’s first and last name and birth date in the e-transfer description. One transfer per family can be done with each player’s name listed.
- Those requiring an alternate payment method or flexible payment options should contact the NHHA Registrar at [email protected] .

Coaches / Trainers (Team Staff)
- One Head Coach will be assigned to each team of the 32 teams. The Head Coach will recruit their Assistant Coaches (their second team head coach), Trainers, and Managers. Application for these positions can be made via the NHHA website. A team roster can have up to 10 staff of coaches and trainers. It is recommended that there be at least one Coach and Trainer assigned to the roster for each ½ of the team so that teams are structured for House League games or games with other centres if and when they are allowed by the OMHA.
- A Coach or Trainer can only participate with one hockey team. No at-large-coaches will be allowed this season. Coaches and Trainers cannot participate as team staff for another organization (e.g. Wilmot Wolverines). Coaches and trainers can be shared from one team to another within the two team NHHA assigned team bubble.
- Credentials for coaches and trainers are per Appendix A of the OMHA Regulations. (Confirm you are referencing the 2020-2021 version. As the entire Manual of Operations for 2020-2021 has yet to be published, the current Appendix A is a stand-alone document.) Notwithstanding COVID-19, all credentials that expired August 31, 2020 have not been extended. Since all teams are classified by OMHA as Local League the higher credentials normally required for rep teams are not required. Coaches and/or Trainers without current credentials can take online courses. NHHA will reimburse individuals the fee for the courses required to participate with the individual’s respective team.

Arena Usage
- All coaching staff, players, and parents will have to follow the Wilmot Recreational Centre rules and guidelines and NHHA Safety Plan provided to them by their coach. See arena video at https://youtu.be/kJKyjkvunB.
- All participants will be required to provide a completed health screening questionnaire to their Head Coach before being allowed into the arena. NHHA is working on electronic email forms using the website scheduling platform. Until this is functioning, a paper-based system will be used.
- The team Head Coach will be assigned as the main facility contact for each ice session. It is recommended the Head Coach delegate a responsible adult (e.g. team manager) to collect screening forms for each player to allow them access into the arena.
- All participants shall be immediately removed or denied access to the facility if they are displaying or reporting symptoms of COVID-19. A doctor’s note or public health note is required to return to the arena.
- Face coverings must be worn inside the facility which can be taken off once participants enter the ice surface.
- All participants are expected to remain physically distant when inside the facility, including when on the bench.
- At this time there is no access to dressing rooms. Players will come to the arena fully dressed in their equipment with their skates, helmet, and gloves in a small bag.
- Only one parent is allowed to accompany the player into the arena to assist with equipment. No spectators will be allowed into the ice surface area/bleachers. Parents may have to leave once their child enters the ice surface to follow arena maximum capacity rules and wait outside the arena (e.g. in their car) for their child to exit the arena
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