The BCHL has postponed its regular season until 2021.

BCHL postpones regular season until new year

48 % of players are 19 or older, which means nearly half of the BCHL’s players are ineligible to practice with their team

The British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) announced late Monday, Dec. 7, that the regular season will now be delayed until the New Year.

The fledging season got underway earlier this fall with some exhibition play among teams, including the Cranbrook Bucks, who are in their inaugural year.

However, pandemic conditions meant the cancellation of the balance of pre-season play, and the postponement of the start of the regular season itself.

“The recent order that was extended [Monday] by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) means that, as of now, BCHL players age 19 or older are not permitted to engage in any team activities, while players 18 or younger may participate in team activities under Phase 2 of viaSPORT BC’s return to play,” the BCHL said in a press release.

“As a result, the league has decided to delay the start of their 2020-21 regular season to the new year.”

Graham Fraser, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the BCHL, said for the past nine months the league had “done everything possible to do right by our players and the public.”

“Under our PHO-approved COVID-19 Safety Plan, we successfully trained and played exhibition games from September to November, completing 90 games without a transmission, but the current restrictions will not allow us to start our regular season in December.”

“We remain committed to exploring every option available to us to start our season safely and as soon as possible, including presenting the concept of a BCHL hub. We look forward to getting things going again in January with all of our players back on the ice.”

Almost 50 per cent of the league is currently made up of players 19 or older, which means nearly half of the BCHL’s players are currently ineligible to practice with their team under the order.

The BCHL has adhered to all travel restrictions imposed by the PHO and none of its players are traveling anywhere outside of their home arena. Despite that, the PHO has restricted 19 and 20-year-old players from practicing with their teams.

“We are disappointed that our 19 and 20-year-old players are not able to join their teammates in on-ice activities,” said BCHL Commissioner Chris Hebb. “We are working diligently with BC Hockey, viaSPORT BC and the PHO to get our older players on the ice, but at the moment we must follow the PHO’s order as written.”

“While the current restrictions only directly affect athletes age 19 and up, there are unintended consequences for our younger players as well,” said BCHL Executive Director Steven Cocker. “Although they are still allowed on the ice, the fact remains that half of their teammates are not, which essentially means their teams and the league are forced to pause operations until restrictions are lifted.”

If current restrictions are extended beyond midnight on Jan. 8, the league will come together and make a decision on when play can resume.

The BCHL consists of 18 teams throughout B.C., and one in Washington State. That team, the Wenatchee Wild, opted out of the whole season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
57 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Thirty people in the region are in hospital, 16 of whom are in intensive care

A hummingbird gives its wings a rare rest while feeding in a North Okanagan garden. (Karen Siemens/North Okanagan Naturalists Club)
Hummingbirds back for another Okanagan season

North America’s littlest birds return, and they’re hungry

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP has released its quarterly policing report for the first three months of 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Vernon crime statistics trend upward to start 2021

North Okanagan’s two First Nations see biggest crime rise compared to first quarter 2020

Former Vernon Panthers football standout Ben Hladik of the UBC Thunderbirds (top, in a game against the Manitoba Bisons, <ins>making one of his 38 Canada West solo tackles in 2019</ins> ), was chosen in Tuesday’s 2021 Canadian Football League draft. (Rich Lam/UBC Thunderbirds photo)
B.C. Lions call on Vernon standout in CFL draft

Canadian Football League club selects former VSS Panthers star Ben Hladik in third round of league draft

(File photo)
Ex-Vernon man’s escorted-leave ‘beyond disappointing’: murder victim’s mother

Shane Ertmoed was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2000 death of 10-year-old Heather Thomas

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

George Ryga, considered by many as Canada’s most important English playwright lived in Summerland from 1963 until his death in 1987. He is the inspiration for the annual Ryga Arts Festival. (Contributed)
Summerland archive established for George Ryga

Renowned author wrote novels, poetry, stage plays and screen plays from Summerland home

Grizzly bear. (File)
Malakwa man bitten by grizzly bear on dog walk

The man and dogs were not seriously injured

Two cyclists traverse a closed Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna on June 29, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna recognized as bike-friendly city

City earns bronze in nationwide Bicycle Friendly Communities award program

Most Read