The Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association (SAMHA) has a play in place to get sticks back on the ice by early September.
A document posted to the association’s website outlines their three-phase plan for a return to minor hockey as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
In general, SAMHA’s plan states it is committed to promoting physical distancing and limiting group sizes and travel. Also outlined in the plan is screening for symptoms and increased hygiene measures.
Tentative start dates for practices have been set by the association. U-11 transition skates and skills sessions, as well as goaltender evaluations, are currently set for September 1. Tryouts and evaluations for U-11,U-13,U-15 and U-18 teams are also planned for the beginning of September. Rec teams are expected to return to play in mid September and body checking sessions may be scheduled at a later date.
In part one of the return to play plan, players will be expected to arrive dressed in their gear and bring their own filled water bottles with their names written on it. Participants will arrive 10 minutes before scheduled ice time and a SAMHA representative will check in as they arrive to screen for symptoms and to make sure hand sanitizer is used.
On the ice, there will be a maximum of 18 players and two goalies as well as three coaches allowed at one time. Practices will be geared towards skills and modified area games while respecting social distancing recommendations. Modified game play with no contact will be introduced.
To start with, only one spectator will be allowed per player and spectators will have to stay six feet apart from one another.
The association hopes to have the second part of the return to play plan, which would ease some of the restrictions in effect by sometime this Fall or Winter.
The third phase, which has an undetermined start, would see a return to normal full-contact hockey and tournament play.