Hello Blackhawk Hockey Families,
Further to my last update on September 4, 2020, our Executive Board met last night and has the following important updates to provide.
(1) Registration Reminder
Registration has been open since September 8th and closes this coming Saturday, September 19th.
We still have openings in all Player Divisions!
Registration Fees will be the same as last year, with the following exceptions; there will be no additional $250 Representative fee, there will be no volunteer bond program, however there will be a $50 jersey deposit that will be refunded at the end of the year when the jersey is returned (children will be required to take their jersey home and launder it as part of health protocols that will be in place).
Registration Fees will be required to be paid in full at the time of registration. Payments options will be credit card and e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any person that may required seeking financial assistance, please contact email@example.com
If anyone is having any trouble registering, has forgotten their Hockey Canada number, or has any questions about registration, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
A refund policy will be developed, it is still yet to be finalized for this season, it will be intended to cover any interruptions or closures due to COVID-19.
Due to OMHA provisions of 50-player cohort/bubbles, registration is still being capped in each Age Division, with those attempting to register beyond the cap being placed on a waiting list. For anyone still interested in registering, to avoid being placed on a waiting list, please do so as soon as possible.
(2) 2020-21 Hockey Programming
Further to my previous update, we are getting a clearer understanding of what our hockey programming may look like for this upcoming year.
We are still working within theOMHA Return to Play - OHF Stage 3B programming permitted as follows:
- Players must be registered for the 2020-21 season in order to be eligible and covered by Hockey Canada insurance.
- Players may participate with their Home Association or the Association with which they were registered for the 2019-20 season.
- Players registering for the very first time will register with the Association identified as their residential (home) Association.
As noted in prior updates, other OMHA Stage 3B important notes include:
- Teams will be rostered to a maximum of 9 players + 1 goalie during Stage 3B. Up to five (5) Team Officials can be rostered to each team, however, 1 Coach and 1 Trainer can be on the bench during 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 games (OHF Rules for games are noted in link at the bottom of this message – Appendix F) in order to maintain physical distancing on the bench.
- Players will be grouped to a maximum of 50 or less depending on the Public Health Unit (PHU). The OHF will review the allowable maximum upon amendment by the Ontario Government. The number of 50 refers to players only. Bench Staff are not included in the cohort/bubble.
- There will be no traditional representative (Travel) hockey and no tryouts. Local associations have the ability to tier players based on skill level, see below for further details.
Based on these OMHA provisions noted above, and in discussions with other Associations within the NDHL and NDLL, our option for hockey programming this year is going to be a Thorold only in-house option of teams in each Age Division, in a maximum 5-team, 50-player cohort or bubble, operating within our own centre (there is the option of having a smaller bubble of less than 5-teams / 50-players).
Regardless of our registration outcome, we will be offering Tiered programming that addresses the interests and development needs for the various skill levels of our players.
This may consist of (per age division):
A Fully Tiered program whereby:
- Tier 1 Teams: will be a make-up of primarily representative (travel) skill level players formed into a cohort/bubble of 10 players per team to a maximum of 5 teams.
- Tier 2 Teams: will be a make-up of primarily local / house league skill level players formed into a cohort/bubble of 10 players per team to a maximum of 5 teams.
A Blended Tiered program whereby:
- All players are allocated to create equalized teams.
- Players will be allocated to Tiered development groups to tailor the development to the skill level of the group for practices and development sessions.
- Coaches shall tier lines and will be expected to deploy equal lines during game play.
In both cases:
- All teams and/or practice groups shall receive the same ice time allocation
- Teams will be formed in consultation between the Hockey Committee and coaches to ensure proper placement of players.
- All teams/groups will receive a base level of development with an approved development partner as previous in years.
- Additional development programming shall be explored that would involve retaining external development coaches to work with our teams some of which will be funded by registration fees, and will include the option for teams to purchase additional development at an additional cost to each team/group.
- Having fun is mandatory.
Notwithstanding the above, based on our registration outcome, there is still a possible option of working with a select other centre(s) that could include us entering a team(s) in a 5-team, 50-player cohort/bubble with another centre(s). This is still a secondary option that will be explored by the Association and is also heavily dependent on the other centre's registration outcome as well.
All of the above is subject to our registration outcomes, so much of what our hockey program will look like this year is based on how many participants register and at what skill level in each Age Division.
Please remember that any return to play framework may change at any time and we reserve the ability to alter or discontinue any programming based on our registration results, and in conjunction with all OHF, OMHA, Public Health and City of Thorold guidelines.
As has been our commitment, once our direction is truly finalized, we will be getting our Return to Play protocols approved by the OMHA. It remains our intent to commence a hockey program in early to mid October, the exact dates are still to be determined. Once final decisions are made and approved by the OMHA, they will be communicated.
Please always remember to check our website for updates at www.thoroldminorhockey.com
We continue to greatly appreciate your understanding in these trying times. We are doing our best to offer our players hockey for the 2020/2021 season.