Minor Hockey Updates, News, GMHA (West Niagara Minor Hockey)

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Organization - Minor Hockey Updates
Submitted By Jim Borsodi on Friday, May 15, 2020
Dear WNMHA, LMHA, WLMHA & GMHA Families,  

Usually at this time of the year we’ve just completed Spring Tryouts and glad to be done hockey and look forward to our kids summer sports and activities but I’m sure most of you are missing hockey, the cold rink and maybe even morning practice (maybe not that - LOL)?   Although the government has recently started Phase One of reopening Ontario which gives us positive optimism along with Hockey Canada working on a Return to Hockey Framework.  These are all great signs but it takes time to ensure the measures provides a safe environment for our kids return to play. 

Hockey Canada has developed a Return to Hockey framework that will review eight areas that have been identified as opportunities to improve or align our efforts with the customer experience at the grassroots level. Although each focus is unique in its challenges and solutions, there must be collaboration to ensure a shared outcome of a safe return to hockey.

Areas of Focus: 

  1. Customer Engagement: Hockey Canada is committed to gathering first-hand data and direction, directly from current and future players, coaches and officials, and grassroots organizers, to shape the Return to Hockey and future state of the game. 
  2. Regulations: Hockey Canada will review existing regulations and their impact on how and when we Return to Hockey; these will include transition regulations that may be required, taking into consideration timing, health protocols, and league and geographical structure. 
  3. Safety & Protocols: How & When We Resume Play – Hockey Canada will develop consistent and clearly-defined guidelines for returning to hockey for all Members, partners and leagues to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants. 
  4. Officiating: Hockey Canada will review existing training and certification programs for officials to ensure a national officiating certification program that can be delivered consistently, safely and effectively from coast to coast to coast. 
  5. Coaching: Hockey Canada will review existing certification and training programs for coaches to ensure a national coach certification program that can be delivered consistently, safely and effectively from coast to coast to coast. 
  6. Seasonal Structure, Delivery Model & Registration: Hockey Canada will review the current seasonal structure, delivery model and registration process and make recommendations for post-COVID-19 adaptations, including but not limited to:
    • Contingency plans on possible Return to Hockey dates, including an evaluation of the impact on player pathways.
    • Modified programming required for adaptive seasonal structures (starts late, finishes early, etc.)
    • An effective delivery model for hockey post-COVID-19, including implications for local hockey associations, ice facilities, etc.
    • Current registration processes, including improving accessibility for all families.
  7. Events, High-Performance Hockey & National Teams: Hockey Canada will review and recommend a strategy to determine how future championships are conducted given the potential cancellation of summer camps and the possibility of shortened seasons. 
  8. Marketing & Communications: Hockey Canada is committed to communicating all nationally-focused developments to educate participants on when and how we will return to the game.

Important Updates:


NDHL League Playoffs:

The NDHL Centres have all voted on whether to have co-champs similar to OMHA & Tri-County with the majority voted to not name co-champs since a few divisions did not get a chance to complete the round robin games so the NDHL wouldn't be able to determine co-champs for ALL divisions therefore no co-champs will be given out for this season.


Registration Suspended:


With so many uncertainties of how next season will play out or if we’ll have a season, we have decided to suspend registration effective immediately.  Here are some rationale for this decision:

  • Not knowing the length of the season would affect registration fees/cost
  • Associations would incur thousands of dollars in Bank Transaction Fees if the season is cancelled and refunds had to be given we would still be on the hook for the bank transaction fees.
  • The number of participants allowed on the ice would affect our registration/team limits
  • There will be no late feed this year when registration opens
  • Current registration will be held until June 15th , if you have already registered a player your enrollment is confirmed and you will not have to register again when registration opens up again.
    • Anyone who chose a payment plan we have manually changed the first payment to September 1st.
  • There will be no late fees this year when registration opens


Minor Hockey Office Support:

We will also be suspending and shutting down all Minor Hockey operations including our two part time employees (Administrator & Bookkeeper) to ensure cost/expenses are not incurred to our 2020/2021 Budget.   


Coaching Interviews:

All Coaching interviews for Rep A & AE will be postponed until further notice.  We thank you for your patience and for stepping up to apply for the coaching positions.


Stay Safe, Stay Strong and have a great long weekend!!


Simon Duong 

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