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**REVISED** Medicine Hat Minor Hockey Return to Play

Jul 20, 2020 MHMHA News 0 comments

Medicine Hat Minor Hockey Association and the City of Medicine Hat have been working together to formulate a “Return to Play” strategy for our members with the health and safety of those members and the City’s facility employees paramount to getting back on the ice. Using documents that included recommended guidelines provided by Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and, most importantly, Alberta Health Services, we were able to construct a plan that would allow us to use the City’s facilities during Phase 2 of the re-opening strategy. The following points are requirements for ALL MEMBERS who wish to use the facilities. These requirements MUST BE adhered to or the offending participant will be removed from the facility and could jeopardize facility usage for others. Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines to avoid any potential issues at the facility. All guidelines listed below will initially pertain to the Family Leisure Centre but can be adjusted and adopted for other City facilities as they open. These guidelines are also subject to change as new information is released and we move through the phases of re-opening. We look forward to getting back on the ice and enjoying our wonderful sport again!

FACILITY GUIDELINES – *PLEASE NOTE WHEN ARRIVING EARLIER THAN 15 MINUTES TO YOUR ICE SESSION, ATHLETES MUST WAIT IN/AT THEIR VEHICLES OR IN A GREEN SPACE AWAY FROM THE ENTRANCE. AVOID GATHERING IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCE TO ENSURE SOCIAL DISTANCING IS ACHIEVABLE AND THE ENTRANCE/EXIT IS NOT BLOCKED FOR OTHER FACILITY USERS. *

  • The Facility will require participants to maintain Alberta Health Services social distancing guidelines as well as their recommendations on wearing masks. While masks are currently NOT MANDATORY, AHS has said they should be worn indoors where social distancing is difficult. Please update yourself on the most current recommendations from AHS. Any direction coming from Alberta Health Services will always override any of the guidelines listed in this document as we believe they have everyone’s health and safety in mind and are better educated on the topic.
  • Hand-sanitizer will be provided at entry ways and in hallways with patrons encouraged to use it. We also encourage people to carry their own when possible and to follow handwashing recommendations.
  • Current construction on the West Parking lot has limited the number of entrance points so everyone must work together to help alleviate the traffic both in the parking lot and at the facility.
  • Please obey any arrows/lanes provided by the Facility to ease foot traffic and help maintain social distancing guidelines.
  • Lobby areas of the facility are NOT to be used for congregating or watching the ice session so chairs may be removed. Players and parents are asked to limit the amount of time spent in the building as well as limit the amount of people entering and exiting the facility. There are occupancy limits set per amenities (100 per area, unless otherwise dictated per space availability) i.e., pool only has 40 people per swim.
  • Ice users are only allowed to enter the facility 15 minutes prior to their booking and need to be leaving within 15 minutes after the booking. There will be NO OVERLAP with bookings as the facility staff will need time to sanitize the facility before the next booking can enter 15 minutes prior. This means approximately 45-60 minutes between bookings for staff to clean. This time may be reduced as sanitizing procedures are streamlined and if users are mindful of restricted areas in place to minimize the need for cleaning.
  • Dressing rooms will have limited access to minimize the amount of sanitizing between bookings and to encourage social distancing. Rooms will be made available for storing of bags and for ATHLETES BELONGING TO THE SAME COHORT GROUP to finish getting their equipment on. All participants are encouraged to come as “FULLY DRESSED AS POSSIBLE” so long as they can still be safely transported to the facility. This would mean that PLAYERS should be almost completely dressed prior to arriving at the facility, with only skates and possibly upper body equipment to put on. Players in other areas have been bringing lawn chairs and blankets to get dressed in the parking lot which is another option. GOALIES WOULD BE ALLOWED TO PUT THEIR REMAINING EQUIPMENT ON IN A DRESSING ROOM, as there are added challenges in transporting a fully dressed goalie to the facility.
  • ATHLETES NOT PART OF A COHORT GROUP MUST PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AT ALL TIMES INCLUDING ON ICE. PLAYERS WOULD FINISH GETTING READY FOR THE ICE SESSION IN THE HALLWAY OUTSIDE THE DRESSING ROOMS. ON-ICE SOCIAL DISTANCING WOULD MEAN STATION OR LANE WORK ONLY. NO SCRIMMAGES ARE ALLOWED FOR ATHLETES NOT BELONGING TO A COHORT GROUP. These athletes would also NOT BE LIMITED TO 1 GROUP OR SPORT.
  • For those ice users that are unable to tie their own skates, we recommend getting skate guards so they can walk right into the facility almost completely ready to go. Again, we want to limit the number of people entering and exiting the facility so preferably, players can be sent in alone, ready to go on the ice. If that is not an option due to some potential circumstance, the hallway to the dressing rooms is an option for members to tie players skates or even the dressing rooms being used for bag storage. Everyone should still come as FULLY DRESSED as possible as there is only a 15-minute window to be on the ice regardless of age group. If there needs to be multiple parents in a dressing room, masks should be worn, and, if the Facility has a dressing room occupancy limit, it should be strictly adhered to.
  • Facility users should fill water bottles at home as this will help limit areas needing to be sanitized. The expectation is that everyone has their own water bottle, filled at home, and washed after every session.
  • All facility users MUST NOT spit, blow their nose freely, or release any bodily fluid anywhere in the facility due to extremely high risk of virus transfer.
  • COHORT GROUPS of up to 50 persons are allowed in Phase 2. This means that 50 people can essentially join a Cohort group and use the facility together for the duration of Phase 2. Once entered into a cohort group, these players would not be able to join a second group in hockey or ANY OTHER SPORT unless a 14 DAY SELF-QUARANTINE takes place prior to leaving the 1st cohort group to join the 2nd. This would include cohort groups at all levels in all forms including school sports. Should we still be in Phase 2 by the time other leagues begin, athletes may have to decide which sport cohort group they want to join. If that is the case, members will receive a refund of all or a portion of registration fees, based on participation in any hockey activities prior to leaving a hockey cohort. Our hope is that, if schools are operating, sports should be as well. Coaches will be responsible for taking attendance at every ice session to have a “contact tracing” ability should a member of the group test positive for COVID-19. The members of the group would be expected to follow AHS guidelines between ice sessions with their group regarding handwashing, social distancing, etc. Please stay up to date on all recommendations coming from Alberta Health Services.
  • Incident Reports and an Emergency Response Plan have been developed in the event a person shows symptoms of COVID-19. The person showing symptoms and anyone caring for them will be immediately provided a mask and be moved to a private room to reduce the potential for contact. Parents/guardians are advised of the participant’s condition and will take them home or to a medical facility. If the person is an adult and is well enough to drive, they would leave immediately. If there is a delay in leaving, the person would be isolated until a safe departure can be arranged. The participant WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE THEIR COACH/INSTRUCTOR/ORGANIZER A NOTE FROM A PHYSICIAN TO RETURN TO ACTIVITY. Depending on the circumstances, the booking time may be cancelled, and the facility may need to be closed for sanitizing. This will be a case-by-case basis and the decision made by the facility staff. That decision will not be debatable as we respect the need to ensure public health for all facility users and staff.
  • Coaches and team staff MUST supply their own equipment, including pucks, pylons, etc. The facility will not be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing coaching supplies so ensure you are prepared to bring your own equipment as required.
  • Coaches and team staff are encouraged to wear cloth masks in areas where social distancing is difficult, such as on the bench or in a dressing room. This is a recommendation from Hockey Canada, Hockey Alberta, and AHS.
  • No pre-game dryland training will be allowed inside the facility during Phase 2. Any pre-game warm-up activities would be required to take place outdoors and should be done individually whenever possible.
  • Attendance will be taken daily by coaches/instructors/organizers for Cohort Groups along with a daily “Covid Symptom Checklist” that is provided by both Hockey Alberta and AHS. The purpose of the attendance sheet and symptom checklist is to allow for contact tracing in the event a member of the Cohort Group contracts the virus during Phase 2. This is necessary protocol in an effort to prevent the spread. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT ALL ATHLETES ARE HONEST WHEN COMPLETING THE COVID SYMPTOM CHECKLIST!
  • No registrations or checking in, in the lobby space.  That will need to be done outside in a booked space (social distancing) or pre-arranged before you arrive at the facility.
  • For conditioning/skills/mini camps, COHORT GROUPS are able to be designated a dressing room for their ice time. There are only 4 dressing rooms total (2 small ones, 2 big ones), so it would be 4 groups max. With your schedule, if they have more than one ice time (within your booking), then the facility does not have to clean, and they can keep their bags in the room during their dryland/off-ice session then back on the ice.
  • For pick up please schedule staggered time to pick up outside or if you need to book an outside area for your cohort group to wait for pick up, we can book a soccer field at N/C for your group to use.  Parents will not be allowed in the lobby to pick them up

As mentioned earlier, these guidelines are subject to change and need to be adapted to meet the ever-changing recommendations coming from AHS, Hockey Canada, and Hockey Alberta. It is very important that everyone does their best to stay updated and to follow these guidelines so we can all enjoy the facilities as we move towards a safe return to a “normal” season. The links shown below should lead you to the supporting documents that were used in creating our plan for a hopefully safe Return to Play.  We look forward to getting back to this game we all love, and we will need both your support and your patience as we all adapt to these changes. It is crucial that, above all else, we all respect the facility and their employees!

We thank you for taking the time to familiarize yourself with this document and we hope it answers some questions we are sure you have. If you have any further questions, concerns or potential additions that follow AHS guidelines, please email them to: info@mhmha.ca.

Thank you and stay healthy everyone!

Medicine Hat Minor Hockey Association

https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/exclusive/return-to-hockey/plans/safety

https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/covid-19-relaunch-sports-physical-activity-and-recreation.pdf

https://www.hockeyalberta.ca/news/062020/hockey-albertas-return-hockey-plan-1226/

 

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