Hockey Manitoba says no tournaments, travel allowed until November

By | August 19, 2020

Manitoba’s governing body for amateur hockey says it won’t allow any tournaments, events, or out-of-province travel to take place until Nov. 1 at the earliest.

The decision by Hockey Manitoba also includes the cancellation of the organization’s U15 AAA showcase scheduled in October, the organization said.

“We felt it was the right decision to remove any type of large gathering and do our part to control the spread of the virus,” said Peter Woods, executive director of Hockey Manitoba.

Last week, the province gave Hockey Manitoba the go-ahead to enter into the second phase of a planned return to play, which includes new safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

As early as Sept. 1, on-ice skill development that is non-contact will be allowed to resume. That includes drills, team tactics, online or in-person clinic, and tryouts.

Hockey Manitoba said along with tournaments, it will also not accept any requests for out-of-province travel until Oct. 15, and travel won’t be granted until after Nov. 1.

The association acknowledged the significant spike in reported cases, and noted there’s a risk failing to be cautious now could lead to a shutdown of the entire hockey program in the future.

“We’re not going to return to normal — normal being what it was like before COVID-19,” Woods said.

“We must ensure we take the necessary safe precautions, which might be wearing masks, social distancing, the appropriate hygiene. All those steps are different layers we need to introduce in order to protect our members.”

Hockey Manitoba promotes and develops hockey in the province, and registers roughly 30,000 members per year.

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League also announced Wednesday night that its 2020-21 season will begin Oct. 9.

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