WCMHA says new rules may lead to hockey’s return

WEST CARLETON – The province’s new tiered approach to COVID-19 regulations means West Carleton minor hockey players may soon be back on the ice.

On Oct. 15, the West Carleton Minor Hockey Association (WCMHA) paused team activities due to a number of factors including an active case within its ranks, active cases within the district and stricter provincial regulations regarding minor hockey and indoor activities. Although teams wee still allowed to operate at the time, it was under a 10-person limit on the ice, including coaches. WCMHA board members felt this was not feasible.

WCMHA President Del Brown said they would review the issue around Nov. 6.

The government’s new tiered approach to COVID-19 regulation has given the minor hockey association hope. City of Ottawa officials will be easing restrictions Saturday allowing restaurants and gyms to re-open, potentially with stricter policies than last time though.

As you are aware, our Warriors and Crusaders Bubbles were formed with the expectation of having up to 25 people on the ice per bubble,” Brown released in a statement today (Nov. 4). “When the Ontario government imposed the restriction of no more than 10 on the ice, our programs were put on pause, due these constraints negatively impacting us both financially and logistically, for the 28-day timeframe which is set to expire this Saturday. While we have indications the restrictions will return to 25, we still do not have confirmation. Please know that once we have confirmation on indoor allowances for hockey, we will communicate that to you immediately.”

The WCMHA is working with other stakeholders to get the kids back on the ice.

“We wanted to quickly inform you that we are working with our partners which includes both of our facilities and Hockey Eastern Ontario to better understand how the new provincial tiered approach impacts hockey,” Brown said. “HEO also released a memo which states they will provide direction within the next 72 hours on how these new provincial guidelines impact hockey and more specifically West Carleton’s return to hockey.”

The end goal of course, is to safely get back on the ice.

“We were all happy to get back on the ice this fall and understand that our families are excited to return to the ice once again,” Brown said. “We kindly ask for your patience and understanding until we have confirmation as to what rules and guidelines we will be working under.”