As school districts discuss possible return to school plans for the coming school year we realize that you are likely thinking about hockey also and we at CSYHA wanted to let you know that you are not alone. Since the abrupt ending of the 2019-20 season the CSYHA board as been working with SUNY Morrisville, USA Hockey and NYSAHA (New York State Amature Hockey Association) to determine options for returning to plan as an organization and what they may look like and when.
Over recent months our staff have been busy coordinating with the rink, which has some additional rules placed on it being on an academic campus, NYSAHA on when teams can form, what sectional play could looks like as well as other league items, and USA Hockey to get guidance that can be aligned with state policy on getting kids back to being active and on the ice.
Currently, we still plan on a season but admit that like other activities it may come with some additional controls, restrictions, safety measures, etc. In short we believe that what you can expect to see at the rink are very similar precautions as you may be hearing about from your school districts such as regular risk questionnaires prior to entering the rink, taking your temperature prior to getting to the rink (for all who may enter), wearing a mask while at the rink, limiting visitors to games and practices, limited (or initially no access to) locker room usage and we know that initially there will be no usage of showers at SUNY IcePlex. Just so you know, the officials we use will have similar challenges as they start their season.
Additionally, we know that Coaches will have to assist teams with balancing group practices to limit proximity while on the ice in practices, control ice entry and exit to control social distancing and will be required to wear masks both while in the warming area and while on the bench while coaching games. Also note that currently there are no significant restrictions on games due to COVID. Once games are approved to go forth you can expect the same level of play you have seen in the past, with the same contact and the same proximity. Although there has been some debate over the utility against the virus they did recognize that some players may opt to utilize full face shields over cages however most still have openings over the mouth to avoid fogging of the glass. Additionally, please know that referees will not be required to wear face masks however some may opt to and utilize electronic whistles.
We at CSYHA recognize that there will be no one size fits all solution to any of this but please know if you have issues or concerns while heading in to the 2020-21 season please feel free to contact the coaches or board with your concerns and questions. While we cannot lift restrictions that come down from NY State, SUNY, NYSAHA or USA Hockey we can work with you and your players (and families) to make sure you all feel comfortable while coming to practice and games. If this means making specific considerations to make your families and players feel safer we are more than willing to work with you.
Again, we thank you all for being a part of the CSYHA family and how you are all safe, well and ready to get back to the great sport of hockey!
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