Thunder Family,

We trust all are well.
We would first like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding. In this unprecedented time, we are all trying to work towards everyone’s best interest including doing our best to keep our community safe and healthy.

A quick update…
Surrey Minor Hockey, along with other member minor hockey associations, are continuing to work in cooperation with Hockey Canada, BC Hockey, PCAHA and the City of Surrey to develop a safe Return-To-Play plan for the upcoming season.

Ice Sport Organizations

We have been working together with other organizations to develop programming to inform our City of Surrey facility representatives of our collective needs and the importance for opening the arenas sooner than later. Our various meetings have resulted in a cooperative mindset.

City of Surrey

Representatives from our Ice Sport Organizations have presented to City of Surrey City Councillors and other such decision makers.
We have had discussions with City facility representatives and have meetings with Councillors Brenda Locke, Jack Hundial, Linda Annis and Doug Elford.

Letter to City of Surrey-2020-07-12

To date, the following are key timelines that we can confirm (only ice times between Aug. 17 – Sept. 3 have been confirmed by the City of Surrey – we are confident that additional ice will be confirmed) :

1) Pre-Season

  • August 17 – September 3, 2020
    • only 2 sheets of ice will be open
    • both sheets at Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex

2) Start of Season

  • September 8 – October 1, 2020
    • 3 sheets of ice open at Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex
    • 2 sheets of ice open at North Surrey Sports & Ice Complex (third sheet not going to be open at all – depending on demand)
    • 1 sheet of ice open at South Surrey Arena

3) Season

  • October 2 – End of Season (March 2021)
    • 3 sheets of ice open at Surrey Sports & Leisure Complex
    • 2 sheets of ice open at North Surrey Sports & Ice Complex  ( Third sheet not going to be open at all – depending on demand. Not having that extra sheet of ice makes it a bit easier for staff to clean the facility )
    • 1 sheet of ice open at South Surrey Arena
    • 1 sheet of ice open at Cloverdale Arena

Summary of City of Surrey guidelines for all users

  1. 1 hour time slots
  2. Directional signage will be posted by City of Surrey reps
  3. City Host will be on site to meet all entrants and walk them to their designated dressing rooms
  4. 20 skaters on the ice at one time (max) … including coaches
  5. No parents will be permitted into the facilities
  6. No showers will be made available
  7. Everyone must adhere to physical distancing
  8. Designated areas for placement of water bottles, sitting areas for players (in dressing rooms, etc), will be pre-designated (marked by an X) by City of Surrey reps throughout the facility
  9. Players to come into the building dressed – ideally with skate guards on
  10. Players to bring their own (full) water bottles
  11. Any warm-ups to be done outside of building – mindful of social distancing guidelines
  12. No spitting
  13. No rink equipment to be used (other than hockey nets)
  14. 30 minutes in between ice sessions

 Player Registration

  • Our player registration is open (since June 10, 2020).
  • We encourage all those who have been waiting to hear about ice times to now feel confident that we will be back on the ice.
  • We are all excited about getting back to hockey and some sort or normalcy.
  • It’s a good time to spread the word and encourage new-to-hockey athletes to inquire about registration for next season.
  • We are always looking for more goalies!!

Ice Schedules

  • Please see our Division Pages for up-to-date ice schedules (all confirmed ice times will be listed on our website by August 7, 2020).
  • All PREP CAMP 2020 ice schedules have been sent to all Camp registrants.

Group Designations

  • Our Division Managers will be forwarding (via e-mail) player REP Group designations by August 7, 2020 to all registered players.

REP and Recreation Evaluations

  • We are presently in Phase 2 in the viaSport Return-To-Sport Activity Chart, which means there is no approval for any contact or game like on-ice inter-action. Until further notice, our players will participate in Skills-based on ice instruction. Any and all player evaluation timelines are still undetermined until further notice.
  • All players who have registered for REP evaluations will be placed in Groups (we will do our best to balance the groups). Please not that only 20 skaters are allowed on the ice (including coaches) which could result in more groups and/or ice times that are traditionally facilitated.

Refunds

  • If the hockey season format or financial requirements (reimbursements, etc.) need to be adjusted the SMHA Executive Council will inform the membership when applicable.

Return-To-Play Process

Agencies are working together. The development of return-To-Play plans is ongoing and is being undertaken by all organizations – we feel very confident that the collaborative approach strengthens our collective ability to develop programming that aligns with Provincial Health Authorities, continues the sport development priorities of our governing agencies while balancing the needs of other ice sport organizations and the expectations of our respective young athletes and membership.

Its an going and changing environment. We will continue to do our best to provide relevant information in a timely manner but being mindful not to expand upon rumours. As information is made available to us, we will do our best to update all and provide some vision for the future.

For the upcoming season, we are working on our schedule that will include; skills sessions, practices, REP evaluations, Recreation evaluations, game play.

  • Unfortunately, we have not received our complete ice schedule from the City of Surrey therefore, are presently not in a position to confirm a schedule that includes timelines for the whole season.
  • Please note that once Phase 3 (Progressively Loosen) in the viaSport Return-To-Sport Activity Chart is activated and it is only then we can gradually introduce body contact and other phased-in game like programing that will enable us to undertake our respective player REP and Recreation Division evaluations
  • Presently, while in Phase 2 in the viaSport Return-To-Sport Activity Chart, our players will participate in Skills-based on ice instruction.

Our minor hockey programming will follow Hockey Canada’s Return-To-Play Stages and the Canadian Player Pathways.

Note: At present we are in the Return to Ice Stage re: Hockey Canada
           At present we are in the Transition Measures Phase 2 re: ViaSport

The following links are summary descriptions for both Hockey Canada’s Return-To-Hockey Stages and viaSport’s Return-To-Sport Activity Chart and are provided for your reference:

  • Hockey Canada’s Return-To-Play Stages will be aligned with the Province of BC’s viaSport Return-To-Sport Activities Chart

Hockey Canada Return-To-Hockey Stages

viaSport Return-To-Sport Chart

Seasonal Structure: Canadian Player Pathways (Hockey Canada)

It is likely that the seasonal structure model will need to be modified this season, with progressive Return-to-Hockey stages.
It is in this context that the structure of the Canadian Player Pathways will naturally create several opportunities for progression and programming focused on the overall development of players.

The following summary descriptions for Hockey Canada’s Player Pathway (U7-U18) are provided for your reference:

Canadian Player Pathways Under-7 (U7), Under-9 (U9), and Under-11 (U11) age divisions

PRINCIPLE:

  • Player evaluation/selection/tryouts cannot be scheduled prior to the start of the school year
  • With the premature end of the previous hockey season, this principle will be implemented across the country and evaluations/selections/tryouts may take place at the appropriate time when it is determined that it is safe to return to hockey, in accordance with public health authorities and Hockey Canada member guidelines.

PRINCIPLE:

  • Minimum of four practices and/or skill sessions prior to formal player evaluation/selection/tryouts
  • As hockey gradually returns across the country with the primary focus on skill development, this principle can be implemented this season.

PRINCIPLE:

  • Player evaluation/selection/tryouts must be a minimum of three formal sessions
  • Recommendation is one skills session, one small-area games session and one game (age appropriate format)
  • Once local hockey associations are permitted to form their teams, they must create a fair and transparent process that provides all players with a minimum of three on-ice sessions, as described.
  • The format may need to be adjusted in accordance with public health authorities, facility and/or Hockey Canada Member guidelines.

PRINCIPLE:

  • Development time following team selection and prior to the start of the regular season
  • Although somewhat dependent on the progress of the Return to Hockey framework, this principle can be easily introduced as there is no rush to progress to a regular season, and players will benefit from additional development.

PRINCIPLE:

  • Playoffs must be tournament-style format versus elimination rounds (U11)
  • With the possibility of shortened or modified seasons, if a Return to Regular Competition is permitted, creating a format where all players play to the end of the season is important for an equitable player experience
  • Note: No playoffs are allowed in Timbits U7 and U9.

Canadian Player Pathways (U13, U15, U18) Recommendation

Although Canadian Player Pathway principles have not been adopted at the U13, U15 and U18 age divisions, Hockey Canada states that it is important for local hockey associations and leagues to discuss implementation where possible this season and beyond. This will create equal opportunity and improved development for all players through an appropriate progression within different phases of the season.

Length of Season:

In addition to the principles that are included within the Canadian Player Pathways, there are annual seasonal structure calendars that include the following core seasonal phases:

  • Preparation/Evaluation phase
  • Development phase
  • Regular Season phase
  • End-of-Season/Playoff phase

It is within this seasonal structure that local hockey associations and leagues will likely have to adjust, depending on the situation in their province/territory. However, despite modifications to the season, it will continue to be extremely important to maintain the appropriate phases (percentage related to entire season) within our seasonal structure.

Again, if the season starts late, it is necessary to consider the guidelines associated with the last phase of the season, ensuring that as many players as possible finish at the same time, as late as possible, depending on facility availability.

Message to Members

Surrey Minor Hockey Association continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and is adjusting our planning and programming based on the most recent information made available. We are pro-actively working with other agencies to bring some normalcy back to our sport. We will continue to communicate with our members and provide up-to-date information when possible.

Regards,
Harbs Bains
President
Surrey Minor Hockey Association