RETURN TO HOCKEY PLAN - UPDATE
Hockey Alberta has updated its Return to Hockey Plan.
The original plan was released on June 30; the updated version is current as of September 3.
INTRODUCING THE NEW ALBERTA ELITE HOCKEY LEAGUE WEBSITE
Hockey Alberta is proud to introduce the new online home for the Alberta Elite Hockey League (AEHL). The new website, is the official portal for the AEHL and its three divisions of sanctioned Male AAA hockey in Alberta.
NEW FOR 2020-21
A number of changes have been announced for the 2020-21 season that impact various areas of the sport in Alberta. The changes are outlined on the Hockey Alberta website, and include links to applicable Info Bulletins that provide full details on the changes.
VEREBURN MEDICAL SUPPLIES READY FOR ORDER
As per our newly announced partnership with Vereburn Medical Supply, we have updated information on the ordering process of medical kits for the upcoming season.
RED DEER - On August 28, Hockey Canada announced Hockey Alberta Coach Mentor Barry Medori as the 2020 recipient of the Gordon Juckes Award.
In honour of Gordon Juckes, Hockey Canada proudly recognizes an individual for their outstanding contribution to the development of amateur hockey in Canada at the national level. Nominees are from the fields of research, sports medicine, psychology, coaching, officiating, administration or related categories.
Lifelong learner, passionate, dedicated, mentor, are only a handful of words that are consistently used to describe Barry Medori. Committed to sharing his knowledge with coaches, players, parents and anyone else open and willing to listen and learn, Barry has left a lasting impression on everyone who has had the opportunity to work alongside him.
Barry’s wealth of knowledge in both the male and female game is unparalleled in Alberta and nationally. His experience has helped launch countless players and coaches to their professional careers while installing a set of core values that benefits all in their everyday life. As detailed below, his contributions at the local, regional, provincial, national and international level have benefited all that have worked with him.
Hockey Alberta would like to congratulate Barry Medori on a very well-deserved honour, and sincerely thank him for everything he does for the sport in Alberta, and in Canada.
2008 – Current: High-Performance Coach Mentor, Hockey Alberta
Coach Mentor for Male/Female Canada Winter Games teams (2011/15/19)
Coach Mentor for Male Female Alberta Winter Games teams (2010/12/14/16/18)
Coach Mentor for Male U18 Nationals (2009/11/12/13/15/16/17)
Coach Mentor Male WHL Cup (2009/11/12/13/15/16/17/19)
2001 – 2013: Coordinator / Head Instructor, Parkland Hockey Academy
Identified by Paul Carson as a model Hockey Canada Skill Academy
2001 – 2005: Assistant Principal, Woodhaven Junior High School
1989 – 2000: Assistant Principal, Blueberry Community School
2007 – 2011: Head Coach, Onoway Ice Dogs Senior AA team
2004: Assistant Coach, Team Canada U22 Female
2003: Coach Coordinator, Hockey Alberta
Assistant Coach, Team Alberta Canada Winter Games
2003 – 2008: Head Coach / GM, Edmonton Chimos Senior Female AAA
2002 – 2003: Mentor Coach, Alberta Cup, Hockey Alberta
2002: Head Coach, Team Pacific U17 World Cup Challenge
2001 – 2003: Assistant Coach, NAIT OOKs College team
2000 – 2001: Head Coach, Drayton Valley Junior A Hockey team
1999 – 2000: Assistant Coach, Drayton Valley Junior A Hockey team
2011: Coach Mentor, Government of Alberta – China Exchange
2003: Head Coach, IIHF Youth Hockey Development Camp - Finland
Hockey Alberta wants to remind you that Hockey is Back.
- Minor Hockey has started.
- Travel is permitted.
- Tiering games will happen.
Hockey Alberta under the guidance of the Government of Alberta and Hockey Canada has developed a comprehensive Return to Hockey Plan.
The plan has been designed to ensure the safety of the players, coaches, officials, volunteers and all involved in the game, is the top priority.
It is a document that Hockey Alberta will continue to review, adapt and evolve as the COVID-19 situation and guidelines implemented by the Government of Alberta and Hockey Canada change.
But, in short - HOCKEY IS BACK.
TIERING GAMES WILL HAPPEN
Group: Minor Hockey
Tiering Phase: Competition Cohorts (Pairs and/ or Groups of Teams)
Dates: Teams Selected & Ready to Participate by November
Important to Note:
- Hockey Alberta and our Minor Leagues have a plan for a transition into a ‘Modified Competition Season’.
- Using existing cohort guidelines from AHS, teams will be grouped to participate in Tiering play.
- Teams must be prepared for Tiering Play by ensuring they take a 14-day break after any Exhibition Play.
- Leagues will switch Competition Cohorts within Tiering Play by utilizing a 14-day break from cohort activity.
TRAVEL IS PERMITTED
Important to Remember for Minor Hockey:
- AHS has removed the limitation of cohort groups remaining in respective health zones, when Cohort Guidelines are followed.
- NO TOURNAMENTS are permitted at this time, as they DO NOT comply with Cohort Guidelines.
- Travel will be permitted. Hockey Alberta and its leagues are working together on timelines, and exhibition games could occur as early as October’.
- When travel occurs, all teams must follow the proper Cohort Guidelines – a 14 day break when switching to play a new team.
MINOR HOCKEY HAS STARTED
Current Phase: Prep skates/ Physically Distanced Sorting (try outs, camps, etc) are currently in progress
Rough dates: September 7 – October 8
RED DEER - Hockey Alberta is pleased to announce registration for Coaching Clinics is now open for the 2020-21 season.
Hockey Alberta offers a variety of Coach Clinics targeted to the age and level of the athletes coaches are leading. Hockey Canada’s coaching requirements vary depending on which age group a coach is working with.
Minor Hockey Associations (MHAs) and Club Teams must ensure all teams and/or groups meet the requirements outlined by Hockey Alberta before November 15. Any team/group not meeting the requirements outlined within the Hockey Alberta Regulations will be ineligible to participate in sanctioned hockey games.
A new addition to this season’s clinic list is the online HU - Planning a Safe Return to Hockey, which focuses on key information coaches and associations need to know in order to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 in the hockey environment. Head coaches at each level are required to finish this 20 minute course before the November 15 deadline.
Coaches can register for clinics through Hockey Canada’s eHockey website by searching by clinic type and location. An individual must have an eHockey account created, with their profile linked to the account in order to see their coaching qualifications or register for a clinic. Please see instructions below on how to create an account and attach a participant profile:
- Follow this link to access the eHockey login page.
- Click “click here to create an account now”.
- Follow instructions on screen to create an e-hockey account.
- Select “add participant” and search yourself or player by name and date of birth.
- You will click "select" to add yourself or player as a participant to the account.
- Then you can click view profile to view history, Hockey ID, or sign up for a clinic.
In-person coaching clinics will still be hosted with physical distancing measures in place and reduced participants.
Please note that more clinics will be added in the coming weeks as facilities are confirmed.
For more information, please contact [email protected].
TORONTO, ON - Applications are now being accepted for the Hockey Equipment Relief Program, orchestrated by Bauer Hockey, Hockey Canada, the National Hockey League (NHL), and National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA).
Originally announced on July 30, the goal of the program is to help communities and families financially impacted by COVID-19 get their kids back on the ice. The program is an equipment donation initiative that includes $2 million of hockey gear, with upwards of 7,000 sets of gear to be distributed to families and communities most in need in the seven Canadian NHL cities, as well as other regions.
The application period for the Hockey Equipment Relief Program will open on September 18, allowing a number of organizations across the country to apply to be a Donation Partner. The application period will remain open until September 28, followed by equipment distribution between Oct. 12, 2020 and March 1, 2021.
Donation partners can include:
- Minor Hockey Associations (MHA)
- Youth organizations or groups ie. YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Pond Hockey
- Minority communities and groups
RED DEER – As officials from across Alberta prepare for the 2020-21 season, a special emphasis is being put on battling racism and inequality on the ice.
A number of topics were covered during the annual Officials Leadership Weekend (which was done virtually this year), with social injustice and inequality at the forefront.
Referee in Chief Craig Decoursey says equality on the ice begins with how officials treat each other.
“Part of your support will be ensuring you are inclusive, and supportive of your fellow officials, no matter their race or background,” he says. “Combating discrimination starts with us all working together to ensure a welcoming and safe refereeing environment.”
Sanjeev Bhagrath, a Sikh official from Edmonton, says he’s faced many challenges as an official who is a member of a visible minority.
“It is disappointing, unfortunate and disheartening the number of times I’ve had coaches, players and fans call me a Paki, Taliban member, or terrorist,” he says. “These comments have impacted me to the point where I’ve thought of quitting, and that I would never be accepted by the hockey world because of my colour.”
“However, my family and friends have always encouraged me to continue on and persevere,” Bhagrath says. “I will never understand why I have to be seen as a ‘brown official’ and not just ‘an official.’ We need change in hockey to make us all equal.”
In order to ensure a safe environment on the ice and respect amongst players, an increased emphasis is being put on officials to enforce discipline in situations of racism, discrimination, or inequality directed from one player, or a group of players, to another.
Charle Dumba, a Hockey Alberta official whose son, Matt, is currently working hard to lead change in the National Hockey League with the Hockey Diversity Alliance, offers his perspective as a parent and an official.
“As referees, we have a very important role to play, because we are at the grassroots level of where all of this starts,” he says. “As parents, we all want our kids to grow up a certain way, and be respectful, but we never really get to hear what they say on the ice, or hear what someone has said to them on the ice.”
“The Officials Leadership Weekend, organized by our Volunteer Leadership Coordinator, Chris Bruce, was a rousing success,” says Brett Kelly, Hockey Alberta’s Manager, Officiating. “Inequality and racism conversations are difficult to start, but that’s what we believe we’ve done – started the conversation around these vitally important causes.”
Kelly says the rule emphasis on inequality and discrimination, and the penalties associated with it, will be taught at all Hockey Alberta Officials clinics throughout the 2020-21 season.
VANCOUVER, BC - HeadCheck Health (‘HeadCheck’) and TeachAids launched a partnership to offer the interactive CrashCourse: Concussion Education (‘CrashCourse’) platform online through all HeadCheck products. Developed alongside leading medical, education, engineering, and science researchers and with input from their world-class coaches and student athletes, CrashCourse offers a unique educational experience that helps correct common myths and misconceptions to help better recognize and address symptoms of a concussion.
The relationship between the Alberta Female Hockey League (‘AFHL’) and HeadCheck means parents, coaches, and athletes can interact with the CrashCourse content online through the HeadCheck platform, at no additional cost. The result is a best-in-class system that connects all aspects of concussion education, reporting, and management.
A 2019 Journal of Pediatrics study found that in sex comparable sports, concussion rates were higher in girls than boys, and girls had a larger proportion of recurrent concussions.
TeachAids, a nonprofit leader in global education innovation, released CrashCourse to raise awareness of the latest science around concussions and shift the conversation away from fear and silence toward one of knowledge and empowerment. The base curriculum is offered in both HD and Virtual Reality and includes a short interactive film. Most recently, TeachAids launched the Brain Fly-Through product as part of the CrashCourse suite in collaboration with USA Archery, USA Artistic Swimming, USA Baseball, USA Bobsled & Skeleton, USA Cycling, USA Diving, USA Fencing, USA Field Hockey, USA Football, USA Gymnastics, USA Hockey, US Lacrosse, US Ski & Snowboard, US Speedskating, USA Taekwondo, USA Triathlon and USA Wrestling.
“At a time when online education is exceedingly important, it’s inspiring to see two great organizations joining together to educate athletes throughout Canada.” said Piya Sorcar, CEO of TeachAids.”
HeadCheck’s app and web products are used by sports organizations to execute concussion protocols, mitigate risk, and support athlete recovery. HeadCheck works closely with major sports leagues, medical professionals, and youth sports leaders to develop products that are grounded in research and easy to use in real-life situations. The integration of CrashCourse into HeadCheck will allow both organizations to work together to change the culture of concussion safety in sport.
“Education is integral to improving concussion safety and reporting,” said Harrison Brown, CEO of HeadCheck Health. “We’re very excited to integrate CrashCourse by TeachAids to provide education that connects with a younger generation.”
“Recognizing the increased risk of concussion in female athletes, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to elevate player education and safety,” said Kendall Newell, Manager of Female Hockey. “Integrating CrashCourse: Concussion Education into HeadCheck will help us provide a higher level of education.”
About the Alberta Female Hockey League
The Alberta Female Hockey League (AFHL) is home to 30 teams at the U18 AAA, U18 AA, and U15 AA levels, providing a competitive platform for young aspiring female athletes to enhance their skills. A collection of 12 host associations around the province is committed to the growth and development of AAA and AA female hockey. Through dedicated staff and volunteers, the AFHL offers opportunities for female athletes to receive mentorship, off-ice education sessions, female-specific coaching, post-secondary exposure opportunities, academic & billet programs, and a competitive skill development atmosphere. For more information: visit the AFHL Website
About HeadCheck Health
At HeadCheck Health, our goal is simple: we want to prevent mismanaged head injuries. Whether at the amateur or professional level, HeadCheck’s end-to-end solutions enable organizations of all types and sizes to execute their current concussion protocols, support athlete recovery, and mitigate risk.
Join the wave of over 800 progressive organizations, from professional sports leagues like Major League Soccer to your community’s sports teams and clinics, that HeadCheck Health empowered to make a difference: http://www.headcheckhealth.com
TeachAids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems in health education around the world, including HIV/AIDS, concussion, and COVID-19 education. CrashCourse is the second free health education program launched by TeachAids in collaboration with Stanford University, following the global success of its award-winning HIV/AIDS interactive software, which is used in 82 countries around the world. For more information on TeachAids visit TeachAids.org or follow us on Twitter @TeachAids, Facebook @TeachAids, YouTube at TeachAids, and Instagram at @teachaids.
RED DEER - Hockey Alberta has updated its Return to Hockey Plan, with the following updates included in the SEPTEMBER 3 VERSION of the Return to Hockey Plan:
- The document has been restructured with the Return to Hockey Programming section moved to Section 2.
- In the Return to Hockey Programming section (Section 2):
- The Off-Season Skill Development component has been removed. All hockey activity should now operate under the rules and guidelines in the Development Season.
- Information on how to offer sessions via Physical Distancing can be found in the Development Season section.
- Guidelines regarding Sport Cohorts have been updated based on direction from the Government of Alberta.
- Registration protocol information has been updated.
- Clarification of activities allowed in each Return to Hockey component.
- Travel restrictions have been removed, based on Government of Alberta direction.
- In Protocols and Safety (Section 3):
- Requirements for Record Keeping and Contact Tracing have been updated.
- The process and procedure for dealing with a sick participant and/ or a participant who tests positive for COVID-19 has been updated.
- Game protocols for coaches, officials and players have been added.
- In Communications (Section 4):
- updated guidelines for identifying a Communications Lead within each organization.
- An updated Hockey Alberta FAQ document.
- In Facilities and Spectators (Section 5), updated guidelines for spectators.
- In Coaches and Team Officials (Section 6):
- updated information on coach clinics
- updated Hockey Alberta requirements with regard to masks, Cohorts and Physical Distancing.
- A new section, On-Ice Officials (Section 7), with updated information pertaining to Officials.
- Some appendices have been removed or renumbered.
- Additional links are included to link directly to the Government of Alberta website.
The updated Return to Hockey Plan, and its appendices, can be accessed here:
The health and safety of all participants in the sport is of paramount importance in all activities outlined in the Return to Hockey Plan. The threats and challenges posed by COVID-19 require specific steps to be taken to allow hockey back on the ice, and this plan addresses those requirements.
The Return to Hockey Plan – including the timelines included within it – is subject to change, as new guidelines and requirements are put in place by the Government of Alberta.