Season Restart - Message from The SSMHA President, News (Saugeen Shores Minor Hockey)

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Season Restart - Message from The SSMHA President
Submitted By Stephen Ballard on Sat 01 29, 22
Hello SSMHA Families,

I hope this post finds everyone healthy and eager to get back to some normalcy. As we prepare to get our kids back on the ice again this coming Monday, January 31st, I have a few points I would like go over so we can transition back to hockey with as few bumps in the road as possible. 

1) EVERYONE (over the age of 12) entering the arenas will be required to show the new QR Code vaccine passport. Security staff will be using the Verify Ontario app to scan each certificate. Patrons without the enhanced QR code certificate will not be permitted to enter. NO EXCEPTIONS. This will be required anywhere the public provides proof of vaccination to enter. For more information on how to obtain your QR Code, please use this link.https://www.saugeenshores.ca/en/news/updated-proof-of-vaccination-requirements.aspx


2) OMHA (boys/co-ed side) will be forgoing the remainder of the regular season and will start playoffs promptly. Your coaches will be contacted to schedule these playoff games in the very near future, so please keep an eye out on the online schedule and watch for communication from your bench staff. 

***U7 Program: OMHA U7 program will reconvene on Tuesday, February 1st, and run regular programming through Wednesday, March 9th. NO U7 hockey the week of February 7th, due to the Curling Tankard. (Information about Tankard in Point 3 below.)

OWHA (girls side) will be rescheduling any missed games and finish their regular season. Please keep a close eye on the schedule for these make-up games.

3) SCHEDULE - as I am sure most of you are aware, Saugeen Shores was selected to host this year's “Tankard” Curling Championships. This is a huge honour for our town. Ice preparation for this tournament requires many days of work, and you will see that our (generally predictable) hockey schedule will be altered to accommodate this wonderful event. Please be patient as we try to make up the lost practice times in the schedule. 

4) Referees - Before I get into this, I would like to thank all of our referees who have worked long nights and weekends to accommodate all of our game play requirements, all the while being incredibly short staffed, especially Adam Cuillerier (Head Ref Scheduler). We are down to about 1/3rd of what an association of our size should require for referees. This is simply not sustainable. Ref abuse seems to get more and more out of control as the years go by, but it seems as though this pandemic has really pushed a lot of people over the line. We CANNOT play hockey games without refs. There will be ZERO TOLERANCE for any type of abuse to any ref, from any player, parent or bench staff. You will be removed from the arena promptly, and will be required to attend a meeting with the executive to gain access to any of our arenas again. Any issues you have with a referee can be handled via email through me, President Mary Campbell, or with Adam Cuillerier.

*Did you know that it costs $450-$500 to become a ref in minor hockey? This pays for the course and the required uniform. If you would like to donate your partial refund (for lost ice time due to the pandemic) to help new refs become qualified, please email your VP or me. 

5) Jerseys - Just a quick reminder that although we love to see our players proudly wearing their jerseys out and about, they are for game play ONLY. Jerseys are expensive to replace and we all know they see enough action during a game. Please keep your jerseys well cared for so they can go back to our amazing Emily Martindale at the end of the season to get organized for the Fall.

6) Silverstick cancellation - this decision was pretty heartbreaking. I would like to personally thank Alison Charbonneau (our tournament director) for all of the long hours she put into this tournament that, for the second year in a row, did not come to fruition. Alison preps and plans for this amazing tournament all year long and we are so grateful for her willingness to rearrange and reschedule as often as the government changed their policies. Thank you Alison.

Lastly, I just want to encourage everyone to read through the new guidelines and protocols for a safe return to hockey from OMHA and OWHA below.

Our arena guidelines are available on the town of Saugeen shores website as well. Thank you for your patience with all of this.

Yours in hockey,

Mary Campbell SSMHA President


The Government of Ontario announced on January 20th the details of steps to cautiously and gradually ease public health measures, starting on January 31, 2022. 
 
Among the restrictions that will be eased include areas that impact indoor recreational facilities. The capacity limits would be brought back to 50%, which is similar to where we were prior to the current shutdown and early September. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is currently awaiting further details on how this will affect programming over the coming weeks. As always, we will share any new information when it becomes available.
 
January 31, 2022
Effective January 31, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. Ontario will begin the process of gradually easing restrictions, while maintaining protective measures, including but not limited to:

  • Increasing or maintaining capacity limits at 50 per cent in indoor public settings, including but not limited to:
    • Non-spectator areas of sports and recreational fitness facilities, including gyms;
    • Allowing spectator areas of facilities such as sporting events, concert venues and theatres to operate at 50 per cent seated capacity or 500 people, whichever is less.

Existing safety measures such as social distancing and masking will remain in place. Effective January 4, 2022, the use of the enhanced COVID-19 vaccine certificate with QR code and the Verify Ontario app has been required where proof of vaccination is required. You can download yours here. The OMHA Vaccination Policy remains in effect.
 
We are excited to return to the rink in whatever capacity we are permitted to and understand the excitement from players, parents, coaches and administrators. Let’s bring our players from the cold outdoor rinks to the warmth of the arenas!



OWHA COVID-19 UPDATE January 28, 2022 The Province of Ontario has updated O. Reg. 364/20 (RULES FOR AREAS AT STEP 3 AND AT THE ROADMAP EXIT STEP) under the REOPENING ONTARIO (A FLEXIBLE RESPONSE TO COVID-19) ACT, 2020.

This Regulation comes into force on January 31, 2022.

IMPACT ON OWHA: Commencing January 31, 2022, OWHA teams may resume sanctioned hockey activities that include games and practices providing they are in compliance with all OWHA requirements, including but not limited to OWHA updates that are available on the OWHA web site (www.owha.on.ca).

IMPORTANT NOTES:

1) The OWHA, PHUs, municipalities may have policies and procedures that are more restrictive than the rules in the Regulation and the most restrictive requirement must be followed.

2) Please be reminded that protocols such as masking, physical distancing and QR codes for vaccinations and active screening remain in place.

3) Please be advised of the following NEW Information:

a. The total number of members of the public who are permitted to be in an indoor area of the facility at any one time shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity.
b. The total number of members of the public who are permitted to be in an indoor spectator area of the facility at any one time shall not exceed 50 per cent of the area’s usual seating capacity or 500 persons, whichever is less.
c. Every indoor spectator must remain seated while consuming food or drink.
d. The requirement for a facility to record the name and contact information of every member of the public who enters the facility has been revoked. As a result, the OWHA does not require such records to be taken or kept. See also Note #1 above.
e. The process and timing of managing positive COVID-19 tests, exposure to COVID-19, requirements for symptomatic individuals, requirement, and length of quarantine and/or isolation and other scenarios related to COVID19 are to be managed in accordance with current national, provincial and PHU policies and procedures and the most restrictive requirement must be followed.

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