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WBLAHA COVID-19 and Governor's Executive Order Update

By WBLAHA Hockey Board, 12/18/20, 12:00PM CST


Good morning, Bears.

On the heels of Wednesday’s announcement by Governor Walz, we wanted to provide a quick update to answer what we know. Although the news was certainly not what we hoped for, it does at least provide a first step toward getting our season back up and running. 

Currently, we anticipate resuming practices on January 4. In the coming weeks, we’ll be reviewing ice schedules by team to ensure we get as many Bears as possible back on the ice as quickly as possible. As we continue to learn, we will also be assessing the financial impact to the season and making adjustments as appropriate.

We do not have a timetable for the resumption of games/tournaments. We will await word from the Governor and MN Hockey in the coming weeks. We should not expect to continue games before January 18, but that is not set in stone. We have canceled the Moose Goheen tournament at all levels.

Minnesota Hockey's response to Governor Walz's announcement

We understand the disappointment and frustration with the Governor’s announcement. We had all hoped that the “pause” would not be extended beyond the four weeks that Governor Walz originally communicated. We were optimistic that recent numbers and MN Hockey’s proactive measures would help drive a safe return to hockey on Dec. 19. With that being said, we encourage you to make the best of the situation. Lakes, ponds, and backyard rinks are frozen over. There is skating to be done and pond hockey to be played! Encourage your sons and daughters to get out there and skate! Continue to grow their love for the game over the holiday season. Make sure they return to hockey on Jan. 4 hungry and ready to go!

A few notes on what to expect when we resume the season (we can expect a comprehensive list of Q&A from MN Hockey in the coming weeks)…note these rule changes are only for the 2020-2021 Season and will expire at the conclusion of the 2021 MN Hockey State Tournaments.

  1. Team rosters deadline has changed to January 31, 2021.
  2. Junior Gold must play 5 games (date change) before February 28 to qualify for District, Region and State Playoffs.
  3. All locker rooms are closed for Phase 1. Arenas are in agreement on this provided there is more strict regulations on players coming fully dressed.
  4. No bags in the facility including goalies for Phase 1.
  5. All players must come fully dressed with the exception of helmet, skates, and gloves. Goalies may be 1/2 dressed.
  6. Players, coaches, officials and game off ice officials CANNOT ENTER ARENA UNTIL 10 MINUTES BEFORE TEAMS SCHEDULED ICE TIME.
  7. Players must leave fully dressed, and players, coaches, officials and game off ice officials must be out of the arena within 10 minutes of leaving the ice.
  8. NO resurfacing during regular season and all levels no resurfacing between periods. If for the upper levels snow accumulates in front of players boxes, the arena will provide shovels in the players box for teams to move the snow to the zamboni gate. MN Hockey will visit this rule for postseason play.
  9. NO spectators at all in Arena except 1 parent for Clinic, Mite & 8U. Parents will not be allowed in the arena for any other age group. It will be up to the rink's discretion and rules as to how many parents can stay for the duration of the practice. For games, it remains unclear if parents will be allowed. At a minimum, if streaming is not provided by the arena a maximum of 1 parent per team may enter to stream the games.
  10. No dryland activity within the arena.
  11. The season will be extended. District Playoffs are to be completed March 14, 2021 with Regional Tournaments March 19-21, 2021, concluding with the State Tournament the weekend of March 26-28, 2021. We do not have committed playoff dates from District 2 yet.

Rules are to be enforced by Associations and teams. Teams found violating any of the rules already in place or these rules will result in sanctioning for the team and association and possible loss of post season play.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available.

Happy Holidays, Bears!!
-WBLAHA Executive Board