Hello SJAMHA members,

I hope that this message finds you healthy and enjoying some holiday cheer.

I am going to relay some information about the possible state of the 2021 minor hockey season to you in an attempt to answer several of the questions that are starting to flow into our association. This information is based on our recent meetings of the Hockey Winnipeg executive and the SJAMHA board.

A Return to Play committee within Hockey Winnipeg is looking at several options for the rest of the season. We are waiting patiently for news on the current provincial health restrictions. As Covid 19 cases started to decline this past week, we are optimistic that return to play could happen in January with a modified season starting some time after January 8. How this season will look will be based on continued provincial health restrictions as well as the availability of ice at city and private rinks. In St. James we have a good situation with ice availability until mid May (not saying the season will last that long). More information on Return to Play will be upcoming.

We have had several inquiries about refunds and our executive is looking at possible scenarios. Our SJAMHA website has a policy that does not take the current Covid 19 situation into account. We have discussed possible refunds with Hockey Winnipeg and they are putting together expenses that must be covered from Hockey Canada, Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Winnipeg. An example of an expense would be the insurance that Hockey Canada must provide to every registered player. This cost must be paid whether a player attends one practice or an entire season. Another expense is paying for the try outs administered by SJAMHA. The good news is HW and HM salaries and rent have been covered by government subsidies. Once other expenses are tabulated we will have a better idea of a possible refund. Every level will have different expenses and a different refund amount. We ask for patience while these details are worked out. Refunds if required will likely occur in March.

Finally, the initial concerns about City of Winnipeg expectations for community clubs to monitor the Covid 19 restriction at their sites has been altered to be far more reasonable. The City will post health restrictions at each C.C. rink with the onus on the user to follow. This will allow most C.C. rinks to open, however, there are still no team practices allowed. Coaches that neglect this rule could be suspended by Hockey Winnipeg. As of December 21, the following community clubs have indicated that they are preparing outdoor ice; Deer Lodge, Woodhaven, Bourkevale, AW (Morgan site), Valour, RA Steen, Heritage, KW. Please check out our website for additional information.

Enjoy the Christmas Holidays, and on behalf of the SJAMHA Board I wish you a safe, healthy and prosperous 2021.

Scott Lockhart
SJAMHA President