IMPORTANT Return to Play Update, News (Thornton Minor Hockey)

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Aug 28, 2020 | Kyle Roberts | 1294 views
IMPORTANT Return to Play Update
Please read the letter below regarding the Return to Play plan.  This letter will also be emailed to all 2019-2020 registrants later today or tomorrow.
TMHA will also be hosting a Virtual Town Hall meeting next Tuesday, September 1st to answer questions arising from this letter and the OHF Return to Play document posted last week.  Details on this Virtual Town Hall will be posted shortly, and there will be an RSVP available so that the login details can be emailed to you prior to the meeting.

August 28, 2020

Dear Thornton Tiger Parents & Players,

During these unprecedented times as October approaches we know that the families within our association are wondering if there will be a 2020-2021 hockey season and what the hockey season will look like. 

The Ontario Hockey Federation has worked in conjunction with Hockey Canada, the National Sport Organization (NSO) for hockey, and the Ontario Government to ensure that the safety of our Players, Coaches, Officials, Administrators and Volunteers are at the center of the return to play plan. This plan focuses on making the return to hockey fluid, while enhancing the experience.

The season will look very different than in past years, and we are sure there will be many more changes throughout the season. However, we wanted to provide our association families with some information on how Thornton Minor Hockey Association (TMHA) plans to progress with the season.

As of September 1st it appears that we will be in Stage 3b of the Ontario Hockey Federation's return to play plan Return to Hockey.  After reviewing the OHF plan and the requirements of Township of Essa recreational facilities the TMHA season will start with these modifications in place.

Unfortunately, approximately two weeks ago the refrigeration unit in the Thornton Arena broke down and requires replacement, not just repair.  This means that the Thornton Arena will not have ice likely until sometime in December.  The TMHA board has worked diligently with the Township of Essa over the past few weeks to find a solution.  As a result, Thornton Minor Hockey programming will run out of the Angus Recreation Centre located at 8529 County Road 10 in Angus. We are hopeful that we can return to our beloved Thornton Arena in January, however parents should be aware that, at a minimum, the October to December session will take place at the Angus Arena.

Player Groupings:
• There is no official SRLL or OMHA league or games at this time
• Players can be in a bubble of a maximum of 50
• All players in the bubble must be within our Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit
• A maximum of 20 Players and 5 Coaches can be on in the ice surface at one time.
• Given the requirements of the bubble size and on ice number restrictions we will be grouping players into a maximum group size of 20 before stepping on the ice for the first time.
• The 20 player grouping is to allow us to maximize the number of players on the ice at one time, and allow us to further break the group out into two 10 player teams for 3 on 3 games or 4 on 4 games.
• The 10 player teams would consist of 9 skaters and 1 goalie.

Game Details:
• The games are not official and do not count towards any league.
• The 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 format will not be traditional style hockey. Full details on the play format can be found the return to play document linked above, but a general overview is:
               • Game time structure based on a 50-minute ice rental
               • 5 min warm up
               • 2 x 22 min period run time
               • 1 min intermission between 1st and 2nd period
               • No overtime / no shootout for tied games
               • No faceoffs • Period 1 – visiting team has first possession
               • Period 2 – home team has first possession
               • No physical contact
               • Players must remain one stick length apart
               • Accidental/incidental contact may occur
               • No body checking
               • When a scrum or gathering occurs the puck will be given to the defending team and the attacking team must retreat. A whistle will be blown to separate the players and another whistle to signal the resumption of play once the official is satisfied the attacking team has retreated and the defending team has gained puck possession.

Additional Physical Distancing & Covid Related Requirements:
More specific details and information will be provided in the coming weeks, but a general overview is:

• Players cannot attend any hockey related activity if they have tested covid positive, are exhibiting covid symptoms, been in close contact with anyone exhibiting symptoms/tested positive.
• More details on the reporting of symptoms, positive results, etc will come in the following weeks.
• All players will be required to sign in and complete a health assessment questionnaire for all ice times.

General Arena Guidelines

·        Participants/parents/guardians/coaches/instructors will be required to complete a self-screening check before entering the facility. If you are feeling unwell, have symptoms of COVID-19, are waiting for a COVID-19 result, or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not be permitted to enter the facility. These procedures will be posted as you enter the facility.

·        Participants/parents/guardians/coaches/instructors must practice physical distancing of 2 meters (6 feet).

·        Participants/parents/guardians/coaches/instructors must sanitize hands upon entering and exiting the facility. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing while in the facility is highly recommended.

·        Participants/parents/guardians/coaches/instructors must follow traffic flow and spacing instructions that are clearly marked with stickers and signs.

·        Masks must be worn at all times, except when on ice by all facility users.

·        Participants must come to the arena dressed and ready to play/skate. Skates, helmets and gloves can be put on upon arrival. Masks can be removed when helmets are put on and must be put back on once helmets are removed. Hockey goalies are permitted to put on their chest protectors and goalie pads on in the arena.

·        Participants must have their own clearly marked water bottles.

·        The sharing of equipment or sticks is not permitted.

·        The user group or ice renter will be responsible for screening participants and tracking attendance and contact information using templates provided by the Township.

·        Dressing rooms will be open for the purpose of putting on skates, helmet and gloves only. Users are permitted 8 skaters per dressing room. Skaters aged 13 and under who require assistance with skate tying are permitted one parent/adult/guardian to accompany them to the dressing room. Immediately following skates being tied the adult exits the facility. Special considerations can be made upon request. Showers will remain closed until further notice and no access will be permitted. Dressing room washrooms and sinks will be permitted to use.

·        At this time spectators will not be allowed in the facility to watch events.

·        No gathering or loitering in parking areas or public areas before, during, or after your activity.

·        Water fountains and canteen are not available.

·        Rentals will need to ensure the entire group is present before entering the facility (late participants will not gain access to the facility).

·        Provincial restrictions require that the arena is sanitized a minimum of twice a day with recommendation that it occurs more frequently.

·        Designated Operations Staff will be responsible for sanitizing the following areas during bookings and between groups; washrooms, dressing rooms, high touch point surfaces, doorways, players benches, timekeepers boxes.


General Ice Usage Guidelines

·        A maximum of 20 skaters/players will be allowed on the ice at any time (plus coaches).

·        Participants are to arrive at the facility no more than 15 minutes before their designated ice time.

·        No spitting on the bench or on the ice will be permitted.

·        Players are not allowed to take their helmets or gloves off while on the ice.

·        There will be no shaking of hands at anytime before or after any game.

·        There will be no ‘contact or battle drills’ practiced. Only skill drills are permitted.

·        Players/skaters on-ice behavior is the responsibility of the coach/instructor.

·        Leagues must contain no more than 50 participant’s total. If participants in a league exceed 50, the league may divide into smaller groups of no more than 50. Players are not yet permitted to play against players outside of their league or group.

·        Participants are to leave the facility promptly (within 10 minutes) after their designated ice time.


Registration Details:

• Payment of registration fees MUST be received by September 15, 2020. NO EXCEPTIONS. Registrations received after September 15, will automatically be put on a waiting list due to the bubbling requirements.  Payment details to follow.  As of now, we anticipate the cost for October to December to be $525 for all divisions except IP whose cost will be $450 for that time period.  There will be an additional cost for January through March, which will be due mid-January, and will likely be an additional $300 for all divisions except IP additional whose Jan-March cost will be $150.  Each division will have 2 hours of ice per week.  Below is a PROPOSED payment structure (subject to change) if choosing to not pay in full by September 15, 2020:


Sept 15 2020

Oct 15 2020

Nov 15 2020

Jan 15 2021

U7 (IP)





U8 through U18






• The start of the season is dependent of when the ice goes in, but at this time we are anticipating starting to get kids back on the ice on Saturday October 3rd, 2020.
• At this time we are only requiring payment to confirm player registration. On the date of the players first ice time each player will be required to bring the following documents to be allowed on the ice (all of these documents will be posted on the website).
               • Medical form
               • Rowan’s Law form
               • Understanding of physical distancing and covid related procedures form
               • Copy of birth certificate (if new to TMHA)
• The first registration payment is only the fee per player until January 1, 2021. The second half registration fees will be collected in January.
• We are working to determine the second half registration fees as soon as possible but please keep in mind that this season and while in stage 3 families will not have the added costs of tournament fees, extensive travel to away games, etc.

• Jerseys this year will be practice-style jerseys with knit socks.  Players will have an opportunity to choose their number upon registration, but last names will not be added.

As the TMHA Board of Directors, we are working with requirements of the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and the Township of Essa to make the return to hockey plan as safe and seamless as possible, while making decisions that best fit the majority of players within our association.

We understand that this is a time of uncertainty for many, and that there will be lots of questions related to how the hockey season will progress. Please ensure you check the website regularly as we will be using this as our main method to communicate important information to the families within our association. Also, please keep in mind that these requirements and guidelines may change in the coming weeks based on guidelines brought forward by OHF, Township of Essa or the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to reach out to the TMHA Board executive via our contacts listed on the website.

Looking forward to a great season,

Thornton Minor Hockey Board of Directors