Hockey groups surprised by Alberta change to team sports restrictions
Youth sports teams will be allowed to resume training when certain public health restrictions are eased on Monday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said on Saturday.
Dr Deena Hinshaw said on Twitter that as restaurant catering resumes, practices and lessons for team sports and indoor and outdoor athletics may also resume. Games will continue to be banned.
A maximum of 10 people can participate in the practices, including coaches and team members. The restrictions state that participants can remove masks during training and that access to changing rooms should be limited.
Hockey Alberta and Hockey Calgary spokespersons said the announcement caught them off guard – the easing of restrictions was announced on January 29, giving affected groups more time to react.
âThis is definitely a positive step in getting players back on the ice for hockey activities,â Hockey Alberta’s Brad Lyon said in a statement, adding that the organization will provide an update as soon as possible for them. members on the way forward.
Kevin Kobelka, general manager of Hockey Calgary, said the organization is also reviewing the change to assess its next steps.
“We are excited about the opportunity to bring the kids back to the ice, it’s something we advocate, it presents challenges, but every challenge is an opportunity,” he said in a statement.
Rule change ‘confusing’, says coach
But Andrew Moreau, a minor hockey coach in Calgary whose two teenage sons play the sport, said the change is a bit confusing.
âIt really looks like they’re going back a bit,â he said.
It would have been better news before the hockey associations canceled their seasons, Moreau said. The logistics of getting the teams back on the ice with safety rules and on a condensed schedule will be difficult.
“I think it would be very, very difficult for Hockey Calgary or Hockey Alberta to get us back to the ice for the rest of the season.”
Last month, some families and hockey clubs across the province took part in protests against public health restrictions, calling for the return of team sports.
Hockey Alberta had announced it would conclude the 2020-2021 minor hockey season on Tuesday, with CEO Rob Litwinski saying given current health restrictions there was too much uncertainty to plan for upcoming games.
The decision affected 14 minor leagues in the province.
Hockey Alberta has said a decision on whether to continue with the Junior B, C, Women’s and Senior leagues will be made on February 8.