No tournaments or games between towns is allowed under current rules. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

No tournaments or games between towns is allowed under current rules. (Tracey Roberts Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel minor hockey hoping for COVID-19 shutout

The association has enacted restrictions in the hopes of running a successful season in 2020-21

When fall rolls around in Canada, that means kids heading to the rink to start hockey.

While the on-ice action during practices and games will look similar, the off-ice chatter will look a lot different.

The biggest difference is players are asked to dress as much as possible at home before heading to the rink.

The communications officer for the Quesnel and District Minor Hockey Association (QDMHA), Carlos Gonzalez, said expectations for how much players will prepare will vary depending on age.

“If a kid can come as dressed as possible, with just skates and a helmet to put on, that eliminates the need for the kid to go into the dressing room,” he said. “We know dressing rooms are quite small, and having 12 or 14 kids in a dressing room does not meet the requirements for physical distancing.”

For younger players, there will be chairs close to the ice for parents to tie skates.

The QDMHA is also asking only one parent spectates practices or games, and each person that enters a rink will have to answer a COVID-19 symptom questionnaire before entering. Gonzalez said the QDMHA was considering temperature checks before entering arenas, but that was still up in the air.

“It wasn’t just a five-minute decision,” he said on the return-to-play document. “The safety of the kids is paramount, as well as coaches, volunteers and parents.”

On-ice practices have been tweaked as well. Only 24 skaters and two goalies are allowed on the ice at a time, and those players must be split in two. Each group is only allowed two coaches.

Gonzalez said earlier restrictions would have only allowed 12 players on the ice at a time.

“Twelve kids [was] definitely not going to work,” he said. “Having 12 or any number below that puts significant stress on the number of teams that you need and the ability to properly run hockey training portions.”

Physical distancing will also be on benches.

Hockey begins on Monday, Sept. 14, with the first rep team tryouts at “Quesnel Arena 2” (Quesnel Arena).

READ MORE: City of Quesnel plans staggered approach to reopening West Fraser Centre arenas

“Rink 2 is just too small to have the normal amount of parents that would be there watching,” Gonzalez said. “We know its a challenge, but it’s the lesser of two evils. Better to have the kids participate in these tryouts, but the downside is parents won’t be able to watch as they could at the West Fraser Centre.”

The West Fraser Centre will open one week later on Sept. 21.

While no games between communities is allowed in the current phase of the return-to- play plans, games between Quesnel teams are allowed.

“[The QDMHA] appeals to parents and players to follow the indications from the City and QDMHA,” Gonzales said. “If we all follow the rules, then we’ll have a successful season.”

READ MORE: Quesnel Curling Centre sweeping towards safe return to play this fall

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC Minor Hockey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The trek was made without spectators on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2021. Organizers are planning a second run for February, when they hope public health restrictions are lifted. (Tammy Raynor - Submitted Photo)
As mushers deliver, sled dog mail run organizers announce second event

The dogs made the trip from Quesnel to Barkerville, delivering envelopes of mail for Canada Post

The driver of this truck received minor injuries after it careened off the highway. (Quesnel RCMP Photo)
Semi-truck crashes down 200-foot embankment off Highway 97

The truck also spilled diesel fuel into Cuisson Creek

Operating Room nurse Tammy Solecki, Clinical Practice Leader Joanne George, and Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Van Zyl, stand alongside new equipment G.R. Baker’s shoulder surgery extension. (Submitted photo)
New shoulder surgery program at G.R. Baker Hospital in Quesnel already getting rave reviews

The $200,000 program could support nearly 100 surgeries a year at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

The location of the proposed Telus cell tower is at the red pin. (Google Maps)
Telus proposes Wells cell tower

The project is available for public comment until March 1

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Five big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19:

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

Most Read