YSE Return to Hockey Update, News (York-Simcoe Express)

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Sep 13, 2020 | Kelly Jones | 1255 views
YSE Return to Hockey Update
Dear York Simcoe Express Members,  

As mentioned in our previous update two weeks ago, the York Simcoe Express Board, Return to Hockey committee, and our coaches, have been working closely with the OMHA and our local centres to ensure a safe return to hockey for all involved.  

As you are aware from changes to other activities, including schools as the Province continues to open up following the quarantine, the situation remains fluid and subject to changes. Contained in this update are further confirmed details as we prepare for a return to the ice for our teams beginning the week of September 21.




As mentioned in our previous update, players who were rostered with YSE last season are eligible to participate along with players from the YSE zone who played on another AAA roster last season where roster space permits. Players who participated as Affiliated Players (AP’s) last season are not eligible to register with our program as per OHF guidelines.


Each age group’s total roster of 18 skaters and two goalies will be rostered as two separate teams consisting of a maximum of 9 players and one goalie for future play in 3-on-3 games with full teams able to participate in practices together (up to a maximum of 25 people on the ice including coaches).


YSE will provide programming for eight (8) teams from U11 (Minor Atom) to U18 (Midget). A novice team is not eligible for this Return to Hockey program at this time due to OHF guidelines based on 2019-20 rosters.



YSE will offer teams four (4) hours of development-focused programming per week made up of two 90-minute sessions along with one 60-minute session.


Pending OMHA approval, with exact timing to be determined following a minimum two-week development phase for the program, YSE will create joint programming with the Markham Waxers and Richmond Hill Coyotes to play 3-on-3 (or 4-on-4 as public health and OHF direction allows) games. All game play must be contained within our local Public Health Unit and must be conducted following local Public Health Unit and facility health and safety rules.


** Please note, that as of September 30, 2020, as per OHF regulations, players will not be permitted to participate in any non-sanctioned hockey programs while also participating in OHF and OMHA sanctioned programs.



YSE will begin providing ice to teams the week of September 21 with the development program running for 12 weeks. There will be break for the Christmas holiday at which time programming details for January, 2021 will be determined based on public health and OHF/OMHA guidelines.



YSE has secured our regular home arena, the La Brier Family Arena at St. Andrew’s College, for the majority of our ice with additional ice at facilities within our region to supplement our requirements if needed.


During this initial phase, spectators are not permitted in the facilities. St. Andrew’s College requires parents to drop their child off at the arena and leave the campus grounds before returning to pick up at the end of the session. We will continue to update all members on changes to these rules as public health and local facilities guidelines progress.



As the association does each year for the regular hockey season to reduce cost to members, YSE will be contributing financially to the operating costs of this Return to Hockey phase to help offset the cost to our members. YSE will contribute $15,000 to the program resulting in a cost per participant for this 12-week development program of $1,250 payable in two (2) equal instalments of $625 on September 30 and November 1. Payment options will be circulated with an invoice to follow.




As outlined in the OHF’s Return to Hockey framework, this Phase 2 that we are currently operating in is meant to ‘restart, protect and support’ our players. It is a staged approach that will evolve and does not have a specific time frame. During this restart phase, our primary concern will be the health and safety of all participants, their families and our communities.


Below are health and safety protocols as determined by our local facilities and YSE’s Return to Hockey Committee. Additional Hockey Canada Safety Guidelines are also available on the OMHA and OHF’s website found in the COVID-19 updates section.


Members / Participants will be required to follow local public health and Facility specific protocols at all times.


1. General Considerations:

· All members must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose, while inside any facility.

o Access to facilities may vary

· Dressing room access will vary pending facility.

· Limited washroom facilities will be available.

· Social distancing (6 feet) must be adhered to, throughout use of any facility.

· At this time, facilities are not permitting spectators (May vary depending on facility and rules may change depending on public health and facility guidelines)

· OHF programming restrictions must be followed at all times

· Groups will only be permitted into facilities 15 min prior to their start time

· Groups will be asked to leave the arena promptly following their permit time.

· Initially, group size of 25 players permitted on the ice surface at one time.          

o This number will be revisited periodically in accordance with provincial and regional Public Health Units as well as OHF return to hockey procedures

· While every building is making efforts to sanitize their facilities it is strongly suggested that anyone accessing any facility clean their hands and equipment. Hands using either soap and water/hand sanitizer and equipment per manufacturers’ directions as soon as practicable after leaving any facility


2. Sign In & Screening Procedures:

· Participants will be required to put on a mask while entering any facility.

· Members should expect a verbal screening assessment for each participant in addition to the online screening/waiver provided by YSE. Those who fail screening will not be permitted to enter the facility

  • Likely questions will be:

1. Are you currently experiencing any of the common symptoms of COVID-19?

2. Fever of 37.8 °C or greater?

3. New or worsening cough?

4. Experiencing shortness of breath?


Other symptoms:

1.. Sore throat, new taste, diarrhea, running nose, congestion, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain?

2. Have you been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms?

3. Have you travelled outside of Canada within the last 14 days?

· Members will be required to wash their hands / apply hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving any facility


Members are able to order YSE branded face masks for players and all family members by using the link below and submitting their order. The offer will close next Sunday with masks being delivered in early October. When ordering, please choose ‘pick up’ delivery method on the checkout page and we will arrange for all orders to be picked up and delivered to each team.





It is important to remind every member that this Return to Hockey programming is not intended to be a return to the ‘regular’ AAA hockey experience that we are used to. It is focused on a return to an activity that our players love, and an opportunity for high-level development, despite the many restrictions still in place.


Each YSE coach will follow up with his respective team to outline development program details along with confirmation of schedule in the coming days.


Thank you, everyone, for your patience and support as we work to make our Return to Hockey a safe, productive and rewarding experience for all involved.


Yours truly,


The York Simcoe Express Board of Directors, YSE Return to Hockey Committee and Coaches