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

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Sep 19, 2020 | Kelly Jones | 1056 views
Return to Hockey Update

Dear York Simcoe Express Members,


As YSE’s teams prepare to return to the ice this week, we know that this phase of the return to hockey after six months away will be both unique and challenging. While it won’t yet be the regular AAA hockey experience we are used to, our association wants to deliver a safe and productive program within the limits that have been laid out by Hockey Canada, the Ontario Hockey Federation and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association.

YSE has worked closely with our minor hockey governing bodies, and our local towns and facilities to assemble a 12-week program focused on development and allowing our players and coaches to return to the game they love participating in.


Outlined below are the protocols outlined by all three governing bodies, provincial and local public health officials, and our facilities, that we must follow closely to ensure the safety of all participants.



The LBFA Reopening protocols are a site-specific reopening plan for the resumption of arena usage.

This protocol will adhere to the Ontario Government regulation of no more than 50 persons.


All ice time users will be dropped off and enter the La Brier Family Arena through the North Vestibule

main sliding door entrance. From there users will follow the directional signage through the facility to

the arena dressing room area on the east side of the building.


LBFA will operate 2 dressing rooms only (Dressing Room #1 & #4) for each rotating 60 or 90 minute ice rental. Dressing room seating locations will be appropriately spaced to ensure 6-foot distance between participants. Additional seating will be setup outside the dressing rooms to accommodate a 25-person maximum capacity for each ice rental.


There will be no access to the Beswick Family Training Platform for Ice rental users.


1. Ice Rental General Procedures:

  • All users must wear a mask covering their mouth and nose, while inside the facility.

  • Users may remove their mask prior to entering the playing surface.

  • Limited Dressing rooms will be available

  • Limited washroom facilities will be available.

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

  • No spectators or visitors will be allowed in the La Brier Family Arena. (for youth participants only).

  • Visitors will not be allowed to wait on the St. Andrew’s College Campus in a parking lot.

  • All visitors will have to leave the Campus and return at a later time to pick up their participant.

  • Participant access will be restricted to the ice facility.

  • Participants will arrive dressed to play with the exception of skates, helmets, gloves.

  • Sport specific mitigation expectations must be followed at all times in line with public health guidelines & PSO Return to Play protocols.

  • Participants will bring their own water bottle already filled and ready for use.

  • At the end of the program time, participants shall exit the ice and remove their skates, helmet and gloves, put on personal face covering and exit in the facility in the same state of dress as they arrived.

  • Maintaining physical distances, participants will exit the east side of the arena through the dressing room 2 exterior exit and proceed directly to the loading area on the north side of the facility to be picked up

  • Parents/Guardian will meet the participant outside, at the loading area on the north side of the facility

  • Permit holders will be required to keep strict participant attendance records for all ice times for purposes of contact tracing.

  • All users must follow the “50 player cohort” guideline set by the Province of Ontario under Stage Three.

  • Users will only be permitted into the facility 15 min prior to the start of their ice time

  • Users will leave the arena within 10 mins of the completion of their ice time to accommodate the efficient cleaning and sanitization of the area.

  • User group sizes will be capped at 25 participants on the ice surface at one time.

  • This cap will be reassessed as required in accordance with Provincial Government and the York Regional Public Health Unit in conjunction with the OHF Return to Hockey Framework.

  • All users are encouraged to practice proper hand hygiene upon entry & exit of the LBFA, hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the facility

  • Main Lobby will be for walk through only

  • No Access to the Andrean Room

  • No Access to furniture


2. Participant and Staff Protection:

  • Participants will be required to wear a face mask or covering while entering the facility until they get on to the ice.

  • Staff will wear face mask or covering at all times and physical distance from participants.

  • Cooperation of all parties will be an integral key to success


3. Physical Distancing:

  • St. Andrew’s College will be promoting physical distancing through directional & other signage that outlines expectations as it relates to COVID-19 procedures and best practices.  


In addition to the facility protocols outlined above, all participants are reminded of the following health and safety steps to protect all members:


  1. Wash your hands upon entering and before leaving any facility

  2. NO sharing of equipment/supplies/uniforms Including use of hockey tape, towels, water bottles

  3. Wash and clean equipment frequently

  4. Players are recommended to carry their own PPE kit including personal-size hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, extra disposable mask and protective gloves (optional)



As per OHF/OMHA guidelines, all participants/coaches/instructors must complete Health Screening prior to each participation in on-ice activity. YSE will be using an online screening tool through the association’s website provider that is expected to be operating within the next 1-2 weeks. In the meantime, all participants are required to complete the health screening form prior to arrival at the arena. YSE Head Trainer Clare Richard will meet each team as they enter the facility to collect the screening form and record on the tracking sheet required by the OMHA. A tracking sheet of all participants is required for each on-ice session to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 exposure.


Any player, bench staff or parent exhibiting any signs of illness are to remain at home and seek further medical advice.


As we know, the OHF has implemented a cautious, staged approach for its return to hockey activities in as safe a manner as possible within the regulations of the government and Hockey Canada.


Moving forward the OHF will be evaluating the current stage in consultation with the government and Public Health officials. Their first evaluation will occur on October 1, following this assessment, the OHF will conduct evaluations every two-weeks to determine progress to additional stages.


Following these protocols and guidelines closely will give minor hockey its best chance to operate safely and progress towards Stage 4, and a return to normal hockey activities, as quickly as possible.


We will continue to monitor closely and keep the association updated with any developments.


Thank you for your support.


Yours truly,


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