1. When do the new Government restrictions, announced on November 24, apply? As per the guidance on Business and Service Restrictions, effective November 27, all levels of sport within Enhanced Status (purple) Areas, will have to be closed. The Government has stated that these measures will be in place for a minimum of three weeks, and will be adjusted after that time in alignment with the case and hospitalization trends and with an understanding of whether these activities are a source of transmission.
2. Which hockey programs do the new Government restrictions on sport apply to? The Government of Alberta’s Enhanced Public Health Measures apply to all hockey programs that are hosted/ operate within a community that is identified as an Enhanced Status (purple) Area. Members are all asked to watch the above linked website page and be prepared to adapt to the new restrictions adapt should your area be added as an Enhanced Status (purple) Area.
3. What are the criteria for an organization to apply for an AHS exemption to the current government restrictions? Will this apply to hockey? SPAR (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation) has indicated that, AHS will only be entertaining applications for exemptions for activity related to the Professional Sporting Event Guidance. This means programs/ organizations that are able to implement a ‘bubble’ could be considered and that no other sports, programs, leagues, etc. will be. The detailed information can be found under Sports and Group Fitness Activities tab within the linked provided above.
4. Can players, coaches or officials that reside in a community identified by the Government as a ‘purple region’ (with targeted/ enhanced measures) participate in activity with their registered hockey team that is hosted in a community that is not currently a ‘purple region’? Based on clarification received on a November 20, SPAR (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation) Stakeholder Town Hall, participants that reside in one community and participate with a team in another community are permitted to continue to travel to participate with their team provided it is hosted in a community that is not currently within a ‘purple region’. Example: a player that resides in Alix, AB (under targeted/ enhanced measures) can continue to participate with his/ her team that is registered with Stettler MHA and operates out of Stettler, AB (not currently under targeted/ enhanced measures).
5. Can teams based in a community identified by the Government as a ‘purple region’ (with targeted/ enhanced measures) travel to participate in activity in a community that is not currently a ‘purple region’? Based on clarification received on a November 20, SPAR (Sports, Physical Activity and Recreation) Stakeholder Town Hall, teams are not permitted to travel to a community that is not currently within a ‘purple region’ to host a practice or game.
6. Outdoor sports were not previously included in the restrictions, are teams still allowed to hold practices and games on outdoor rinks? All levels of sport (whether indoor or outdoor) are currently restricted in the impacted areas. Outdoor activity is only permitted when proper physical distancing is in place between all participants and when the activity adheres to the outdoor social gathering limit of a maximum of 10 people (the use of locker rooms is also still prohibited). With these restrictions in place, no activity will be sanctioned and insured for members within the identified areas with targeted/ enhanced public health measures. AHS ENHANCED PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURES UPDATE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS UPDATED NOVEMBER 27
7. Will leagues continue to work with MHAs/ Teams to schedule and group teams not affected by the restrictions? The recent announcement has had a varying impact on leagues throughout Alberta. Leagues who still have several members able to participate will be able to continue to schedule games for those teams. Some Leagues have made the decision to pause league play (a few until after the Christmas break), therefore each individual league will be contacting their membership to provide an update on their status and plan moving into December and January.
8. If our league decides not to schedule games during this shut-down time, and our community does not have targeted/ enhanced measures in place, are we free to schedule exhibition games? Practice and competition are permitted for communities not under targeted/ enhanced measures. If League play does not continue, provided teams adhere to the current cohort guidelines of a maximum of 50 participants and the 14-day break when switching cohorts, exhibition game sanctions can be applied for.
9. Are ice sessions allowed using physical distancing in areas that have additional measures? The current Government restrictions will only permit one-on-one training. No team/ group activities are permitted to operate if the program is hosted/ operates out of a community that is identified as an Enhanced Status (purple) Area.
10. Who should we contact if we identify operators or individuals acting outside the public heath order? Violations of Public Health Orders are subject to fines up to $1,000 and complaints can be submitted to the Public Health Inspectors by Clicking Here.
11. If a player resides in a community that does not have additional health measures but plays on a team within a community that does, is that player able to take part in ice sessions in their local community? The player would not be permitted to join another sanctioned Team (and therefore cohort). If the player wishes to skate in their local community on private or public ice, they would be doing so without the support of the Hockey Canada insurance program.
12. Prior to this latest announcement, why was the AJHL still playing games within communities that had additional health measures in place? The AJHL established a return to play plan under the Government of Alberta’s ‘Junior, Collegiate and University League Guidance’. They established additional measures to mitigate the risk of transmission that aligns with that guidance. At that time, according to AHS, Leagues operating under that guidance were exempt from the Targeted Health Measures. The Government’s November 24 update to the Enhanced Public Health Measures does apply to the programs approved under the Junior, Collegiate and University League Guidance, including the AJHL and they are therefore now shut down as well.