Please know that everyone here at the USA Hockey Association is thinking about all of our hockey families during this challenging time.
It is important that we remain in touch and while we we can't do that physically, we have heard of many creative ways our hockey players are doing just that, through virtual means.
Stay safe and healthy and we look forward to when this is all behind us and we can get back to the sport we all love. Our Association will be back on the ice as soon as things are safe for us to do so, and we look forward to that day.
We will continue to provide updates as they happen. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us or your coaches for any questions you may have.
USA Hockey Association
Members of the Michigan Hockey Community:
The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association continues to send its well-wishes to the families in our hockey community. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding, as we collectively continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize that this unprecedented period has resulted in significant delays in planning for a 2020-21 hockey season. While we’re still awaiting further direction, regarding a potential return to the rink, the MAHA wants to share some updates on some proactive policies we’ve established to progress in the season planning process.
On June 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer officially lifted the Michigan ‘Stay-At-Home’ order statewide. As part of this ruling, outdoor athletic practices and training sessions are permitted as long as coaches and participants adhere to social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart). While this is a very positive step forward, in our eventual return to hockey activity, Michigan rinks remain closed until further notice.
The gradual re-opening of activity of Michigan causes many challenges to how we initiate a new hockey season. Specifically, the potentially sporadic re-opening of rinks across Michigan hinders our ability to solidify a schedule for team tryouts. This can potentially delay the process of team formation. Ultimately, our goal was to create balanced solutions based upon direct participation in our MAHA Task Force, as well as input from our Leagues, Clubs and Facilities.
Effective the date of this release, the Executive Committee is authorizing its Tier I, Tier II Organizations and Association Member Clubs to commence the offering of Player Agreements according to the schedule indicated below.
TIER I YOUTH & GIRLS 12U – 19U - Immediately
TIER II YOUTH & GIRLS 10U – 19U – June 8, 2020
TIER I & II YOUTH & GIRLS 10U – 19U – June 15, 2020
The purpose of the MAHA allowing advanced player agreements, prior to team tryouts, is to expedite membership planning for the 2020-21 season. This is also an effort to greatly reduce stress, for participants and families, as to where they will be playing next season. Under these circumstances, ALL advanced player agreements are subject to the following conditions:
Please note that this Player Agreement process does not replace the tryout process for 2020-21. Once local and state governments allow for facilities to re-open and resume on-ice activities, team tryouts will be scheduled. The MAHA will provide further updates on this schedule, as they become available.
As promised, we will continue to provide updates on our preparation for a new hockey season. We encourage you to visit MAHA.org for continued information. Also, be sure to register for the upcoming 2020-21 season with your local hockey association.
On behalf of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, we thank you for your patience during this unusual time – and we look forward to seeing you at your local rink again very soon!
President, Michigan Amateur Hockey Association
I hope all is well for you and your families and you are staying safe and mentally healthy. I wanted to provide you with several updates and thoughts regarding fall hockey and the opening up of ice arena's. I have received several emails, texts and phone calls asking about spring hockey and tryouts.
MAHA is following the guidelines of Governor Whitmer as to when the ice arenas will be able to open which is why no hard date has been scheduled for fall tryouts. As the Governor moves the date, so will MAHA. The current date for the end of the stay at home order is today, April 30 with a request for an additional 28 days. Once the stay at home order is lifted, I don't expect ice arenas to be on the list to open immediately . Ohio is opening May 1 and gyms, which I would lump ice arena's into, are not on the list to open at this time. My thought is the Governor will use Ohio as a guide to opening different areas of the economy.
MAHA has put together a task force that is looking at 5 different areas to open hockey in Michigan, Programming/Innovation, Rink Management, Association management, Administrative management and Policy settings. Each task force group is meeting once per weeking to set guidelines to start fall hockey. The task force is made up of the MAHA executive Board, District Directors, Rink Managers and Association Presidents. The goal is to present plans to start fall hockey at the summer meeting in Grand Rapids. The summer meeting may be in person or virtual, depending on social distancing guidelines. The task force is looking at different scenarios such as starting hockey in August, September or October, depending on the guidelines set by the State of Michigan and the CDC.
When ice arena's are allowed to open, MAHA expects social distancing guidelines to be required for a period of time. In areas of the country that have opened, arena's allow no more than 10 skaters on the ice at a time. Skaters are not allowed to use the locker rooms, must get dressed at home and put skates on six feet apart. When the arena does open, teams may skate but only the players on the 2019-2020 USA Hockey roster may participate in the team skates. NO PLAYERS FROM OTHER TEAMS ARE ALLOWED TO SKATE, this will be a violation of the MAHA Tryout policy. Expect an email from MAHA outlining the guidelines once we have a date that arenas may open.
So what can coaches do in the meantime? If you need to complete your SafeSport, the new modules are open. If you completed your SafeSport last year, you are good for the 20-21 season. The SafeSport will now be an annual process. The USA coaches modules are available. If coaches are moving up an age classification, this is a good time to complete the modules. USA Hockey is working on what the CEP program will look like for the 20-21 season, virtual class or no classes this season if the clinics can't be held in person.
Teams are hosting calls and workouts virtually with their players. If a team is conducting virtual calls and workouts, coaches should be sending the invitations to the parents email if players are under the age 18. There should be 2 adults on the call at all times.
Elections for district directors are now on-line for the next two weeks, please encourage your families to vote.
If your association has a change at the President positions, please let me know.
If you have any questions or a good bread recipe, please email me.
Thank you and be safe.
MAHA D4 Chair
MAHA posted the message below on 3/24/2020
On Monday, March 23, the Governor of Michigan issued an Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 to, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” until April 13.
This has caused all the rinks in Michigan to temporarily close and suspend all activities. Many rinks in Michigan have temporarily taken their ice out to reduce expenses during this time. They will need time to restore their facilities once the Executive Order is lifted to be able to resume normal operations. Some rinks have stated they may not be putting ice back in until the fall season, which means associations and teams looking for spring / summer ice may need to find other nearby facilities to use.
The MAHA Executive Board met on Tuesday, March 24, to discuss tryouts for spring and fall teams that had been previously scheduled or postponed until April 7, 2020. USA Hockey has given its Affiliates authority to make decisions, based on current events and local circumstances, during the pandemic.
Therefore, effective immediately, the MAHA Executive Committee is prohibiting any tryouts, formation of teams, offering of contracts, recruiting, etc., for ALL USA Hockey Member programs in the Michigan Affiliate (a.k.a. everyone) until further notice. This includes all levels of Youth and Girls hockey, for which tryouts were originally to take place in either March or April.
MAHA will monitor issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic and will provide direction on when tryouts and related activities will be able to begin. Once it is clear when these restrictions will be lifted, and when rinks will be able to resume operations, a new date will be set.
We are sure having to pause these activities is difficult for everyone, but, we urge you to continue to follow the advice of our healthcare professionals and stay healthy. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to hockey just as soon as we are able to. We will do our best to stay on top of this ever-changing situation and continue to adjust to meet the healthcare guidelines, and to provide a safe environment for our participants.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in the matter.
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