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Author Topic: Returning to the Rink -- USA Hockey Guidelines  (Read 14316 times)

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https://learntoskateusa.com/media/1309/returning-to-the-rinks-5420.pdf

In conjunction with US Figure Skating and US Ice Rink Association.

Of interest in USA Hockey recommendations for clubs and rinks for phased approach:

Limit traveling to rinks outside of your home facility, especially to areas where COVID-19 cases are still prevalent.

•A coach should be prepared to require that a player exhibiting signs or symptoms of illness will need to leave practice (this applies in the same way as a suspected concussion).  CDC list of symptoms Symptoms of Coronavirus | CDC

•Create an emergency plan for a possible outbreak.

o Have a communication strategy to alert all who may have been exposed.

•Participants with symptoms or signs of illness are strictly advised not to enter the premises and to seek medical assistance.

•The initial focus should be on practice and skills sessions.


•Promote a more flexible policy around supporting, and not punishing, a player if they decide not attend training sessions.

• Players can come dressed in full equipment.
o Work with your rink to have a common area with marked physical distanced seating common area to put on skates or remove skate guards.
o Limit locker room use as much as possible.
» When local health protocol allows use of locker rooms, work to have players appropriately physically distanced (using multiple locker rooms could help).
»For age groups where parents need to assist players with equipment, limit the number of parents in the locker room at any one time.

•If there are multiple entrances to the ice surface, split the kids up into groups and have them space appropriately to meet physical distancing standards at each entrance.

•Players need to be prepared to disinfect fitness equipment immediately after use.

•Families should be asked to minimize the number of parents/spectators that come with the player in order to limit the number of people in the facility. Work with your rink partner to determine what is best for your facility.

On-Ice Practices
•Notify and reinforce the message that players and coaches need to observe physical distancing recommendations while on the ice.

•Avoid utilizing benches or depending on local government regulations, work with your facility to determine appropriate protocol.

•Avoid drills that require players to stand in line.

•When designing practice, utilize station based practices and have players/coaches spread out to maintain needed physical distancing.

•Minimize chalk talk sessions where players could congregate.

•Utilize non-contact drills.

•Coaches need to be cognizant to avoid talking within close proximity of players’ faces.

•When leaving the ice, coaches could excuse players one-by-one giving appropriate time for each player to get off the ice. Coaches need to plan to leave an appropriate amount of time at the end of their ice session to complete the dismissal process.

After Practice

•Encourage participants to minimize their time in or around the facility.

•Have them put on their shoes or skate guards so that they can leave quickly in the same marked common space.

•Remind players and parents are to follow physical distancing guidelines when leaving the facility.

•Players should disinfect helmets, sticks and skates after each training session.

•Wash cloths (jerseys, pant shells, socks and gloves) with high temperature after each training session.

There are pages more of recommendations.

It can be assumed that because US Figure Skating, US Ice Rink Association and USA Hockey are coordinating messaging, that most rinks will implement most or all of the rink guidelines.
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Reply #1:
 May 05, 2020, 08:20:58 AM
Will usa hockey have officials at every game and practice to monitor? And what happens to those who are found to be breaking the guidelines?
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Reply #2:
 May 05, 2020, 08:29:59 AM
It states that these guidelines for hockey are for practices and tryouts. I don’t think they have anything formalized for games yet.
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Reply #3:
 May 05, 2020, 08:35:42 AM
Take it back to mites and make them come dressed and leave dressed.
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Reply #4:
 May 05, 2020, 08:51:30 AM
As a coach, the "On-Ice Practices" section is going to make practices a challenge. Not impossible but they aren't going to be easy. And since shared ice practices can have upwards of 30 people on-ice, will the number of team practices per week be reduced?
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Reply #5:
 May 05, 2020, 09:50:39 AM
US Olympic Committee is recommending small group training - X number of athletes with a coach -- and that these "training pods" stay together as much as possible (not swap players/coaches between pods for drills) so that if one kid or coach gets sick, the entire team doesn't have to quarantine. It's just easier to track contacts that way.

For rinks with multiple surfaces, they could bring back up one sheet of ice at a time, possibly use other sheets as large open areas for preparing to get on the ice.

No one will get a whole lot of ice at first. Rinks will have to balance ice time with their figure skaters, as well. I can imagine ice sessions starting very early in the morning and going very late at night to manage crowding and getting as many teams on ice as possible.

The big question mark will be how many people allowed on sheet at one time and how many allowed in building at one time.

As for officials reporting whether rinks or coaches are not following guidelines, I don't think that's going to be a concern. Parents and even players will be doing that for them. Kids won't want to finally get back on the ice only for Sick Aidan to put their entire team -- or older coach's life -- in jeopardy. Someone will snitch -- to the league, to the rink -- and rightly so. I'd imagine rinks, which have their business to lose, would be the first to prohibit players or teams who don't comply from returning.
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Reply #6:
 May 05, 2020, 09:56:03 AM
Take it back to mites and make them come dressed and leave dressed.

This is the way to go. Players come in as completely dressed as possible, even skates on with hard guards.

Don't add manpower and financial stress to rink owners by making them need to disinfect locker rooms.

The less rinks need to police teams (and parents; in my opinion, all parents stay outside, maybe for younger teams, two team parents with Safe Sport to monitor trips to bathroom), the easier it is for rinks to stay open.

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Reply #7:
 May 05, 2020, 10:56:56 AM
Washing the socks and jerseys in high temperature will not only shrink them the logo numbers and names will fall off if they are only heat pressed on.
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Reply #8:
 May 05, 2020, 11:10:16 AM
This seems like a minor problem that could somehow be solved by someone with ingenuity and who really wants to play again. Get a cheap practice jersey in a larger size and don't put any logos or numbers on it?

These are temporary circumstances and a phase one to getting kids on the ice; so by the time games are played -- which may not be anytime soon or even this season -- this may not be an issue, or new styles of jerseys will have come out. I don't know.
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Reply #9:
 May 05, 2020, 11:36:00 AM
Use Zoom before each practice to touch base with players and discuss what will happen during practice, exactly which groupings and drills.

Use video examples.

Have players know exactly what will happen during the entire practice from stepping onto the ice to leaving to save time and to not need to explain a lot or at all.

Or just send out a practice plan each week and ask kids (parents) to email back when they have read it. The kids should now be primed for remote learning, so they will probably catch on to this new normal faster than the coaches do.

It might even mean more real-time practice and puck touches for kids if coaches don't need to take time during the session to explain what will happen next or explain the drills.
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