Ridge Meadows Rustlers pee wee A2 celebrate a goal during the Hometown Hero’s pee wee and bantam hockey tournament in January 2019. Modified games will soon return to local rinks. (The News files)

Games on the horizon for Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey and other groups

Province enters next phase of return to sport

Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association will be one of many across the province happy to get more freedom to pursue their sport, as the province announced it is moving to phase three of the Return to Sport Guidelines.

Dave Lige, RMMHA executive director, said that will mean moving beyond practices and drills to competitive games. The games will be four-on-four or three-on-three, allowing smaller roster sizes – 10 athletes instead of 17.

He explained the smaller games are preferable because kids can spread out on the bench, in the dressing rooms, and on the ice, allowing for “fewer faces in confined spaces,” as he put it.

For parents, coaches and athletes who were scared of losing an entire season to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great news. But Lige cautioned it’s not a “return to normal.”

“Some form of hockey will happen, it’s just a matter of what it looks like,” said Lige.

The association is one of 60 in the province that has developed a return to play plan under provincial guidelines. After Thanksgiving weekend they hope to do tiering games, and play games in small cohorts of four teams. The C teams will run like house teams, just playing in town. There will be no tournaments.

He said kids need to play games, rather than just do drills.

“If we can create some form of competitive atmosphere for them, given the state of the world, we’re doing pretty good,” said Lige.

READ ALSO: BC Hockey cancels all provincial championships due to COVID-19 outbreak

Athletes throughout British Columbia will be able to engage in more organized sport activities and some competitive play.

“I know athletes and their families have been missing the joy of competition these past few months,” said Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Lisa Beare. “viaSport has done a great job working with health officials and our amateur sport organizations to ensure we can safely and gradually return to game play. I encourage everyone – players, parents, coaches and volunteers – to continue to work together to make sure we can play and compete safely.”

Lige noted 30 minutes has been allocated between ice times to clean dressing rooms, and for users to leave before the next group arrives. The effect of that is to cost the association 25 hours of ice time scheduling each week.

“That’s everyone’s biggest challenge – ice and ice availability.”

The BC Centre for Disease Control has reviewed viaSport’s Return to Sport Guidelines for Phase 3. The guidelines contain recommendations for how different types of sports now can progressively add activities back again while continuing to adhere to current public health recommendations. This new guidance addresses contact activities, cohorts, competitions, high-performance training environments and travel.

“Sport is an important part of mental and physical health for children, youth, families and our communities,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “These guidelines will enable the social and emotional benefits of sport, while ensuring the sports activities remain as safe as possible.”

Each sport will advance at a different pace depending on community capacity and readiness.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC Minor Hockeyhockeymaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

OUR VIEW: Election could well backfire on Horgan

Are voters angry enough to cast NDP out, after sending us to the polls in the middle of a pandemic?

Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

Participating businesses will have donation boxes available for the month of October

City of Maple Ridge continues the hunt for new industrial land

Since 2014, 203 acres of industrial land has been designated for future employment needs

Fraser health sends letter warning of possible COVID exposure at Maple Ridge school

Parents of students at Yennadon Elementary were told an individual at the school has contacted virus

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read