New public health orders announced on Friday mean the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association has been forced to cancel two upcoming holiday tournaments.
The local association had intended to host the Winter Roundup on Dec. 27-29 for ages under-7 to under-11, then the Hometown Heroes event on Dec. 30 to Jan. 2 for ages under-13 and under-15 A.
“We have to put them on pause, due to the new public health orders,” said general manager Jordan Emmerson.
Speaking just hours after Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the cancellation of tournaments effective Dec. 20, he could not speak to the potention for rescheduling the events. The All tournaments will be off until at least Jan. 31, the provincial health officer ordered.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 brought in a number of new restrictions as of Monday, including increased use of the B.C. vaccine card to verify immunizations, and limits on the size of gatherings.
Emmerson said parents and players will be disappointed with the tournament cancellations, and the association misses out on fundraisers. There would have been about 50 teams taking part, between the two events.
“They’re a good revenue generator for us, but we understand the need to put public safety first,” he said.
Already, he said, team travel has been disrupted by landslides, washouts and road closures around the province.
But he said compared with the prior hockey season that was gutted by restrictions, this season has been much closer to normal.
The club has not yet cancelled the Jim Lindsay Memorial Tournament for under-18 A teams on Feb. 18-21. Ridge is also scheduled to host the under-13 Tier One provincial championship tournament in March.
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