COVID 19 Update from Sask Hockey Assoc

May. 05, 2020

May 4, 2020 Update from SHA

TO:          SHA Membership
FROM:     Kelly McClintock, General Manager
 RE:         COVID-19 Update

On behalf of the SHA Board of Directors I hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy.
Since March 12th  when the announcement was made that hockey was being cancelled across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SHA has been working with Hockey Canada on a number of issues that I would like to advise you of.
In a perfect world I would like to advise you of a specific date that we can all look forward to in terms of being able to return to the game we all love. However, that is not what we are facing at this moment.
In the meantime, we are working with Hockey Canada and all the other provincial Hockey Associations across the country to prepare for when we can begin play again. Again, how that looks is something we cannot predict at this time. There may be jurisdictions of the country when sport will begin before other jurisdictions depending upon the COVID-19 situation in that area.
At the Hockey Canada level, nine Task Teams/Work Groups have been created to address the following topics applicable to address Return to Play.
Two of the Task Teams related to Officiating and Coaching are already underway. SHA Senior Coordinator Coaching, Blaine Stork is on the Coaching group and work has started on moving the HP 1 course to a virtual platform.
I have been part of the Officiating Task Team in terms of developing a charter and setting a course and that has been finalized and sent to Senior HC team and the HC Board of Directors.
There will be representation from across the country on all the groups. We feel it is important to give you an oversight of what the Task Teams/Work Groups are and the areas they will be addressing.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
If you have any questions, please contact SHA’s General Manager, Kelly McClintock (

Return to Play Framework as a Result of COVID-19 (v2)

This document is intended as a draft framework to build a comprehensive Return To Play (RTP) Plan for Hockey Canada and Members. Hockey Canada, with Member SMEs will collaborate on identifying specific issues, concerns and opportunities we will face with regards to RTP.

We must look to not just be prepared for a return and address the existing landscape, but how do we come back improved, better aligned nationally with a “Customer Centric” focus in how we operate and offer hockey.

This framework includes four (4) Task Teams and five (5) Workgroups which would work to plan, address specific issues and look for opportunities of improvement on alignment with a focus on customer experience at the grassroots level for our RTP in very specific areas. The Task Team and Workgroups would have their own composition of SMEs from HC, Members and local level or at the very least each group should be connecting with those at the grassroots level to understand their perspective. Obtaining best practices from Members/MHAs will also be important to identify if any ideas can be scaled nationally.

A key to success will be understanding, while working separately each Workgroup must work in collaboration with the other Workgroups (No Silos!). Leads of each of the 8 Workgroups will have to meet regularly as a group to ensure everyone is connected and working as one TEAM (13+1=1).

RTP Regulatory Review Task Team
Why: To prepare a consistent, coordinated plan by reviewing the existing regulations and their impact on how and when we RTP.

• Collaborate with all major stakeholders for input
• Make recommendations with regards to transition regulations that may be required for RTP in whatever format that may be
• Ensure to take into consideration timing, health protocols, league makeup and geographical make-up

RTP Protocols and Safety Task Team
Why: To develop consistent, clearly defined guidelines for Return To Play for all Members, partners and Leagues to follow to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants (players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators).

• To review the COVID-19 landscape and determine a clear set of protocols with regards to the process that would determine how and when a Member, geographic region, league or program can resume play
• Develop clear health and safety protocols that would ensure the well-being of all participants.

RTP Officiating Task Team
• To include RTP plan for various seasonal structures for 2020-21

RTP Coaching Task Team
• To include RTP plan for various seasonal structures for 2020-21

1. Marketing, Communication & Public Relations Workgroup
Why: To determine the most effective way to engage customers (existing and potential) and promote a health and safe return of hockey.

• Build a comprehensive marketing and communications plan specifically focused on RTP and any new nationally focused initiatives created by various workgroups
• Make Hockey More - brand promise and values at centre of plan; renewed focus on safety and respect
• Consider various scenarios & strategies depending on time of return
• Create messaging for both returning and potential new participants with a clear link to registration
• Collaborate with Business Partners on RTP messaging, BD&P (e.g. Tim Hortons)
• Utilization of “Canada’s largest team” - create stronger connection, call to action at grassroots level

2. Customer Engagement Workgroup
Why: To gather first-hand input and direction, directly from the customer and grassroots organizers, to assist with development of RTP and overall player/volunteer experience
• Work with third party to determine best approach to gather input, ensuring research is independent and not biased by existing thinking
• RTP Workgroups to utilize collected information; what does our existing and potential customer need
• Gather information useful for both current and future state

3. Seasonal Structure, Delivery Model & Registration Workgroup
Why: To review seasonal structure and explore opportunities for modified programming; address the registration process and financial impact on families.

• Contingency plans on various RTP dates and the impact on player pathways
• Provide modified programming options that may currently exist or not exist and may be required on RTP, adaptive seasonal structures, start, finish, length…
• Review the current delivery model and what can best serve the customer out of COVID-19 and future seasons
• Work with facilities to identify coordinated openings and ice availability and access protocols
• Address the registration process; look to simplify and reduce fees for families

4. Events, High Performance & National Teams Workgroup
Why: To ensure all understand and are on same page with regards to National events and plans for Regional and National team player selections.

• Ensure 2020-2021 Championships in place, supported by members
• Be prepared for possible shortened season and impact on National championships / Under 18 National Championship and Under 17 world Challenge
• Define player selection process for provincial, regional and national teams if no summer camps can take place
• Clarify the connection between national plans and regional/provincial level
• Review other concerns from Members with regards to loss of summer HPP programs, impact on players, coaches, future programs, budgets, etc.

5. Private Hockey Workgroup
Why: To review Private Hockey Groups (spring, summer and winter programs/leagues) and their potential impact on sanctioned hockey with RTP.

• Complete an inventory review with each Member identifying Private Hockey
• Review of Arena database and identify private facilities that may benefit Private Hockey
• Identify any potential opportunities for alignment or partnerships with Private Hockey
• Identify the potential impacts if Private Hockey Groups return to play before sanctioned hockey programs
• Review of and impact of HC Non-Sanctioned League Policy as it relates to the timing of RTP

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