Over the weekend, the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services announced a dramatic change in their restrictions for ‘Community Sport’ which affects the decision communicated by Hockey Calgary last week to cancel the traditional winter hockey season. As a community hockey association, we are excited about any opportunity that will get our kids back onto the ice, but the latest announced restrictions present some unique challenges. Before we can communicate the exact size and scope of an Optional Development Program, we first need to determine the interest of our Springbank hockey community in an Optional Development Program for U7-U18 aged players for what would be the remainder of the winter hockey season. In fact, given the time constraints that we are compelled to operate under, we actually need a commitment from interested members. While we are still working through the exact details of what this Optional Development Program will look like, we would like to provide some preliminary information on winter season refunds and on the type of Optional Development Program that we believe we can reasonably offer.
Winter Season Refunds
- Winter season refund details are still being finalized; however we anticipate that SMHA will be able to offer winter season refunds of approximately 50% of the original registration fees paid per participant in each division. More details on the specific amount of the winter season refunds will be provided in a separate communication to members in the next week or so.
- For those families that do NOT wish to participate in an Optional Development Program, SMHA will provide you with a winter season refund once the final amount of the refund is determined. Your winter season refund will be refunded electronically back onto the credit card that was used to pay the original 2020-2021 SMHA registration fee. For those members who elected to pay by instalment, multiple refunds may be required. Please note that TeamSnap is dealing with a very high volume of refund requests so refunds may be delayed by 14-21 days once entered into the system by SMHA. You will receive an email from TeamSnap once your refund has been issued.
- For those families that DO wish to participate in an Optional Development Program, the final amount of your winter season refund will first be applied to the cost of the Optional Development Program and any remaining credit/debit to you will be processed at the end of the Optional Development Program. This step is being taken with the understanding that:
- SMHA does not want to levy any additional fees on its membership while winter season refunds are still being processed by SMHA; and
- the Optional Development Program could be affected by further changes to the applicable restrictions imposed by the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services which could ultimately affect the service offering and/or costs to operate the Optional Development Program.
Optional Development Program
- Due to a very compressed timeline for launching an Optional Development Program, SMHA does not have the time to undertake a member survey to solicit general interest. As such, SMHA is providing this communication to you and is asking you to actually opt IN or OUT of the Optional Development Program. Your election will be binding on you and there is no ability to change your mind after the registration deadline referred to below has passed. While we understand this is not ideal, it is a necessary step as we must secure ice immediately in order to be able to offer any kind of Optional Development Program.
- If you opt IN to the Optional Development Program, you will have no ability to withdrawal at a later date. You will be deemed to have elected to participate in the Optional Development Program and committed to the applicable registration fee (and your winter season refund will be credited accordingly).
- Once you opt IN to the Optional Development Program, there may be no additional refunds offered if the Optional Development Program is ultimately cancelled after commencement of the program for any reason if our costs are not refundable to us.
- If you do not respond by the registration deadline referred to below, you will be deemed to have opted OUT of the Optional Development Program and your winter season refund will be processed when and as described above. You will have no ability to opt IN after the registration deadline has passed.
We’re all out!
- At anytime prior to the formal launch of the Optional Development Program, SMHA reserves the right to cancel the implementation of the Optional Development Program due to lack of ice availability, excessive cost to members, lack of interest from members, changes in Alberta Health Services restrictions, incremental rules and regulations imposed by ice facilities or for any other reason determined reasonable by the SMHA Board in its sole discretion.
What will you get?
- We are targeting to be able to offer participants who opt IN to the Optional Development Program an average of two ice times per week. However, at this time, we are uncertain exactly how much ice will be available for us to purchase and exactly how many participants will opt IN to the Optional Development Program.
- The Optional Development Program is expected to run from mid-February to March 31st.
What will it cost?
- At this time, SMHA does not know what the exact cost of the Optional Development Program will be as we do not know exactly how much ice will be available for us to purchase or how many participants will opt IN to the Optional Development Program. That said, we are committed to offering an Optional Development Program as “low-cost” as we possibly can and will attempt to keep the costs between $25-$40 per ice time, per participant. We do not anticipate that the total cost of the Optional Development Program will exceed $300-$450.
What will the “teams” and practice sessions look like?
- There will be no evaluations. Current team placement and player skill level will be the primary considerations, but other factors may be taken into account such as coaches, goaltenders and female players. As a result, some kids may ultimately end up playing with kids from other teams or from other levels.
- There will be a maximum of 10 individuals per group with a target of 8 players and 2 coaches. SMHA may opt for a 9 player/1 coach group structure in certain circumstances in our discretion based on the age and skill level of players or coaching considerations.
- Not every group will have a goalie. Whether or not your group has a goalie will depend on skill level and availability.
- Substitute players are not Only players in the scheduled group can participate in the scheduled session.
- If ice facility rules allow, we will split our rented ice in half with a visual barrier to allow two groups of 10 on the ice at the same time. Currently, however, the ability to share ice in this manner is not consistent across all facilities.
- All practices must be socially distanced at all times per government restrictions with 3-meters (9 feet) between all participants at all times while on the ice.
- Sessions will be skills-based only with no game play, scrimmage, battle drills, one-on-ones, small area games or any other drills where social distancing requirements cannot be maintained at all times.
- Coaches will be current SMHA volunteer coaches who were rostered to one of the SMHA teams this 2020/21 season.
- All Alberta Health Services guidelines for indoor youth activities must be adhered to at all times. Failure to strictly follow these guidelines could result in cancellation of the Optional Development Program.
- SMHA will provide a strict protocol for all groups to follow when accessing the arenas (daily health check list will be expected to be filled out and submitted prior to attending).
- Spectators will NOT be permitted for any age group.
- No friend requests will be considered for any age group.
- Players must wear masks at all times when they are not on the ice including in washrooms, dressing rooms and all facility common areas.
- Coaches must wear masks at all times on and off the ice.
- There will be limited access to dressing rooms (primarily washroom use) so all participants must come fully dressed to the arena for all sessions.
- All of the above conditions and restrictions are subject to change with minimal notice.
- All ice times are subject to change (including the possibility of additional ice being made available).
- All groups will have ice time on the Springbank Park ODR.
- All groups may have 6 a.m. ice times.
Please complete and submit the REGISTRATION Form through the link emailed to members by no later than Friday, February 12 at 11:59 PM.
We understand that this is a very short timeframe to decide whether or not to participate in the Optional Development Program. We also understand that the exact program features are not as finalized as we would all like them to be. However, SMHA wants to get interested members back on the ice as quickly as possible and we need to quickly secure the ice we will need to be able to offer an Optional Development Program.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: As noted above, if you do not submit this form by the registration deadline referred to above, you will be deemed to have opted OUT of the Optional Development Program and your winter season refund will be provided to you as a TeamSnap refund as described above and there will be no further opportunity to opt IN to the Optional Development Program.
Please check your inbox (or SPAM folder) for this message.