Phased-in approach announced for minor hockey, SJHL still in the air

The Saskatchewan Hockey Association has announced a phased-in approach for minor hockey in the province.

The comprehensive document was released Thursday afternoon, shortly after chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab announced the guidelines would be coming. Hockey would be handled like all other organizations, he said.

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Dates, procedures and protocols may change as deemed necessary by the Government of Saskatchewan and/or Saskatchewan Hockey Association. Each phase within the Saskatchewan Hockey Association’s safety guidelines is subject to approval.

The hockey association is currently in Phase 1 of evaluation and training.

Phase 2 will be exhibition games within a mini-league, starting Oct. 17, Phase 3 will be league games, within a mini-league, starting Nov. 1, and Phase 4 would be league games within an expanded mini-league, starting Jan. 18, 2021.

Playoffs and provincials, which would be the final phase, have a start date to be determined.

Phase 2 and 3 start dates do not apply to under-7, under-9 and under-11 age groups.

The plan does not apply to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

"Although the SJHL is included in hockey, the SJHL has to continue to work with the Saskatchewan government on the protocols and how each team's arena will handle fans," said an official statement from the league. "Once protocols and the arenas' abilities to handle fans are satisfactory to the Saskatchewan government, then we could have a start date."

 

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