Return to Play Guidelines, News (Ancaster Minor Hockey)

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Return to Play Guidelines
Submitted By AMHL on Wednesday, August 26, 2020
The Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) has released its Return To Play guidelines.  These guidelines provide the framework for a gradual, safe and positive experience for players to return to hockey.  While plans are being finalized for the upcoming house league season, hockey will look a little different than in previous years. 


Program registration numbers will be capped at a certain amount of players. The OHF has provided clear policies around how many players can be on a team and how many players can compete against each other in a “bubble”. What this means is that once we hit capacity for our number of teams and the “bubble”, we will need to cap the program and begin to take a waitlist. Waitlist spots will open should we have enough to create a new league or “bubble” AND have enough ice time to do so. Priority of registration will be given to Ancaster residents and those who were registered in AMHL last season. We are doing our best to ensure we can offer hockey to the most amount of players possible but there may be some who we cannot accommodate due to the restrictions in place.
As of Sept 1, payment for registration will begin to be collected. If you have registered during the last few months, we have not accepted any payments.

If you have already registered at the $0 amount, please complete this credit card authorization form (Credit-Card-Authorization-AMHL-2and send to [email protected]com in order to complete your registration.  Payments will be processed starting September 1.


Ice times:

The new City of Hamilton cleaning protocols require a gap between ice times for staff in the facility to clean and disinfect spaces before the next ice time can commence.  What this means is that there will be fewer hours available each day.  This will impact what we can offer and is another reason we require a cap on participants.  Program days, times will be dependant on this ice availability.


Team formation:

There will be no evaluations, tryouts, select programs this season.  What this means is that teams will be created based on evaluations from last season.  Team shuffling may be required at certain points of the season.  The House League season will commence in mid October.


Game play:

Regular 5 on 5 hockey will not be part of our programming, at least for the first half of the season.  OHF has mandated that teams will be made up of less players than usual and play modified 3v3 or 4v4 programs once the OHF moves into the appropriate stage.  There will not be scores or wins/losses to start the season and depending on public health measures and what stage we are in from OHF, we may not see playoff formats until we are allowed into the next stage.  Game play will not begin right away as the OHF has mandated a minimum 2 week period for development to start each stage.  Once we are able to resume game play we will do so.


Arena changes:

City of Hamilton facilities will see some changes as well and while these changes will be in effect to start the season, they may change at any time due to public health measures.  Players will be asked to be partially or fully dressed in hockey gear before entering the facility.  Change rooms will be restricted and players will likely only have a chair to sit on to tie skates before the ice time (players requiring help tying skates from their parent/guardian will be allowed to do so).  Number of parent/guardian for each player will be restricted to 1 and there will be designated areas where parent/guardian may go while in the facility.  Players will likely not be able to use the benches (at least to start the season) and while water bottle filling stations may be available in arenas that have them, water bottles should be prefilled at home.  Arena water fountains will not be available and washroom facilities will have restrictions in place.


These are some of the key elements to the Ancaster Minor Hockey House League return to play.  These restrictions and changes will be with us until such time that we are able to move into a new stage within the return to play framework  There is no timeline for stages as they move with public health guidelines.  There is more information available on the OHF return to play guidelines found here:


We sincerely hope that this season will be filled with positive hockey memories for our players and families and will do everything we can to make that happen during these unprecedented times.



AMHL Board of Directors

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