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Ontario Hockey restricts registration for non compliant players

November 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation have never been too accepting of rogue leagues or hockey organizations that decide to play outside of the governing body’s jurisdiction.

Now they have a reason to stop accepting players who have participated in a league that doesn’t fall under the governing organization’s umbrellas.

The Ontario Hockey Federation has announced they will restrict registration for players that have participated in hockey where teams or leagues have not followed government instructed protocols when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued on October 16, the Ontario Hockey Federation said “In review of the current hockey environment within Ontario, the Ontario Hockey Federation Board of Directors have ruled that independent of the OHF Non-Sanctioned League policy, the OHF, in their sole an unfettered discretion, have the authority to restrict the registration and or participation of any individual within their program that is deemed to have participated in a program that contravenes Ontario Government Regulations or the protocols of the appropriate Public Health Unit or any amendment made by the Ontario Government or a Public Health Unit.”

The document goes on to list cohort/league size, cohort/league transition protocols, and physical contact rules and regulations among the reasons that could be considered to go against public health regulations and protocols.

Physical contact rules could include on-ice play that do not align with the current rules set out by the OHF. Currently, minor hockey is not allowing physical contact while on the ice and has implement new rules regarding face-offs after a goal is scored, an off-side call, or when the goalie traps the puck.

The OHF plans to “verify that independent operators are conducting sporting activities that [are in] line with the required health and safety guidelines.”

They will conduct a “review of the program and render a decision” on whether to allow a player to take part in OHF sanctioned programming.

There are plenty of leagues, teams and organizations that organize their own hockey games. From pickup hockey to recreational leagues, arenas routinely rent their ice to anyone who wants to play.

Young players may have to reconsider participating in any such games or they could be subject to disciplinary action in their regular minor hockey association.

By Brian Lockhart


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