As the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association continues to work on the guidelines that will establish the framework for our CBHL season, I am constantly reminded that we are all in this together. We are unique in that our league crosses state boundary lines; DC, Maryland, and Virginia. This forces us to negotiate directives among multiple states, counties and the district.
Regardless, every player, coach, volunteer, etc., are part of our hockey family.
While there are different opinions on the Coronavirus, one thing is clear, there are rules to follow. Rules in place for a reason, and I assure you…NOT following them will not get us back to competitive hockey any sooner. I have heard from families who made the decision not to play hockey this season in order to stay safe. One family wrote me that their kids were heartbroken that they won’t be able to participate in hockey this season because members of their family are in the high-risk category for COVID-19. It is a tough sacrifice that none of us want to make, but they simply cannot take the chance of the virus being spread within their home. The CBHL has clubs that have opted out of league game play this season.
I have also heard from some that want to know why we are not starting since Virginia rinks are open with game play.
I have personally looked at our preliminary team declarations. As I write this, we have over 250 teams from 8U to 18U/19U youth and girls encompassing multiple levels of play. I have looked at Virginia vs Virginia/Maryland vs Maryland divisions. State-specific divisions will not work since some divisions have, for example, eight Maryland teams and four Virginia teams. I have considered home/away games in Virginia. The problem with this idea becomes ice availability. We could start with game play in Virginia and then move to adding game play in Maryland when permitted. Many options, without the one that works smoothly over the span of the entire season.
Maryland Governor Hogan recently announced that Maryland will begin Stage 3 of the reopening plan tomorrow, Friday, September 4, 2020 at 5:00 PM.
STAGE THREE: More restrictions are being lifted at 5 p.m. Sept. 4 (Story).
Subject to applicable Local Orders and Secretary’s Directives, the following establishments in Maryland (“Indoor Recreation Establishments”) may open to the general public: 4. ice skating rinks; provided, however, that the total number of persons permitted in an Indoor Recreation Establishment at any one time shall not exceed 50% of that Indoor Recreation Establishment’s Maximum Occupancy. The maximum occupancy load of the Facility under the applicable fire code, as set forth on a certificate issued for the Facility by a local fire code official;
When the CBHL adopts our rules for the upcoming season, we will follow USA Hockey and PVAHA rules. We have the option to make rules stronger but cannot make our own rules that conflict with those set by our governing bodies. For example, we cannot say that the CBHL will allow full ice 8U or allow checking at 12U.
The PVAHA is finalizing the guidelines for game play that encompass our entire region. Once that happens, we can set our rules and plan for the start of our season.
We may not all agree with the guidelines and rules.
We may see others not following the rules.
We want to get back on the ice. Safely.
Stay tuned... Hockey is coming.