BURLINGTON EAGLES 2020-21 PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCEMENT, News (Burlington City Rep Hockey Club)

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BURLINGTON EAGLES 2020-21 PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCEMENT
Submitted By Kyle Mundell on Tuesday, August 18, 2020
To our Eagles families,

First and foremost, we hope that you are all keeping well, healthy, and active! We all know how much our world has changed during this year, and the challenges that we have all encountered month to month. Our lives have all looked dramatically different and that will filter over into a hockey season that will be like no other we have experienced before.

This summer our board of directors, along with our head trainer Connie Kalpakis and Corey Locke our Director of Coach and Player Development, have been planning a safe return to hockey for all our Eagles players. Ensuring that everyone feels safe inside our arenas while also receiving the appropriate skill development is something we have been very diligent about the past few weeks. In conjunction with the City of Burlington as well as the Ontario Hockey Federation and our local Public Health Unit, we have created a plan for our Eagles participants and parents to enter and exit our facilities comfortably and safely, while also asking for you to physically distance responsibly. These protocols include: the entrance and exit points of the arena, the use of sanitizer around the arena and hand washing when arriving and leaving, the use of Personal Protective Equipment from Eagles volunteers along with players and parents, and a restocked trainer kit to include extra gloves, masks, sanitizer and a thermometer.

We will also be using a tracking document sent out by the OHF (https://www.ohf.on.ca/media/isintuvh/session-participation-and-health-screening-tracking.pdf) which will all be performed digitally by an Eagles provided iPad. This will minimize the cleaning needed as only the trainer will be entering screening data. All participants including players, parents, and instructors will undergo a COVID-19 pre-screening upon registration, which has been provided to us by the OHF (https://www.ohf.on.ca/media/lphf5rv4/health-screening-questionnaire.pdf).

All skaters are expected to come to the arena fully dressed except for their skates, helmets, and gloves – goalies can wear as much equipment as they’re comfortable with, so long as they are able to get dressed and undressed in the allotted time before and after their session. Once participants arrive at the arena, they will undergo another screening where trainers will also ensure everyone has a mask, while taking each person’s temperature and asking them the COVID-19 screening questions. Participants will then be instructed on where they will be sitting (2 meters apart on marked chairs/benches) where they will put on their skates and helmet. Once the players go out on the ice, they will put their own labelled water bottle on the bench that will have clear markings 2 meters apart. Water bottles cannot be filled at the arena, and under no circumstances will players or staff be allowed to share any water bottle.

Our Director of Coach and Player Development Corey Locke has also been hard at work the last few weeks, creating a development plan that will benefit all our Eagles skaters and goalies over the next few months in this different form of a hockey season. This development plan includes starting with the technical skills of hockey, moving through to 3v3 or 4v4 with officials, to eventually including outside competition at the later stages of the OHF Return to Hockey stages.

The OHF has also mandated that our programming will be restricted to players who were with the Burlington Eagles for the 2019/20 season. Because of this mandate, players will start our programming on the same team they ended the 19-20 season with and will continue with that same group until we reach Stage 4 in the OHF process. Our Eagles programming will start with our Next Level Training providers taking the lead on skill development, while our chosen coach for 2020-21 will be on the ice as a supporter, learning from our NLT leaders. It is our goal that we get our players on the ice a minimum of three times a week, so that we can maximize opportunities to build on the previous session’s practices. As we move through the OHF’s Return to Play stages, we will increase the opportunities to get game-like situations in, and we can eventually expand our bubble to include members of the Halton region, and potentially neighbouring regions when given the opportunity. Here is how we are looking to move through Stages 3A to Stage 3E as defined by the OHF:

Stage 3A) Eagles Pre-Game Warm-Up

-        Maximum of 25 people on the ice for individual training

-        Strict physical distancing required – no contact allowed on the ice

-        Limited use of the bench

-        Individual skills sessions for all participants from U8 through to U18

-        NLT Skills Coaches leading development along with Eagles Head Coaches

Stage 3B) Eagles On-Ice Warm-Up

-        Maximum of 30 people on the ice for individual training

-        Strict physical distancing required – no contact allowed on the ice

-        Limited or normal use of the bench

-        Individual skills sessions for all participants from U8 through to U18

-        NLT Skills Coaches will lead development for the first few weeks, when it will then change to our Eagles coaches leading development with the assistance of our NLT providers

Stage 3C) Eagles – Period #1

-        Maximum of 40 people on the ice for individual training and game play

-        Group training and practices with physical distancing

-        Individual skills sessions and practices for all participants from U8 through to U18 including cross-ice games and small-area games

-        Game play of 3v3 or 4v4 with no physical contact conducted with one registered official

-        All game play is within our local Public Health Unit

Stage 3D) Eagles – Period #2

-        Maximum of 40 participants on the ice for individual training and game play

-        Group training and practices with physical distancing

-        Individual skills sessions and practices for all participants from U8 through to U18

-        Game play of 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5, with no physical contact conducted by one registered official

-        In stage 3D we can play games within our local Public Health Unit and limited adjacent Public Health Units (Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills)


Stage 3E) Eagles – Period #3

-        Maximum of 40 participants on the ice for individual training and game play

-        Group training and practices with physical distancing

-        Individual skills sessions and practices for all participants from U8 through to U18

-        Game play 3v3, 4v4, or 5v5 with no physical contact conducted by one registered official

-        In Stage 3E we can include an expanded health integrated network (Peel, Wellington, and Hamilton regions)

To see a further breakdown of each stage and their restrictions, check out the OHF Return to Hockey document (https://www.ohf.on.ca/media/tukpds4s/ohf-return-to-hockey_0731.pdf).

As stated earlier, this programming is only available for our 2019-20 Eagles players, and you will stay on your previous team for group practices to help limit the contact tracing required. We are aiming for a start date of September 5th so that we can get on the ice at least once before school starts. As this season is a completely new experience for everyone involved, these situations do not have any firm time period attached to them, and we may move forward or backwards in stages as our Public Health Unit, the OHF, and the Government of Ontario change their restrictions. The Burlington Eagles will always follow the protocols given to us by our governing bodies so we can ensure a safe return to hockey. 

As we anticipate there will be many questions regarding the OHF Return to Hockey stages and the health protocols we will be implementing, we will be holding a “Town Hall” meeting at Appleby Arena on Thursday, August 27th. Since there is a limit of 50 people indoors, we will be holding four sessions starting at 6:00 on the top of each hour until 9:00. To register for one of these “Town Hall” meeting click here.

We are extremely excited about returning to the ice this Fall, and we believe we have put the proper procedures in place to do it safely and keep our participants healthy throughout the rest of 2020 and beyond. We have taken all direction from the Ontario Hockey Federation, the City of Burlington, and the Government of Ontario to ensure that everyone arrives to the rink healthy and goes back home to their families the same way.

Due to OHF restrictions, registration will not be made available until September 1st. However you can use this link to access registration once that date arrives! The prices for each age group and division can be found on the 2020 Registration Fees page.

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