1. Which viaSport Phase is sport currently operating in?
Answer: The current Public Health Order (updated December 24, 2020) stipulates that all sport is restricted to operate under viaSport Phase 2 guidelines. The current Public Health Order has been extended until further notice.
2. When might game competition start?
3. What are the primary guidelines within viaSport’s Phase 2 that are important for hockey?
Answer: Most of the viaSport Phase 2 guidelines remain the same as in the previously outlined. Below is a summary of the primary aspects and their applicability to hockey.
Participants must maintain 3-metres physical distance at before, during & after sport activity.
No non-essential travel should occur. Participants are restricted to participating within their home club. ‘home club’ is defined as ‘activity occurring with your primary club team, program or minor hockey association.” Individual travel to and from your primary home club team, program or minor hockey association is permitted for the purpose of participating in Phase 2 activity.
Small groups of essential participants only. No group gatherings over 50 people are permitted.
Fundamental movement, modified training, skills & drills. No game play or contact should occur (maintenance of physical distance at all times). 3 on 3, 4 on 4 or scrimmages are not permitted because physical distance cannot be maintained. For the purposes of Phase 2 sport activity ‘contact’ is defined as ‘being within 3-metres personal proximity of another participant.’
Please see #4 regarding age restriction updates provided December 24, 2020. Additionally, adult team activity remains prohibited but Intercollegiate & Varsity activity is permitted if delivered through the Post-Secondary institution & in alignment with youth activity guidelines.
4. What are the current age restrictions?
Answer: The Public Health Order prohibits adult participation. At this time participants that are 22 years or older are not permitted to participate. Team officials (sport activity leaders) are permitted to deliver youth sport programming. Currently, teams that have players both above and below the age of 22, may only include those under 22 years old in sport activity.
5. Are masks required?
Answer: Masks are required in all indoor spaces under the current Public Health Order. However, for the purpose of sport, a mask is not required while on the field of play (e.g. ice surface, players’ or penalty benches). Regardless of the use of a mask, 3-metres distance must be maintained at all times.
6. What are the maximum numbers of participants that can be on the ice during an activity?
Answer: Phase 2 activity should be limited to ‘essential participants’ for training and skill-based activity. On-ice participants should be limited to Hockey Canada’s maximum team roster size or a lesser amount, if 3-metres physical distance cannot be maintained.
o *Team officials include:
o On-ice helpers: They may be permitted if deemed necessary for the activity and if the collective group can maintain 3-metres physical distance at all times.
o Physical assistance: Dedicated caregivers that are essential to a participant’s ability to be involved in sport activity are permitted.
7. What are the restrictions on spectators?
Answer: NO spectators are permitted in accordance with the current Public Health Order.
8. What kind of hockey activities can be done during viaSport Phase 2, while maintaining 3-metres physical distance?
Answer: The focus during viaSport Phase 2 is on skill development, training and drills. Appendix A (pgs. 34-53) of the Hockey Canada Seasonal Structure resource provides many skill sequences that can be delivered during viaSport Phase 2. Additionally, BC Hockey developed an off-ice resource with skill sequences that can be found here.
Order of the Provincial Health Officer - Gatherings and Events (December 24, 2020) - BC Government
Updates to Province-Wide Restrictions for Sport (December 28, 2020) - viaSport
British Columbia’s Return to Sport - FAQ (December 28, 2020) - viaSport
Province-wide Restrictions (January 7, 2021) - BC Government