Minnesota Hockey announced today it is advancing to Phase 2 of its Return to Play beginning Wednesday, June 24, per the updated guidance for organized sports released by the Minnesota Department of Health (“MDH”) on June 19.
Below is a summary of the changes, how they impact hockey and updated Return to Play guidance. For the full Minnesota Hockey Return to Play Phase 2 guidance document, click here.
- A timeline was provided for resuming scrimmages and games. The earliest games may resume is June 24 for outdoor sports and July 1 for indoor sports. MDH strongly recommended a phased return to competition in which inter-team scrimmages were held for two weeks, then local games for two weeks and after another two weeks, expanding to travel games.
- For organized sports of all ages, pod sizes for non-game settings were increased to a maximum of 25 people per pod, both inside and outside, starting June 24. Intermixing between pods should still be kept to a minimum.
- MDH still strongly discourages participating in games that require travel out of state.
- Spectators are allowed for games but must adhere to guidelines for host facility in terms of capacity and social distancing. Spectators should not attend practices.
- Recommendations remain in effect for social distancing, cloth face coverings, participant health screenings, etc.
For the complete MDH guidance document for organized sports, click here.
Minnesota Hockey Updates
- In non-game settings, there may be a maximum of two pods of 25 people or less on the ice. There should be no mixing between groups.
- Resuming competition will follow a four-week progression, per MDH recommendations. Starting June 24, inter-team scrimmages may resume within practices. Starting July 8, games may begin within your local community, club or organization. Starting July 22, teams can begin playing travel games, but travel to play games outside of Minnesota is strongly discouraged.
- Starting July 1, 6 and Under and Learn to Play programs may resume on-ice activities.
- Many recommendations from Phase 1 remain in effect including staying home if sick, social distancing, minimizing interactions before or after practice, bringing your own hydration, etc.
- Phase 2 includes a series of guidelines specifically for games and include topics such as minimizing people in the scorekeeper area, maximizing social distancing on the bench, eliminating huddles, handshakes, etc. and several more.
Minnesota Hockey established these guidelines in an effort to provide recommendations and ideas to consider when evaluating and planning your programs in the context of COVID-19. Please know these are not requirements, but they are designed to assist associations in keeping their members safe.
The knowledge and circumstances around COVID-19 are changing constantly and, as such, Minnesota Hockey encourages all affiliates to stay up-to-date on state and local government guidelines and recommendations from the CDC. Minnesota Hockey will also continue to provide updates and adjust these guidelines as more information develops.