It is with great pleasure that we can finally share some details about our return to play plan with you as we move towards our return to the ice currently slated for October 5th!
With the restrictions placed upon us by Hockey Canada, the OHF and the OMHA, we will be offering a very different program this year than we have in years past. This plan will stay true to our mission though, which is to provide a program that allows every participant to play at their optimum level of competition while at the same time learning valuable hockey skills, life skills, and developing a positive sense of team play.
We will be running the season in two halves. For the first half of the season, we will be running an entirely in house program in Penetang only. This will run from October 5th to December 23rd. Following the holiday break, for the second half of the season we will attempt to create a smaller Georgian Bay loop that includes teams from Midland, Elmvale, and/or Oro and more closely resembles a traditional GB league. Many of the details of the second half season are still to be worked out, but that is the direction we hope to pursue and have full support from our OMHA director to do so. Additionally, no decision has been made regarding tournaments or playoffs later in the season but these will only happen if they are allowed by the Public Health Unit of Simcoe/Muskoka and the OHF/OMHA.
We have received initial approval of our first half season plan that will see the following occur:
- Players will be divided into bubbles of less than 50 players based on their year of birth (more information on this below).
- All practices and games will include only other teams and players from the same Bubble.
- Players will only be a part of 1 Bubble.
- Within each Bubble, players will be assigned to a Development Group based on their skill level and ability. Each group will be assigned a lead coach who will plan and run all practices and development sessions. Coaches leading each Development Group along with Bubble Convenors will make final player selections for these groups. There will be no tryouts.
- Within each Bubble, players will also be assigned to one of the Bubble League Teams. Coaches and Bubble convenors will work together to ensure these teams are as balanced as possible, including diversity of skill levels and an equal number of players from each Development Group within the Bubble.
- 3-on-3 or 4-on-4 modified games will be played within each Bubble. All games will include on-ice officials and timekeepers.
- The number of practices and games per week will depend on the age group and tier.
- Where necessary, goalies may be asked to play for more than one team in their bubble.
For the first half of the season, PMHA will have the following bubbles:
- U7 Bubble will be formed of 2014 and 2015 players. Players must be able to enter and exit the facility on their own without the assistance of a parent. Unfortunately, due to OMHA rules 2016 born players are not eligible to be rostered into the U7 division.
- U9 Bubble will be formed by combining 2012 and 2013 players into a single division. There will be two development groups consisting of players of like skill level (A/B). We will form 4 relatively equal teams for game play purposes and games will be played 4-on-4 half ice using a modified game format.
- 2 x U12 Bubbles will be formed by combining 2009, 2010 and 2011 players. There will be a competitive bubble and a recreational bubble. The competitive bubble will have 2 development groups (A/B) and the recreational bubble will have 2 development groups (C/D) each consisting of players of like skill level. Each bubble will form 4 relatively equal teams for game play purposes and games will be played 4-on-4 full ice using a modified game format.
- 2 x U15 Bubbles will be formed by combining 2006, 2007 and 2008 players. There will be a competitive bubble and a recreational bubble. The competitive bubble will have 2 development groups (A/B) and the recreational bubble will have 2 development groups (C/D) each consisting of players of like skill level. Each bubble will form 4 relatively equal teams for game play purposes and games will be played 4-on-4 full ice using a modified game format.
- U18 Bubble will be formed by combining 2003, 2004 and 2005 players. There will be 3 development groups (A/B/C) and # of practices will be determined by the development group with U18 players being given the option to opt out of practices entirely. 5 relatively equal teams will be formed for game play purposes and games will be played 4-on-4 full ice using a modified game format.
We have received numerous requests to coach teams and development groups. We are currently working our way through a modified coach selection process and will be naming coaches for the development groups shortly. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up and offered their time. We are not in need of more coaches at this time, but we will still likely need a few more trainers. If you are interested, please let us know.
The fees for our program will be based on a cost recovery model. You will pay directly for what your development group gets in terms of games and practices with a one time overhead charge for all players to cover things like insurance, team registration, and other miscellaneous expenses.
- The expected cost for the first half of the season for a Competitive Bubble will be ~$400-$450 which would include 2 practices and 1 game per week.
- The expected cost for the first half of the season for a Recreational Bubble will be ~$270-$320 and will include 1 practice and 1 game per week.
- Costs will be adjusted for any development groups that request more or less practice time.
- For U18 players, if you opt out of practices at the beginning of the season, you will only pay for games.
- Similar to years past, if you are unable to attend one of your team's games or practices, you will not receive a refund for that ice time.
Unfortunately, due to the restrictions regarding the number of participants allowed on the ice, at this time we will not be running the Intro to Hockey (2015 & 2016) program. If conditions permit us to start this program in November or later, we will review and do so at that time.
Attached to this email is an even more detailed plan for you to review. All the contents of this email are contained in it along with more information as well.
We understand this is a lot of information to absorb. We hope that you will agree with the board's approach to this season as we attempt to create an environment for our players to return to the ice to have fun, get moving again, challenge themselves, and continue to build on their skills for future years. If you have any questions, please ask.
In the next week or so, we will release the names of the coaches for our first half of the season. We will then begin contacting players about what bubble and development group they will be in.