Hockey fans, mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 10, 2020. Early Friday afternoon, Hockey Winnipeg announced a detailed tentative plan for the 2020-21 minor hockey season. The Hockey Winnipeg Working Group met for its most recent executive meeting and came to an ultimate decision on the coming season of play. The details of that proposal can be found below.
With no indication of number of games that each team will play, a schedule is set to be released for November 10, with attention to both A and AA hockey. As AAA hockey has already begun its operation, the following information only involves teams and community clubs falling under the A or AA umbrella.
With City of Winnipeg arenas potentially providing no access to dressing rooms or even access to the facilities themselves, Hockey Winnipeg has opted to play its 2020-21 regular season and playoffs strictly out of privately and association-run venues. This also means that community centres outside of the perimeter will be called upon to regularly host league games.
The Hockey Winnipeg master scheduler will begin work on Monday, October 26 on the 2020-21 season schedule. All ice previously booked through area associations from November 10 and onward must be returned by Sunday, October 25, in order to be used for games. Any remaining ice will be allocated for team practices.
Teams will typically be scheduled to host games in locations not too far from their catchment areas. No schedule exemptions (for travel) will be allowed in either the first or second half. All levels of ‘A’ hockey will see games last for a duration of one hour, while U-13 AA will also participate in one hour games (both male and female).
This proposal indicates the mass shortage of ice across the city, as City of Winnipeg arenas continue to hold out on allowances regarding bookings and dressing room usage. Their cooperation would provide much more leeway within the scheduling realm. Outdoor practices will become a very real thing in 2020-21.
With attendance at recreation centres having most recently been cut down to 25 percent capacity, the provincial government has asked that each skater is allowed just one parent in attendance. Hockey Winnipeg has since mandated this as a rule, and it will be enforced upon arena entrance with no exceptions.