No physical contact will be tolerated during phases 1 to 5 of the plan presented by Hockey Quebec.
Hockey Québec is aware that the journey before the return to normal may be long, but the organisation hopes that its plan will enable young people to return to the rink before the end of the déconfinement.
The federation unveiled on Tuesday a stimulus package in six phases, which will build on the skill development of young people.
“I always say that you can’t prepare for September in September or August in August. We need to prepare our schedule in advance. There will also be adjustments to make in the arenas to ensure that everything is in place at the level of the distancing physical and health rules, ” explained the director-general for Hockey Quebec, Paul Menard, in an interview with The canadian Press.
“We believe that it was well to submit the plan in advance, even if we still do not know when activities will resume,” he added.
Each phase, of variable duration, has its specific purpose which will gradually return to hockey with complete teams at the sixth and last phase.
The plan, which will be annexed to the guide to Hockey Canada as the version provincial, will be re-evaluated and adjusted according to the evolution of knowledge and of the government measures over time.
Ménard, however, hope that the associations can quickly begin to implement the plan.
“To see the way in which the déconfinement is done, we see things evolve to everything that is done outside. We expect announcements soon on that, for what happens outside, ” noted Menard. Our first phase is on the outside. Then, for what is inside of an arena, it is vast.
“The plan we presented has been designed according to what we know now, and it responds to the frame of reference presented by the department. “
The first phase will consist of training supervised outside, and then the second phase will mark the return to the rink and will be used in the adjustment of groups and teams.
The third phase will allow for the resumption of training supervised to develop the skills of the individual.
The game will resume during the fourth phase, with games to three against three or four against four between the teams of the same association.
The matches between teams of a different association, but from the same region will be able to resume from the fifth phase. All the activities of the first five phases are done in a recreational and non-competitive.
The sixth phase will mark the return of hockey with teams and complete the presentation of competitions and leagues to be normal.
Some might be disappointed with the resumption of matches only in the last phases. Ménard said to have heard lots of positive feedback and negative about it after the announcement.
“There are young people who simply have the desire to go on the ice and hockey, he said. There are others who say that hockey in small groups, this is not what they want.
“One thing that was a challenge for us, it was to reject everything that relates to the games. We really wanted to focus on the workouts. “
Sanitary measures will be in force. Carpooling will be banned and players should arrive at the arena already in uniform. Only the pads and the helmet and can be placed in a space provided to this end inside the arena. The guardians will also be able to complete the installation of their equipment at the arena.
No physical contact will be tolerated during phases 1 to 5. Wearing a mask will be mandatory for coaches behind the bench of the players.
No showers will be taken at the arena, and players must leave the facility immediately after the activity.
“Our plan and our safety instructions have been validated by our medical advisor, dr. Michel Loyer, who has given a lot of advice,” said Ménard.
“I think that with what we have put in place, we are well positioned at the level of the frame of reference. We should be able to accommodate the return of hockey. When ? I don’t know more than you, ” said Ménard.
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