Hockey Alberta has set a deadline to decide whether or not to continue planning league play for the 2020-21 minor hockey season.
Hockey Alberta, in conjunction with its sanctioned minor leagues for male and female hockey, said in a statement Tuesday it is currently reviewing the sustainability of league play for the remainder of the season, and that if there is no new information from the Government of Alberta by Feb. 1, a decision will have to be made about its league play based on the current information available.
Hockey Alberta says any decision regarding league play doesn't mean the end of hockey activity for the 2020-21 season, and that other potential ideas such as skill development programming and/or exhibition or mini-league games could be viable options with the required safety protocols in place.
Hockey Alberta says it has met with Alberta Health and Government of Alberta representatives on several occasions, as recently as last week with discussions "focused on how hockey can be relaunched in a way that ensures the safety of all participants."
Minor hockey across the country was put on hiatus in March due to COVID-19.
Minor hockey associations came up with different solutions for a return-to-play program this season, blending guidelines from Hockey Canada and local public health authorities, in an effort to get back on the ice.
But Alberta had to suspend all minor hockey activities in December after the Government of Alberta announced the temporary closure of all indoor recreation facilities, including arenas.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 26, 2021.
The Canadian Press