Hockey is Back! Sort of., News (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

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Hockey is Back! Sort of.
Submitted By Melissa Wolk on Thursday, August 27, 2020
We’re excited to announce that hockey will be returning this fall. It won’t be quite what you are used to, but thanks to our governing bodies the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and Hockey Canada (HC), we’ll be able to hit the ice once again this fall.

Now celebrating our 60th year, the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club (ORHC) continues to provide our members with the BEST hockey experience even during these challenging times. Ranger players receive the best OMHA certified and trained coaches in addition to professional hockey leadership and hockey development from our experts including former NHL players Steve Mason and Patrick O’Sullivan; P3 Hockey Academy’s NHL and OHL experienced instructors Steve, Jason and Marc Pinizzotto and more.

In order to prepare for the upcoming season we have been working within the Province of Ontario and Town of Oakville guidelines, along with direction from the OMHA, HC and the OHF to help get players back on the ice as quickly and safely as possible. Based on the return to play requirements, here are some highlights of the temporary changes for this year. Additional information will be available on the ORHC website as it becomes available.
 
Rep Development
 
  • Rep hockey (‘representing’ Oakville) will be converted to Rep Development for the Modified Stage 3 period of the Return to Play
  • No traditional rep travel hockey or tournament play is allowed
  • Development training cohorts of 20 or less players will be formed by the 2020-2021 rep coaches, VPs of Rep, and our hockey development advisors into competitive tiers for each division
  • Last season's rep level as well as evaluation by announced rep coaches, VPs and development advisors will all be considerations for placement
  • Within each cohort individual teams consisting of a maximum of 9 skaters + 1 goalie will be established to allow for internal (and external once allowed) scrimmages and games
  • Leagues will be created with a maximum of 50 players
  • Cohort instruction will be led by announced Rep coaches and the ORHC development team
  • When and if allowed, possibility of limited travel for games within the Halton Public Health Unit (PHU), adjacent PHUs, and throughout the Local Health Integrated Networks (LHIN) in the later phases of stage 3.
  • 4 on 4 format; 5 on 5 once allowed
  • Non-contact at all levels
  • 2 practices and 1 scrimmage per week being planned – TBD
  • In some age groups players from last season's rep levels may be merged to facilitate internal game play leagues (and external games once allowed)
 
House League
 
  • 4 team divisional play with a maximum of 50 players per division
  • 4 on 4 game play
  • House League teams will continue to be drafted with the assistance of our experienced league coaches, convenors and House League VPs to ensure balance and parity
  • 1 game and 1 shared practice per week
  • Travel and tournament play will not be permitted as per the direction of our governing bodies
  • Select teams will not be permitted due to current public health regulations
  • Merging of age groups and levels may occur per division
 
As per our governing bodies and the Provincial Government, these changes are anticipated to remain in place for the duration of Stage 3. In the event that hockey is able to advance into stage 4 and return to traditional play, team structures will be adjusted accordingly
 
Registration
 
We are working hard to finalize the programming structure and schedule for the 2020-2021 season as the situation continues to evolve and be very fluid. Ensuring the health and safety of all participants is at the forefront of all decision making while also being financially responsible as a Not for Profit organization in our operational choices for the Club.

Currently, we are performing careful analysis in attempts to keep the season affordable while trying to overcome challenges such as increased ice costs combined with fewer players on the ice. It is our hope to keep prices comparable to last season but this might be at the expense of traditional operating costs in our programming. Registration fees are projected to be between $725-$900 for the 2020-2021 season. We are currently exploring the implementation of a payment installment model which will allow families to pay their registration fee in monthly installments.

We anticipate being able to open registration for the 2020-2021 season in early September with a projected start time of early October for programming. Registration will initially be based on what level a player played in the 2019-2020 season. Those who played Rep hockey in the 2019-2020 season will register for Rep Development. Those who played House League in the 2019-2020 season will register for the House League program. 
There will be no tryouts for Rep Development or player evaluations for House League. Players will be assigned to a 50 player or less cohort as per the mandates of the Provincial Government. Cohort assignments will be based on age, level, and number of registrants.

If and when we are allowed to begin a full and ‘normal’ season (Stage 4), Rep tryouts will occur for any and all players wishing to tryout for Rep. Team selection would then proceed as usual. 
 
Schedule
 
Ice users in the Town of Oakville will be allocated ice “Hub City Style” in order to limit the amount of different rinks that a user group has exposure to. The safety protocols will differ from one arena to another, for example, the entering and exiting of the building procedures. Limiting the amount of arenas used for each user group will make adaption of the safety protocols easier for the respective user group’s participants. 

At this time, not all arenas will be coming back online for the 2020-2021 season. With fewer rinks available, days are extended and there will be an increase in ice times that may start earlier (and end later) than preferred. While not ideal, using these early and late times enables as many participants as possible to take part in the modified programming structure and as always we will do our best to distribute times as fairly as possible.

We hope to have a draft schedule template to release in the next couple of weeks.
 
Coaches
 
Calling all coaches! We need you more than ever. Given the increase in inter-league play we are anticipating many more coaches will be required. Click here to volunteer.

Stronger Together

These are remarkable times to say the least. Together we must make the best of the situation for our children. Let’s focus on teamwork, friendship, exercise, and the joy that playing brings them instead of how things used to be.
 
Together we will get through this. Together we are stronger.  
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