Town of Oakville Suspends On-Ice Game Play, News (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

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Town of Oakville Suspends On-Ice Game Play
Submitted By Melissa Wolk on Tuesday, October 20, 2020
What this means for the Oakville Rangers and our programming

Rangers Nation,

As we are sure many of you have heard, the Town of Oakville has suspended on-ice game play effective midnight on Sunday October 18, 2020. You can read the entire release here

A meeting was held last night with ourselves, the Oakville Hornets, and representatives from the Town of Oakville.  The below is what we learned from the meeting:

 

  • The Town of Oakville and all Town related facilities and programs will be taking the recommendation of Halton’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Hamidah Meghani to suspend all indoor game play

  • There is no defined timeline for how long this suspension will be in effect, however 28 days is what is currently being anticipated similar to the timeline implemented to the regions who were mandated by the Ontario Government to return to modified Stage 2

  • As per the direction of the Town, on-ice sessions will be able to continue at a maximum of 25 participants (including players and coaches)

  • Practices and skill development may continue, however there is to be no game play or scrimmages.

 

The question of how game play is deemed to be less safe than practices with 25 participants on the ice has been posed many times. The Oakville Rangers and the Oakville Hornets are currently collaborating on this. We collectively believe that the OHF's modified 4on4 game rules lower the exposure risk of games / scrimmages to the level of physically distanced practices. We will continue to work with the Town of Oakville and Halton Public Health on this matter.

In the meantime, we as a community need to respect the decision of the medical professionals and trust their assessment.

 

Halton Region is on the radar to be one of the next regions to be labelled a “hot zone” and be regressed back into modified stage 2. This is not a guess or a prediction, this was made clear by Premier Ford in his last address. The region of Halton, in an attempt to keep us out of modified stage 2, has implemented these additional restrictions to try and flatten our curve.

 

We have all worked extremely hard to get the kids back on the ice recognizing that this is what is best for our players, their well being, and their physical and mental health. However, we are right on the cusp of having to shut everything down. If we regress back into Stage 2 (along with Toronto, Peel, Ottawa and York Region), the new limit for participants on the ice becomes 10 – 8 players, 1 coach, 1 trainer. Currently, we are able to have 25 on the ice which allows us to keep our teams intact and continue skating together. We need to work together to stay in this current state and hopefully work our way back into being able to play games again soon.

 

To reiterate – we are still allowed to practice in our current teams while employing all safety protocols currently in place. Game slots will be converted to practices until further notice.

 

Withdraws and Refunds

 

As a Not for Profit Organization, a very clear and purposefully restrictive withdraw and refund policy was specifically put into place for the 2020-2021 season. The reason for this was that in order to operate in these unprecedented times, an inherent level of increased risk had to be taken on by all those involved.

As an example, the Town also had to take on risk by making the decision to open their facilities (many regions opted to just not open facilities) and in order to mitigate that risk, opened facilities and allocated ice based on guaranteed numbers from the Rangers.

The Rangers then obtained “guaranteed numbers” by taking our final registration numbers and building our programming models and ice requirements based on these numbers. All variable costs such as insurance and uniforms were then also built based on these numbers. Any reductions in these numbers lead to further operational losses above the losses already being incurred for all involved to operate within this current environment.

As such, an additional level of risk also had to be taken on by our end users which is why an inflexible withdraw and refund policy was put into place.

 

That being said, the first installment of $240 paid will not be refundable or credited.

 

The Oakville Rangers will allow an opportunity for withdraws and refunds for the second installment of $240 only, to be requested beginning Tuesday October 20 and ending on Sunday October 25, 2020. This information will be available on the "Registration Refund Request" page on the website and will be updated shortly.  Programming will end on Sunday November 8, 2020 for those who withdraw. 

 

Following this period, the number of players remaining is what we will base our ice needs and programming structures on going forward. There will be NO OPPORTUNITY for players to re-register again at a later date. After October 25th any program openings will be offered to players currently on the waitlist and any excess ice will be returned to the Town. The Rangers will not have an opportunity to get that ice back and re-expand its programming at a later time as the Town may opt to close additional arenas or repurpose the ice returned by the Rangers.

 

We recognize that these are difficult and unprecedented times for everyone. We must continue to work together with the end goal being that our players are able to remain on the ice.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to Melissa Wolk, Director of Operations at [email protected]

 

Stay safe and stay well.

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