Huntsville Minor Hockey is very disheartened to announce that we will not be offering any further programming for the 2020-2021 season.
This is not the announcement we had hoped to be making. We had hoped that the pause in our season which was initiated prior to the holiday season would be short lived and that we would see our teams back on the ice at the beginning of the new year, but sadly, that did not happen.
Although the Stay at Home Order has currently been lifted as of February 16th, there are simply too many restrictions, obstacles and unknowns that are preventing us from resuming our programming. Some of the issues that have forced us to make this decision, include: a limit of 10 players on the ice, no scrimmages or games permitted, only physically distanced activities permitted, mandatory minimum of a coach & a trainer on the ice for every hour, limited ice available to us (do not have enough ice to offer one hour per week per team), largely increased cost to run programming with limited players on the ice per hour; coupled with unknowns such as uncertainty regarding how long the ice may remain, the possibility of further short notice restrictions and lockdowns due to i.e. possible 3rd Wave, increased cases of Variants either locally or provincially etc.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our countless volunteers who helped us to provide programming for approximately 330 local kids this season amidst all the challenges and ever changing rules and regulations. Without all our awesome coaches, trainers, managers, convenors and board staff giving their time and effort, hockey could not have happened this season. I would like to also thank our families for being flexible and understanding to help us bring hockey to Huntsville during this challenging time. As well, I would like to thank the Town of Huntsville Staff for their tireless efforts to help get us back on the ice safely, while navigating the ever changing rules and regulations they were required to follow, while also being supportive and flexible with all of us while we attempted adapt to all the new challenges.
As many families paid for their season in full in advance and U9's fee was based on some additional weekly ice times after January 15th that didn't happen, we will need to figure out and begin processing refunds where applicable. Please be patient as we sort this out.
We will also need to come up with a plan for how teams can return equipment and players can return jerseys. For now, please locate all HMHA equipment and launder your child's jersey. We will be in touch shortly with information regarding returning equipment and jerseys. Please note: U7s keep Tim Horton's jerseys and U11s keep MacDonald's jerseys (there were 2 teams who had Rep jerseys which will need to be returned and we have MacDonald's jerseys to give those players-this was done to avoid jersey colour conflicts among our local teams).
Please also watch for information regarding the AGM. There will be several vacancies on the HMHA Executive at the conclusion of this season. HMHA will be desperately in need of new volunteers to fill these roles. Without an Executive, hockey cannot run for our players. Please give some serious thought to how you can help make sure our kids can return to hockey next season. If you have any questions regarding volunteering or a specific position, please reach out to a current board member for information.
I hope that you all remain healthy and safe. I also hope that in the near future the pandemic will become a memory and we can all safely return to living a more normal life.
Kelly Farnsworth - HMHA President/OMHA Contact