Hockey Competition Guidelines: Changes in the Game Designed for Safety of All

Stevens Point (OnFocus) – With the 2020-21 hockey season underway, changes have been implemented in a number of facets of the game and its administration. Prior to the season, the WIAA identified winter sports guidelines and sport-specific considerations, and for hockey, these include considerations in the areas of:

  • Rules

  • Equipment

  • Competition

  • Officials

  • Coaches

The WIAA also announced last week that masking guidelines and social distancing are necessary and all member schools are required to follow the guidelines.

WIAA announces winter sports safety considerations

WIAA winter sports considerations include live streaming recommendations

Highlights in each of the areas:

  • Rules

    •  Maintain social distancing as much as possible on the bench
    • Captains need to maintain social distancing when talking with a referee and during pre game meeting with captains and head coaches
    • Plastic shields covering the entire face, unless integrated into the face mask shall not be allowed
    • If mouth and tooth protectors are removed on the sideline, athlete should use hand sanitizer each time after touching the mouthguard
    • Sanitizing of pucks and shared equipment required before and after practice
  • Equipment

    •  Masks must be worn according to the governor’s mandate
    •  Spectators should be strongly encouraged to wear masks
    • Coaches and officials are strongly encouraged to wear masks and social distance
    • Develop a plan for reporting a positive COVID case and exposure
    • Spitting/Nose Clearing/Coughing – prohibited
  • Competition

    •  Tracing sheet shall be kept of all individuals travelling with the team
    • ONLY local, single opponent, single day competitions
    • Only essential personnel are permitted in the rink area:
      • players
      • coaches
      • athletic trainers
      • officials
  • Officials

    •  Officials are NOT responsible for monitoring activities on the sidelines, such as social distancing, hand washing, symptoms of illnesses. Monitoring is the responsibility of coaches
    • Encourage face coverings for all officials
    • Electronic whistles are permissible
  • Coaches

    •  Reinforce the need for athletes and team personnel to maintain social distance, wear masks, and not attend if exposed to someone with COVID or if ill
    • Remind players to use hand sanitizer prior to entering the ice and after returning to the sideline

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David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]