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MAHA Team Formation & Tryout Policy - 2020-21

By By MAHA Executive Committee, 06/03/20, 10:15PM EDT, 06/04/20, 9:30AM EDT

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Members of the Michigan Hockey Community:

The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association continues to send its well-wishes to the families in our hockey community. We want to thank you for your patience and understanding, as we collectively continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. We realize that this unprecedented period has resulted in significant delays in planning for a 2020-21 hockey season. While we’re still awaiting further direction, regarding a potential return to the rink, the MAHA wants to share some updates on some proactive policies we’ve established to progress in the season planning process.

On June 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer officially lifted the Michigan ‘Stay-At-Home’ order statewide. As part of this ruling, outdoor athletic practices and training sessions are permitted as long as coaches and participants adhere to social distancing guidelines (6 feet apart). While this is a very positive step forward, in our eventual return to hockey activity, Michigan rinks remain closed until further notice.

The gradual re-opening of activity of Michigan causes many challenges to how we initiate a new hockey season. Specifically, the potentially sporadic re-opening of rinks across Michigan hinders our ability to solidify a schedule for team tryouts. This can potentially delay the process of team formation. Ultimately, our goal was to create balanced solutions based upon direct participation in our MAHA Task Force, as well as input from our Leagues, Clubs and Facilities.

 

Effective the date of this release, the Executive Committee is authorizing its Tier I, Tier II Organizations and Association Member Clubs to commence the offering of Player Agreements according to the schedule indicated below.

 

TIER I YOUTH & GIRLS 12U – 19U - Immediately

  • May issue early commitments to players within its organization.

 

TIER II YOUTH & GIRLS 10U – 19U – June 8, 2020

  • May issue early commitments to players within its organization.

 

TIER I & II YOUTH & GIRLS 10U – 19U – June 15, 2020

  • May issue early commitments to players outside its organization.

 

The purpose of the MAHA allowing advanced player agreements, prior to team tryouts, is to expedite membership planning for the 2020-21 season. This is also an effort to greatly reduce stress, for participants and families, as to where they will be playing next season. Under these circumstances, ALL advanced player agreements are subject to the following conditions:

  • COVID-19 Financial Hardship Refund Policy – Player agreements shall be required to include a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Refund Policy. Parents/Guardians of players signing agreements may petition for relief under the following guidelines:
    • Under this policy, hardships must be related to the COVID-19 pandemic, where a family’s financial status changed after signing the Player Agreement. 
    • Clubs/associations are allowed to charge for the following:
      • Durable goods that can’t be repurposed (i.e. team uniforms, etc.)
      • Ice fees, coaching fees, and expenses prorated to what has actually been used by the player, up to the date the club/association received a written request.
    • Participants/families exercising this option will not be permitted to roster with another club at the same tier level for the 2020-2021 season.
    • Participants/families may exercise this relief option on, or prior to, September 1, 2020.
    • Failure to adhere to the policy guidelines above may result in disciplinary action, due to violation of the following rules (as outlined in the MAHA Guide Book):
      • Tryout Rule
      • Affiliate Agreement

 

  • All Tier I and Tier II teams executing early Player Agreements, prior to a tryout process, are required to register all committed players on the MAHA website. The MAHA will provide specific follow-up instructions on how to complete this process.

 

Please note that this Player Agreement process does not replace the tryout process for 2020-21. Once local and state governments allow for facilities to re-open and resume on-ice activities, team tryouts will be scheduled. The MAHA will provide further updates on this schedule, as they become available.

As promised, we will continue to provide updates on our preparation for a new hockey season. We encourage you to visit MAHA.org for continued information. Also, be sure to register for the upcoming 2020-21 season with your local hockey association.

On behalf of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, we thank you for your patience during this unusual time – and we look forward to seeing you at your local rink again very soon!

 
 
George Atkinson
President, Michigan Amateur Hockey Association
 
Jason Reynolds
Director of Operations & Marketing, Michigan Amateur Hockey Association