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June 8 Membership Update

By John Popma, KVHA President, 06/10/20, 10:15AM EDT

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Dear KVHA Families,

 

I hope everyone is doing well as we all anxiously wait for the time that ice arenas can open their doors again.  With an increase in activity and changes, I wanted to touch base with everyone to provide the concrete information that we have for our association.

 

  1.  All area ice rinks are still closed based on State of Michigan COVID-19 regulations.  Just as Regions 7-8 opened earlier than the rest of the state, ice rinks in those areas will be opening ahead of us.
  2. We expect there to be many training opportunities once ice rinks open and will forward information at a later date.
  3. We plan to open our registration process to all players in the upcoming week.  When comparing KVHA with other associations, please note that our registration covers much more than other associations (detailed list on the registration page).  Our board looked at ways to lower the registration cost, but quickly learned that our expenses often exceed the registration and need to be recouped through ice fees.  I’m proud to say that we do a great job fulfilling our role as a true non-profit and making hockey as affordable as we can.  We do plan to extend the discount period and registration fees will be refundable if hockey is cancelled.
  4. This year, our KVHA travel teams will be allowed to make pre-commitments to players ahead of tryouts.  This is to limit the number of players on ice during tryouts.  KVHA travel coaches can begin to make offers on June 8, 2020 to returning players within our association.  These offers are intended to be for the entire 2020-21 season and coaches have been instructed to be fully confident in their offers.  Some coaches are planning to offer very few positions during this phase, so please do not be discouraged if you do not hear from your coach.  If you have questions, reach out to the coach(es) directly. Tryouts will follow (see below).
  5. All travel coaches will be able to make offers on June 15, 2020 to any player.  With the projected overall decrease in USA Hockey membership, KVHA is in a unique position based on the size of our association.  We have the ability to offer a variety of teams and can combine teams in the event of lack of players.  Outside associations may struggle to form a single team or may not have protections in place to prevent coaches from releasing pre-committed players after tryouts.
  6. Outside of the pre-commitments, we will be holding tryouts at a later date.  Information that we have received from MAHA indicates that tryouts will begin 38 days after ice rinks are permitted by the state to open.
  7. House conditioning and evaluation skates will follow travel tryouts.
  8. An important addition for this year is a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Refund Policy.  This will help with uncertainty and permit families whose financial status changes due to COVID-19 to drop from a team without owing a large sum of money (players will have the opportunity to play at a lower level of hockey and can exercise this relief option prior to rostering).
  9. Rostering will begin September 1, 2020.
  10. We continue to seek information in regard to player assistance.  Hopefully we do not have too many in our extended hockey family experiencing financial hardship.  While demand will likely exceed opportunities, we will do our best to point these families in the right direction to keep them on the ice.

 

 

Each of these events will be subject to continued State of Michigan restrictions including number of players on the ice, inside the facility, if/how locker rooms will be allowed, and entry/exit procedures.  In addition to these restrictions, you may hear of some recommendations made by CDC, USA Hockey, and/or MAHA.  Our board will continue to evaluate this information to find a plan that best works for our association and membership. 

We are continuing to work with Kensington Ice House and Hartland Sports Center on a re-opening plan to safely and responsibly serve you in the future.  Our goal is to maintain player, coach, family, and employee safety at all times. 

Currently, we are discussing how we are going to handle uniform fittings/ordering, safety measures, monitoring team formation, and developing alternate playing opportunities.  We understand that many of you have questions, as do we, about the near future of hockey and at this time we may not have all the answers.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Please monitor our social media for additional updates as they become available. For specific questions, please feel free to reply to me or email office@kvhockey.org .

Stay safe and hope to see everyone back soon,

 

John Popma