First and foremost I would like to thank all of you for your continued patience and accommodations as we all navigate the COVID-19 hockey landscape. Your efforts have really shown in that, as large of an association as we are, we have only had three players test positive and only three teams affected.
Despite our best efforts, Michigan’s governor announced new restrictions that went into effect on Wednesday. Within the order, there are several items that specifically target our sport. Ice skating rinks are directly named as well as organized amateur sports. There are also some general references limiting two household gatherings. Enforcement of this order has been said to be much stricter than past orders.
The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association has directly come out in support of the restrictions and has halted organized hockey for the next three weeks from November 18, 2020 through December 8, 2020. As such, Kensington Valley Hockey Association will be pausing all operations during this time.
In our regularly scheduled Board Meeting on Monday, we fielded many questions about the closure and presented a variety of plans that had been suggested to board members. We appreciate the variety of opinions concerning the pandemic and the efforts that have been taken to mitigate the spread. With the above listed orders, we do not have a voice on what could be altered nor do we recommend anybody to violate the orders. Concerns with the order should be directed to local legislators or directly with the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services.
One concern that was brought up was the refunding of November ice fees. We are actively working with Kensington Valley Ice House to secure any refunds, but understand that this may take some time to resolve. House teams have already been advised of their ice being removed, travel teams are asked to contact the Ice House to report what ice of theirs is affected by the closure. Our goal is to be fair to our families while securing that we have a rink to play in once the pause is lifted. As a non-profit, we assure that we will strive to do our best to keep hockey affordable to everyone.
Another concern was about penalties and suspensions for violations of the order. These penalties would come from various government agencies, and suspensions would likely come from MAHA. As in the fall, please be mindful that USA Hockey Insurance is also paused during any shut down timeframe. Teams that receive team suspensions risk loss of district entry fees, eligibility in state playoffs, and may be responsible for ice fees during those suspensions. Be mindful that one team’s actions could negatively harm all other teams within our association. I’d hate to see anybody risk health, injury, or financial hardship on top of other penalties.
Please remember that Kensington Valley Hockey Association and Kensington Valley Ice House are completely separate entities. Any questions or concerns regarding the ice rinks should be addressed to Kensington Valley Ice House.
We look forward to learning answers to the many other questions that everybody has, and we will forward updates when we learn of anything that may be of value to our membership.
Hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this pause of the hockey season. Ideally, we will see you all in three weeks and not encounter any further interruptions.
Thank you again,