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Recent Team Accomplishments

MAHA/USA Hockey Risk Management Update July 7, 2020

By Grant Helms, USA Hockey Risk Manager-Michigan District 07/09/2020, 5:00pm EDT

July 7, 2020


TO: All of the MAHA and USA Hockey Michigan Community


FROM: Grant Helms, USA Hockey Michigan District Risk Manage




I fully realize that all of us are anxious for a return to Ice Hockey in Michigan.


Unfortunately, we need to remind everyone that we must follow the Return to Ice Hockey policies/procedures/regulations, laws set by Governor Whitmer and the State of Michigan, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, and USA Hockey. This is critical to keep our membership safe.


Again, following these policies/procedures/regulations and the law is essential for the protection of all our Players, Coaches, Volunteers, and staff.

Since the State of Michigan has not acknowledged a return to play in areas of the state other than Michigan Economic Recovery Regions 6 & 8, and Michigan Amateur Hockey has not acknowledged a return to play for other than those areas, the USA Hockey insurance coverage's we have as a member benefit are, for the most part, are in effect, however liability and excess medical may not in be effect except for those areas.


Only events that are Sanctioned/Approved by MAHA and USA Hockey may be covered and at the present time, no practices, games, or try outs are sanctioned/approved in the State of Michigan for MAHA at the direction of the Michigan Governor.


I do empathize with all of you, however, please do not put yourself, your players, your coaches, your Staff or any volunteers in potential jeopardy.


We all need the protections of our insurance to assure a safe return to ice hockey, and we do need the guidance of the State of Michigan, MAHA, and USA Hockey for policies/procedures/regulations to accomplish a safe return.


I know for a fact that the State of Michigan, Michigan Amateur Hockey, and USA Hockey are diligently working on your behalf for a safe return.


Please, please follow these policies/procedures/regulations and laws.


If you have questions, please contact your Michigan Amateur Hockey District Chairperson for more information.



Grant Helms Michigan District Risk Manager for USA Hockey

USA Hockey Risk Manager-Michigan District

5007 Washington Street, Midland, MI 48642-3362   989-631-4507

June 8 Membership Update

By John Popma, KVHA President 06/10/2020, 10:15am EDT

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 .

Stay safe and hope to see everyone back soon,


John Popma

MAHA Team Formation & Tryout Policy - 2020-21

By By MAHA Executive Committee, 06/03/20, 10:15PM EDT 06/04/2020, 9:30am EDT


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 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

For Coaches/Managers: Planning for the 2020-21 hockey season

By By Jack Witt, Michigan District Coach-In-Chief, 05/28/20, 11:15PM EDT 05/29/2020, 10:00am EDT


This note is for  all Michigan coaches and team managers.  After months of really bad news, and after extensive discussion and advocating for our sport, we can see progress toward re-opening as we close out the month of May.  Many of us have lost friends or acquaintances these past three months, others are out of work, and of course, all our rinks have been shut down and there is no hockey, amateur or professional.  Yet, we continue to believe that there will be hockey this fall, in some form, and we are working hard to make it happen.  I know this is a long note, but please review it.

To begin, you should know that there are a lot of good hockey people working on alternatives for whatever scenario(s) we find in the fall.  The Michigan Amateur Hockey web site,, now has a section dedicated to this planning, with up-to-date information on rink openings, tryouts, physical safety for participants, etc.    We also have been able to provide input to the State of Michigan as they plan the reopening of youth sports.

Also, please be reassured that USA Hockey and Michigan Amateur Hockey really appreciate the contributions of, our youth coaches.    Without you, there is no sport.  We all hope that your dedication to coaching will continue into the next season!

Things to consider during this “down-time”

To that end, I want to take a moment via this newsletter to remind you that registration as a coach is now open for next season.  If you are in a position to do so, this “down time” is a good time to get this accomplished.   You can register online at   Along with registration, now is a good time to get your background check done also.  This is a new process for next season, which you can start at  Background screens are good for two years.  Finally, these spring months are also good times to update your Safe Sport status, which needs to be done annually.  If you need to take Safe Sport, you can access that web site at

Also, USA Hockey’s Coaching Program is exploiting our media capabilities, holding webinars each week to keep our members motivated and informed.  The easiest way to access this information is on Facebook, at  Even if you cannot attend “live”, the recordings are archived for your use, and I think you will find that both the presenters and the presentations are first-class, worthy of your time.

A word about Coaching Clinics – we are still examining our options to hold clinics next fall, given the current pandemic.  As of May 28, there are discussions about holding online virtual clinics beginning in July, with in-person clinics this fall as permitted by local and state authorities.  More to come on this by mid-June.  On the other hand, the Online Modules and Level 3 Recertification programs are online, they are available now.  You can complete them during the spring or summer to be ready to go in the fall.   Find them at

A Warning About Unsanctioned Activities    (Updated 5-6-2020)

Before closing out this update, I also need to raise some concerns over a very few of our members who give the appearance of violating MAHA’s policies and rules on tampering/recruiting and tryouts.  Importantly - be sure that any player contacts are initiated with the knowledge/participation of the parents to avoid a Safe Sport violation.  Tryouts, or any activity that could be construed as a try-out as defined in the MAHA Guidebook, are prohibited right now.  Remember, you have no official roster of players at this time, so if you plan activities with a small group of players, be sure that your hockey association or club is aware of it and approves.  The best way to do player development activities at this time would be if they are open to all members of an age group, and are sponsored officially by the club or association, while complying with any large-group health requirements.

Also, many of us hear rumors of various MAHA start-up dates.   While we are getting closer to re-opening, as of this writing, all MAHA team and player-related activities are still suspended.   There is no official “restart” date, thus any rumors to the contrary are just that – rumors.  The MAHA web site will always reflect official information on when any activities, such as tryouts, can begin.   Email notices will be sent to leagues, associations, and you, our coaches, when we can begin to “open up”. 

I know many of us are going “stir crazy” and we want to return to our normal lives.  That is not yet possible.  I strongly urge you to be sure that any coaching related activities you undertake during this unusual time are in compliance with USA Hockey and MAHA rules/policies.  For example, developing your own skills as a coach is a perfect activity right now.  If you have questions, contact your local hockey association, or your regional MAHA officials, using the “About MAHA” tab of the web site.

In closing, I and my entire staff of instructors wish you all the best in this difficult time.   We hope to see you at a clinic, or online, in the fall!

Jack Witt, Michigan District Coach-in-Chief

House coaches Needed

By KVHA 05/20/2020, 7:30pm EDT

Our House hockey program continues to flourish & we are looking ahead to 2020-2021 hockey season.  If you are interested in a head coaching position for a House team, please complete the application at the link provided.  No experience is required.  We will provide coaching resources.  The deadline for submitting this application is July 1,  2020.      

This is a tremendous opportunity to contribute to one of the largest hockey Associations in the country.   We have positions available at all age levels  (Mini-Mite through Midget) & hope that you will consider volunteering for this fun and rewarding opportunity.   

KVHA Player Accomplishments

KVHA Pee Wee Admirals Goalie

Pee Wee Admirals vrs. Ice Mountain Grizzlies

Markin Braciszewski
Born in El Larno, Dominican Republic - 1999
6th Grader at St. Mary Middle School - Pinckney

Markin came to the United States in April 2007 from the mountains of the Dominican Republic. He spoke no English and never saw snow and ice. After seeing one of his older brothers play at KVHA, Markin wanted to play hockey.   He started as a second year Squirt three years, playing forward and learning how to stop. As first year PeeWee, he enjoyed attacking the puck and occasionally the person. This season, Markin willingly and with commitment, offered to enter net for the Pee Wee Admirals late in the season. He courageously learned the rudimentary skills necessary to defend the goal. Markin accomplished his first shut out of his nascent career in February. Markin plans to develop his goal tending skills and looks forward to one day taking an exhibition team to the Dominican Republic. A big Markin thanks goes out to all of his past coaches and teammates, especially to this year’s PeeWee Admirals! 

KVHA House Pee Wee Playoffs Team Accomplishment

Austin Strong was born in Plano Texas in 2005, and is in the 5th grade at Maltby Elementary School.  Austin had never watched hockey, never wore ice skates or roller skates, until the summer of 2011, when he came home from school and said “I want to play hockey”. Austin had tried several other sports and never really showed a passion, the way he does for hockey. He would much rather be on the ice than playing video games, and is always asking his parents to take him skating.  On March 18th, in the KV Pee Wee House Playoffs, with his team down 3 to 2, with less than 3 minutes to go, Austin scored his first hockey goal of his young career.  Austin’s goal was the eventual game tying score that allowed his Admiral’s team to collect a critical playoff point in the round robin series. A big Austin thanks goes out to all of his Admiral Teammates, Parents and Coaches.     

Recent Team Accomplishments: