This letter includes an update on the USA Hockey insurance policies applicable to sanctioned USA Hockey programs.
Summary - There are no insurance carriers that are allowing Covid related claims. This is industry wide for amateur sports. Because of this , USAH included language this season in the waiver during the registration process that excludes Covid, or other communicable illness, claims.
Learn more about the USA Hockey Insurance by visiting the USAH website
To the Members of our Michigan Hockey Community:
Over the last week, Governor Whitmer has signed several Executive Orders which allow for a return to hockey activity in Michigan. The details contained in those Executive Orders have been the subject of discussion, as well as debate, as there are significant conditions required for returning to organized sports, while still navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) has actively sought out clarification on the issued Executive Orders, including direction from the Governor’s legal counsel. Due to the fluid nature of this situation, the MAHA will continue to assist its associations in understanding the requirements, as well as provide continued points of clarification as they become available.
The attached document is a revised version of the MAHA Return to Play Standards for the 2020-21 season. We have incorporated the mandated guidance, as well as clarifications, of the Executive Orders into this revision. It should be noted that these are not MAHA regulations, and thus the MAHA has no legal authority to waive or modify Executive Orders from the Governor’s office.
As you review the document in full, there are a few key considerations to note:
1) Although the mandate for facial coverings to be worn by athletes, coaches and spectators is not ideal, its intent is to protect our own families, as well as the members of our hockey family. It has been proven that mask use and proper social distancing significantly slows the spread of COVID-19. Despite the fact that our rinks have re-opened and a new season is beginning, it is not time to forget about the risk mitigation strategies for minimizing the spread of COVID-19. This is a challenge that all organized team sports are faced with at this time – not just hockey.
2) Fortunately, the sport of hockey lends itself additional flexibility in meeting the mask mandate for organized sports. This is based on the fact that youth hockey players are required to wear helmets with a face mask (either cage or shield). As a result, our athletes have more options available to them for meeting the facial covering standard. Whether it’s a traditional cloth mask, a neck gaiter or a newly-released helmet accessory, our community will find many options for meeting this requirement. We highly encourage you to research the various options available in the marketplace, in an effort to find the best solution for your athlete.
3) Based on all updates provided by the Governor’s office this past week, it is evident that the Governor discourages contact sports, and/or indoor athletic activity, at this time. With rinks re-opened, it is up to our statewide hockey community to show that we can safely operate at this stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on this challenge, compliance is critical. Now that we are fortunate to have achieved our goal of reopening for hockey activity, we must take all necessary steps to ensure that our doors remain open and our season is not interrupted. While we anticipate challenges along the way, we’re confident that the protocols in place will allow us to safely, and efficiently, enjoy our 2020-21 hockey season.
As a follow-up to this revision of the MAHA Return to Play Standards, the MAHA Executive Committee will plan on scheduling a follow-up Zoom call for additional discussions, as well as Q & A. The call will be tentatively scheduled for the week of September 14th – 18th . We will provide confirmed call information as it becomes available.
As previously noted, this will continue to be a very fluid situation. With that in mind, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) will commit to providing regular updates, as they become available.
We sincerely appreciate the patience and support of our hockey community, and we look forward to seeing you at the rink!
George Atkinson President
Jason Reynolds Director of Operations & Marketing
September 5, 2020
To the Leaders of our Michigan Hockey Community:
It is with great enthusiasm that we, on behalf of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA), finally get to announce that… HOCKEY IS BACK IN MICHIGAN!!
We share the excitement of the entire statewide hockey community, as Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders on September 4th officially allow our return to hockey activity (effective Wednesday, September 9th, 2020). Needless to say, it has been a challenging six months while we’ve collectively navigated the COVID-19 pandemic. As the state governing body for youth hockey in Michigan, the MAHA has worked very hard to provide quality information, best practices from around the country, and positive collaboration with state government officials on a safe return to hockey. The MAHA must offer a tremendous thanks to the various state representatives, lobbyists, legal counselors, USA Hockey staff members, as well as Governor Whitmer on providing us an opportunity to be a part of the solutions required to bring back the game we all love.
We also must sincerely thank the ambassadors of our great game, from across the State of Michigan – the coaches, officials, volunteers, directors, Board members, rink operators and officers who devoted countless hours to establishing protocols and safety measures to protect our collective membership. Many of these individuals participated in various committees and task forces, all motivated with a collective goal to provide a safe return to hockey activity. All of you were tremendous contributors on this journey, and your efforts have been sincerely appreciated.
In addition, great thanks must be given to our entire statewide hockey membership. Without question, the journey required to reach our return to play has been a tremendous challenge for all of you. We appreciate your ongoing patience through all of the evolving circumstances, as well as the uncertainty, of the last several months. Your passion for the game of hockey has never waned, and we’re very appreciative of your ongoing loyalty. It brings the MAHA tremendous pleasure to celebrate the return, of hockey in Michigan, with all of you.
With all of that said, our work is not yet complete. While we have taken a major step forward in a successful return to hockey, our next mission requires a collaborative effort to protect the safety and well-being of our hockey participants moving forward. To achieve success in this effort, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association is introducing the attached Return to Play Standards for the 2020-21 season. This document contains best practices from USA Hockey affiliates across the country, executed successfully to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants. In addition, these policies are aligned with the Center for Disease Control, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the Executive Orders initiated by Governor Whitmer. Collectively, this document offers a path for a safe return to hockey activity.
We know you are anxious to get your association’s players and coaches back on this ice. However, please make sure that all of you players and coaches are properly registered before they resume participation. We want to make sure everyone stays safe, and that they are fully covered should something unfortunate happen. This does not mean players and coaches have to be on rosters before they hit the ice, but they should be registered with USA Hockey at a minimum and claimed by your association registrar (unless player from another association is trying out for one of your teams).
Once again, we offer our sincere to our statewide hockey community for your ongoing commitment, loyalty, and patience. We look forward to sharing the details of this plan with you, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Your wait is over. Hockey is back in Michigan!
Michigan Amateur Hockey Association
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The USA Hockey Foundation has launched a new initiative--the Membership Relief Fund--to assist families who are facing financial hardship by covering the cost of their child's USA Hockey membership for the 2020-21 season. The goal of this campaign is to help at least 5,000 youth players back to the ice.
“The benefits of playing hockey are numerous and contribute to social, mental and physical well-being,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of The USA Hockey Foundation and USA Hockey. “Unfortunately, the pandemic has led to financial stress for many families and through the Membership Relief Fund we’re looking to help provide support to those families in need.
“And to those who can contribute to the Membership Relief Fund, we’re most grateful for your support. As we know, the hockey family always rallies to help those in need.”
Grants can be applied for by clicking here through Sunday, November 15, and will be distributed on a rolling basis.
To make a donation, which is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, please click here.
NOTES: The USA Hockey Foundation is the non-profit philanthropic arm of USA Hockey. The Foundation provides long-range financial support for USA Hockey and promotes the growth of hockey in the United States. Donations to The USA Hockey Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by the law.
August 20th, 2020
To the Members of our Michigan Hockey Community: With the 2020-21 hockey season quickly approaching, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) wanted to share some critical information, as well as key updates on our seasonal timeline:
As we’re still awaiting approval to re-open ice rinks throughout most of the state, the MAHA took the opportunity to survey its membership on several topics, including the team tryout timeline. Given the progress we’ve made statewide, while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, we are in a position to consider expediting the team tryout calendar in an effort to ensure a timely start to the 2020-21 season. Members who participated in the MAHA Survey voted in strong favor of this adjustment, earlier this month. With this in mind, once local and state governments allow for facilities to re-open and resume on-ice activities, team tryouts will be conducted in the following format:
TIER I TRYOUTS – YOUTH & GIRLS 12U – 19U – Will be held no sooner than (7) days after the re-opening of rinks.
TIER II TRYOUTS – YOUTH & GIRLS 10U – 19U – Will be held no sooner than (14) days after the re-opening of rinks. (NOTE: Once re-opening dates have been confirmed for rinks in Michigan, follow-up communication will be provided by the MAHA to confirm designated team tryout periods.)
TIER III – EVALUATIONS / DRAFT – Evaluation skates will be held no sooner than (7) days after the re-opening of rinks.Team drafts will be held no sooner than (14) days after the re-opening of rinks.
Teams may begin finalizing roster information for the 2020-21 season. Rosters will receive final approval as early as September 1, 2020. The following exceptions apply:
MIDGET SPLIT-SEASON TEAMS - Teams participating in the Midget Split Season may begin rostering their teams immediately, and actively seek competition in open regions of Michigan as well as out-of-state.
TOURNAMENT TEAMS – Between now and August 31st, Tier I and Tier II teams may build and approve a ‘tournament roster’ in order to participate in USA Hockey-sanctioned tournaments / events held in open regions of Michigan, as well as out-of-state. The following conditions apply:
- Participating players must be limited to those who committed through MAHA’s Early Player Agreement Policy. Player names must be confirmed on the Early Player Agreement Registry on the MAHA website.
- Teams may NOT roster players outside of those committed through MAHA’s Early Player Agreement Policy, as this is a violation of the Tryout Policy, per the MAHA Guide Book.
- As early as September 1, tournament teams will need to establish a Regular Season roster for participation in the 2020-21 season.
INTERSTATE TRAVEL NOTIFICATION FORM
The Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) is committed to providing a safe environment for its participants/spectators consistent with all applicable mandates and best practices. It expects that all parties will abide by all USA Hockey and MAHA rules, policies and procedures related to the COVID-19 crisis. This encompasses all mandates and restriction from local governments and the State of Michigan, including those communicated by the Governor through Executive Orders. This also includes restrictions in jurisdictions outside of Michigan.
If a team intends to travel out of the State of Michigan for the 2020-2021 season, the Interstate Travel Notification Form must be completed and submitted to the MAHA within 10 days prior to the proposed travel, regardless of whether there will be overnight lodging. This allows MAHA to achieve the following:
- Maintain a historical log as to what states Michigan teams are traveling to
- Provide relevant COVID-19 data and/or updates, prior to the start of the out-of-state event.
- Provide relevant COVID-19 data and/or updates, following the conclusion of the out-of-state event
All participants are strongly encouraged to adhere to CDC guidelines for best practices in personal hygiene, as well as proper social distancing.
As previously indicated, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) remains optimistic that our return to the rink, in all areas of the state, will take place sooner than later. The MAHA will start the Fall season as soon as its legally possible, and we continue to thank our membership for its ongoing patience and support. We look forward to seeing you at the rink very soon!
George Atkinson - President
Jason Reynolds - Director of Operations & Marketing
Michigan Amateur Hockey Association Michigan Amateur Hockey Association
Pee Wee Admirals vrs. Ice Mountain Grizzlies
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!
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.