Avon Canton Farmington Youth Hockey Association
Statement as of September 1, 2020, Covid-19 Policy and Release of Liability
As of the date of this statement, Avon Hockey is planning for a full hockey season. The Connecticut Hockey Conference (CHC) has communicated that it’s “business as usual” this season. CHC does not intend to modify the season format or rules unless warranted by developments during the season.
If the State of Connecticut prohibits the continuation of youth sports, including ice hockey, during the season due to Covid-19, we will first assess the possibility of pausing and extending the season. We would like to remind our families that Avon Hockey is a non-profit organization. We do not get refunds for ice time or officials if we cancel scheduled practices or games. In the event of a shortened season, however, we will address the need for credits or refunds to our members at the end of the season.
Our Covid-19 Policy is below. Please carefully read the Policy and the below Release of Liability.
As outlined in the Policy, we are taking numerous health and safety precautions this season, however, players and parents should understand the following:
- Your child may be exposed to Covid-19 through playing hockey. The State of Connecticut has classified hockey as a “higher risk” sport for the spread of Covid-19.
- If anyone in your household has Covid-19, no one in your family may attend hockey activities.
- Your child and you, if you are a coach, may be required to quarantine due to a positive case of Covid-19 on your child’s team, or on another Avon team you practiced with or on an outside team you played a game against.
- In the event of a positive case of Covid-19 in the program or opposing team, the local health department (LHD) will decide whether any individuals or teams must quarantine. Avon Hockey does not make the decision but, for contact tracing purposes, we will provide your name, contact information and the team’s hockey schedule to the LHD in the event your team may be impacted.
- In the event of a quarantine, your child will not be able to attend school and other activities in person for an extended period of time as determined by the LHD (currently 10-14 days). Coaches who are quarantined will not be able to go to work in person.
- Your child and their teammates and coaches may miss hockey due to a quarantine originating outside of hockey through school, another activity or work. If there are not enough players, games may be canceled. Eligibility for CHC state tournaments is not guaranteed.
- You will not receive a refund of your hockey fees in the event of any quarantines, team or individual, even if hockey related, or canceled practices or games. This is consistent with our existing practice for injured or ill players and cancellations and reflects our obligation to still pay for ice time.
- Anyone who demonstrates a disregard for any Avon Hockey, state or local Covid-19 protocols may be suspended from hockey activities temporarily or for the season. Refunds will not be given.
Parent Assumption of Risk, Release and Hold Harmless
PARTICIPATION IN AN AVON HOCKEY ON-ICE ACTIVITY BY YOU OR YOUR CHILD OR REGISTRATION FOR A PROGRAM AFTER THE DATE OF THIS STATEMENT CONSTITUTES YOUR AGREEMENT, ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF, YOUR CHILD AND YOUR FAMILY UNIT, TO (1) COMPLY WITH THE COVID-19 POLICY, (2) ASSUME ALL RISKS OF TRANSMISSION AND COMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19 AND (3) RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS AVON HOCKEY AND ITS HOME ICE FACILITIES FROM ALL LIABILITY AND LOSSES ARISING FROM YOUR PARTICIPATION AND YOUR CHILD’S PARTICIPATION IN ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED, HOSTED, SPONSORED OR PARTICIPATED IN BY AVON HOCKEY.
Avon Canton Farmington Youth Hockey Association
COVID-19 POLICY FOR 2020-2021 SEASON
This Policy outlines the health and safety protocols adopted by the Avon Canton Farmington Youth Hockey Association (“ACFYHA” or “Avon Hockey”) for the 2020-2021 season in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be updated if needed based on new information. The Policy shall apply to all participants in Avon Hockey’s Learn to Skate, In-House, 8U, 10U, 12U, 14U and 18U programs/teams and their families and all associated coaches, volunteers and other attendees. The Policy is deemed accepted and agreed to by all such players, coaches, volunteers and families upon their family member’s participation in an Avon Hockey on-ice activity or upon registration for a program after the date of this Policy.
I. Obligations of Players, Parents, Coaches and Volunteers
1) GOLDEN RULE – STAY HOME IF SICK OR IF DIRECTLY EXPOSED TO COVID-19. Do NOT come to a practice or game (a) if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or ANY other illness, (b) if you have had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with anyone confirmed with Covid-19 in the last 2 weeks, or (c) if you have a fever of 100.4° or higher, even if you are not sick.
- Monitor for symptoms of illness and take the temperature of you and your child prior to coming to the rink (home or away).
- You will be asked to leave if you come to the rink when you are sick.
2) Respect for Your Team. Be aware that your actions effect your entire team and take reasonable precautions to protect your own health and that of your teammates and coaches.
- Practice social distancing and masking outside of hockey and be sensible about higher-risk activities.
- Practice good hygiene – wash and/or sanitize your hands frequently, including upon entering the rink, carry your own hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes, wash your jerseys regularly and air out/clean your hockey gear after every use.
3) Respect for the Rules. Respect and strictly adhere to (A) all rink restrictions for all games, home and away, (B) all rules of hosting programs, including Avon Hockey, and (C) all additional on-ice and locker room health and safety precautions requested by your Head Coach.
4) Reporting of Illness. Promptly report to your Head Coach and Division Director by email if you or a household member are sick. Do not come to the rink while waiting for the results of a Covid-19 test.
- You will not be penalized for missing hockey for these reasons and your commitment will not be questioned so long as you communicate promptly, openly and honestly.
5) Medical Diagnosis. Promptly seek a medical diagnosis if you are sick and promptly report to your Head Coach and Division Director whether you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 (yes or no).
6) Quarantines. Promptly report to your Head Coach and Division Director if you are subject to a quarantine for any reason, even if you are not sick. You may not participate in Avon Hockey activities until such quarantine expires.
- Quarantines may be required due to travel or exposure at school, another sports team or work or due to a household member.
7) Personal Travel. Use reasonable judgment in avoiding discretionary travel to a “hot spot” or “restricted state.” State quarantine requirements due to travel must be strictly followed.
8) Other Risks of Exposure. Use reasonable judgment regarding whether to refrain from hockey activities and/or quarantine and/or take a Covid-19 test if you have close, sustained contact with someone from a “hot spot” or “restricted state” or if you are otherwise at high risk of having been exposed to Covid-19 (i.e., a houseguest who becomes ill with symptoms of Covid-19, etc.).
9) Team Socializing. Use reasonable judgment if engaging in activities with your team outside of the rink. Team dinners and team get-togethers are discouraged.
- State restrictions (current limit for indoor gatherings is 25 people) and best practices for health and safety should be followed at all times for any team socializing, including social distancing, masking, cleaning, no sharing of food, staying outdoors if possible, etc.
10) No Sharing of Equipment and Food. Do not share water bottles, food/snacks (unless individually wrapped) or any protective hockey equipment with any other player.
II. Health and Safety Protocols for Hockey Activities
1) Masks must be worn by all participants and attendees at all times, except for players on the ice or bench (if participating in the ice session). Coaches should wear masks on the ice with limited exceptions and should avoid close contact with players.
2) Everyone in attendance at an activity should remain socially distanced off the ice unless related.
3) Social distancing between players will be employed on the ice at practices as much as possible and may include limiting numbers on the ice and/or rotating players on the bench or off the ice.
- Certain on-ice drills will involve close contact but will be limited to players on the same team. Games involve close contact among teammates and players from the other team.
4) Players (other than goalies) should come as dressed as possible in their hockey gear. Social distancing and masks are required in locker rooms at all rinks, if open. Time in the locker room should be minimized and in no event exceed 15 minutes. Players may choose not to use the locker rooms.
5) Locker rooms at AOF, if open, will be assigned by travel team or by alphabetical or other cohort for In-House teams. Other locker rooms are off limits. No one should travel between locker rooms.
6) Ice cuts will be done between practice sessions for spacing and cleaning purposes, with limited exceptions as set forth in the ice schedule.
7) AOF sound system will not be used to discourage loud talking, shouting and singing and in recognition that coaches, officials and guests will be speaking through masks.
8) Spectators at practices and games (home and away) will be limited in number as required by State orders and rink policies. Health screening questionnaires may be required. Rink policies will be communicated by email, on the website or by signs at the rink.
9) Shared equipment, such as pucks, nets, cones, benches and time clock, will be handled by as few people as possible (primarily coaches/volunteers) and, where feasible, wiped down periodically.
10) No huddles unless safely spaced and no fist bump or hand shake lines.
III. Program Protocols
1) Compliance with Orders and Guidance. All applicable and mandatory government orders and all rules of the governing hockey authorities and hosting facilities shall be followed. All non-mandatory guidance shall be followed to the extent applicable and practical in the context of Avon Hockey’s activities.
2) Changes to Program. If it is not practical for Avon Hockey to follow an order or guidance, either from a logistical or cost perspective, Avon Hockey may modify, limit, reduce, cancel or discontinue all or part of its programs. Avon Hockey may also adopt additional measures to ensure the health and safety of the community, including cancellation of practices, games and programs.
3) Confidentiality and Sharing of Information with Health Department. Information provided to Avon Hockey regarding the health status of a player, coach or family member will be treated confidentially. To expedite contact tracing in our program, however, we will report a positive case of Covid-19 of any player or coach to the local health department as explained below. We may also notify our program, without identifying the individual or the impacted team(s), that a player or coach has tested positive for Covid-19.
4) Player Cohorts. As a general rule, players will be in a fixed cohort consisting of all of the travel teams in their age division or the participants in their in-house program (which is largely divided by age). Cohorts (age divisions) will not be mixed on the ice, with limited exceptions. Each travel team will be a sub-cohort and will share the ice with one or two other travel teams at practices. However, mixing of travel teams on the ice at practices will be minimized and avoided for any drills involving contact. Travel teams may mix only for drills where players can remain socially distanced (such as skating drills). In-House teams may similarly be divided into sub-cohorts if feasible and depending on the number of players.
5) Attendance Tracking; Alternates. For contact tracing purposes, Head Coaches must track attendance of players and assistant coaches at all practices and games. Game sheets must accurately reflect attendance of all players on both teams. Managers should track attendance at other team activities. Using alternates from another Avon Hockey team is strongly discouraged even when allowed per CHC rules, except for goalies when needed for a game. Coaches and teams should be prepared to play games with short benches.
6) Game Restrictions. Games against out-of-state teams cannot be played at Avon Old Farms School rink. Away games against out-of-state teams should be minimized. No games (home or away) may be played in or against a team from a “restricted state” or an area subject to a travel advisory. If a state or local order prohibits hockey or youth sports games in a particular geographic area (town, city, county), games (home and away) in or against teams from such area should be canceled even if local rinks in that area are open.
7) Tournaments. Avon Hockey is currently planning to host our Thanksgiving Tournament with CT teams only. Teams are discouraged from participating in other tournaments, particularly if out-of-state, even if the state is not restricted. (As previously announced, we will not be participating in the Newport Tournament this season.) Teams may not participate in any tournament in which a team from a “restricted state” is participating.
8) Violations. Anyone who demonstrates a disregard for any Avon Hockey, state or local Covid-19 rules may be suspended from hockey activities temporarily or for the season or subject to review by Avon Hockey for other disciplinary action. Refunds will not be given.
Quarantining of Teams and Individuals If a Player or Coach Tests Positive for Covid-19
Avon Hockey will work closely with the local health department (LHD) of any player or coach who tests positive for Covid-19 in order to expedite contact tracing in our program. Laboratories report positive cases to the State and LHD, which performs contact tracing for all individuals who reside in their district. The following illustration outlines when an Avon Hockey team or participants will or may be required by the LHD to quarantine due to a positive case. Anyone subject to a quarantine will be prohibited from participating in Avon Hockey activities until cleared per the LHD protocols. Refunds will not be given due to quarantines, even if hockey related. Quarantines may result in game cancellations and may render an individual or a team ineligible for CHC state tournaments.
*Unless household member is also a player or coach on the diagnosed person’s team.