FAQ: 2020 Season Pause, News (Whitby Minor Hockey)

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FAQ: 2020 Season Pause
Submitted By Jane Sedo on Tuesday, December 1, 2020
The following FAQ was developed in response to questions we have received over the past week. If you have any further questions or require clarification please connect with your WMHA Board of Directors.

HOUSE LEAGUE 

Why can’t WMHA put House League players on the ice under the current restrictions? 

First and foremost, the Board has made a commitment to provide programming options that are equitable to both Representative players and House League players. 

If WMHA were to provide programming under the current restrictions, each player would receive half the number of on-ice sessions we committed to providing you in September.

We discussed acquiring more ice to fulfill the program but the additional ice costs were not feasible within the current programming model. The WMHA Board could not responsibly ask  our members to pay for a product that was not as described.   

 

In addition to this, the health and well-being of our players remain a priority for our Board of Directors. With just over 1,100 players in our House League program there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19. We take this responsibility seriously and want to ensure we make decisions in the best interest of our members and our community as a whole.

  

Will I get a refund because the season has been paused?

 

At this time, the season has not been cancelled and is currently on pause. In September WMHA members paid $400, this was the first of two instalments. At this point in the season,  WMHA has used a significant portion of the $400 to pay for jerseys and socks, CHIP instruction for younger ages, referees, timekeepers, player insurance, bench staff insurance, team registration and ice costs. It’s important to remember that some of these costs are fixed and occur before players even step on the ice. 

Our 2020-2021 Registration Fee was $650 and included 36 hours of on-ice sessions, or 18 weeks of hockey. It is our intention to provide this program to our members. We plan to extend our season into March to fulfill this commitment. If we are unable to continue with programming, due to the provincial restrictions we will provide a pro-rated refund to WMHA families.

 

We paid the $400 WMHA Registration Fee in September; do I still owe $250 on January 1st?

 

Once the Government of Ontario moves the region back to Orange Zone restrictions, WMHA will work with the Town of Whitby to resume programming.  We remain committed to providing House League teams with 36 hours of on-ice sessions, or 18 weeks of hockey.  In the week of December 20th we will provide members with an update and confirm if the remaining $250 payment will be collected.   

 

 

REPRESENTATIVE

 

Why can’t WMHA put Representative players on the ice under the current restrictions

 

First and foremost, the Board has made a commitment to provide programming options that are equitable to both Representative players and House League players. 

 

If WMHA were to provide programming under the current restrictions, each player would receive half the number of on-ice sessions we committed to providing you in September.

 

We discussed acquiring more ice to fulfill the program but the additional ice costs were not feasible within the current programming model. The WMHA Board could not responsibly ask  our members to pay for a product that was not as described.   

 

In addition to this, the health and well-being of our players remains a priority for our Board of Directors. With close to 800 players in our Representative program there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19. We take this responsibility seriously and want to ensure we make decisions in the best interest of all our members and our community as a whole.

 

 

What is the financial commitment for Rep players going forward?

 

We remain committed to setting Rep Fees that reflect the true costs of the program.

 

As such, all WMHA team activities are being tracked and calculated and will be reconciled in early 2021. You will be required to pay for ice that your team has used, development if applicable, and game officials. In addition to this, fixed costs such as player insurance, bench staff insurance, jerseys, socks, and team registration fees will be accounted for.  

 

At this time, the season has not been cancelled and is currently on pause.

 

Most WMHA Rep players have paid $400 in September and $280 in October. At this point in the season, WMHA has used a significant portion of the $680 collected. Once the Government of Ontario moves the region back to Orange Zone restrictions, WMHA will work with the Town of Whitby to resume programming. 

 

In the week of December 20th we will provide members with an update and confirm if a January 1st payment ($250) will be collected. 

 

 

GENERAL

 

Why can other neighbouring associations continue to play and WMHA is not?

 

The WMHA Board of Directors discussed many different programming scenarios before coming to a decision. Each association has its own unique challenges and in some cases, such as the WGHA, report to different governing bodies. Initial seasonal structure and team compositions were unique to each association.

 

There are many complexities for us to navigate while under the current Red-Control level.

 

WMHA is one of third largest association in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association; we have close to 2000 players. As a community- based organization supported by volunteers, we have 200 teams and over 400 coaches. Under Orange Zone restrictions, each week our Association moved between 9000-9500 parents, players and coaches in and out of Town of Whitby facilities.

 

The volume of players, teams, and coaches all contribute to the size of risk we assume in our community at large.

 

To date we have been made are aware of approximately 165 WMHA players, 38 coaches, and over a dozen referees and timekeepers that have been exposed to COVID-19 while at the rink; fortunately, they all have been assessed as low-risk contacts. We have worked closely with Durham Health and have contact all affected individuals.   

 

We know that pausing our season is frustrating for some members and we want to assure you that our decision was made with careful consideration of all members. We were deliberate in our attempt to endorse a solution that supports the long-term health and viability of our Association. 

A membership as large as ours has many different needs and meeting the expectations of everyone is not always possible. We hope that you can appreciate the time and effort each volunteer has put in thus far and we remain committed to supporting a safe return to hockey under these unprecedented times.

 

 

 

 

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