Street hockey ball

News

Happy New Year to the WPBHL Community

Jan 19, 2021

Sadly, the 2020 season was mostly a lost year for your league, but while the public health situation as of today is very severe, the Board is continuing the planning that will hopefully allow both the youth and adult divisions to play in 2021.

That said, we need to respect the situation and remain flexible in our planning. Even in a normal year, our rink permits are issued only a few weeks before the ball drops, and with Toronto’s COVID-19 infection rate among the highest in the province, it is very possible that the city’s Public Health department will not allow team sports as of the beginning of April. It may also be difficult for many families in our league to commit to a spring season in early January as we normally do, given the evolving situation.

For these reasons, ‘Plan A’ is to start the season at the beginning of May, with registration occurring mid-March. It also involves alterations to game play, as we tested out in a 9-week mini season the adults played from August to early October.

Changes include:

  • pre-game health checks;
  • more and smaller teams, on 3 rinks enabling distancing on benches;
  • penalty shots instead of penalty box time;
  • no face-offs;
  • no sharing of goalie equipment

These changes are all in line with national and provincial ball hockeyguidelines.

With many of our usual sponsors affected by the ongoing business shutdowns, we are also not planning to have sponsored jerseys for individual teams. This change will save time between registration and the season’s beginning.

Our aim is still to end the youth season in late June, but will be collecting your input as to whether an extension into the summer would be preferred. Fees are being finalized, but will reflect the length of the season as well as the unusual cost structure we will have this year.

Our aim is still to end the youth season in late June, but will be collecting your input as to whether an extension into the summer would be preferred. Fees are being finalized, but will reflect the length of the season as well as the unusual cost structure we will have this year.

All of that said, there can be no guarantees, given the continuing growth in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. We will follow the guidance of public health officials, the Toronto parks department, and our sport’s governing bodies about when and how we may play; and on top of these will layer our own diligence and cautious approach to ensure that any return to play is done safely. What we can commit to is planning for many scenarios and keeping you informed as things are clarified.

Until then – please stay safe and healthy, support our sponsors whose businesses are open, and do everything you can to bend the curve downward so we can gather as a community on the rinks this spring.

WPBHL Board