In response to the ongoing 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a few necessary changes made to WHAM's standard rules in order to keep the safety and well-being of all involved as our top priority. As the world, our jobs, our livelihoods, and our daily routines have all had to make significant changes and adapt for safety precautions, so too does our upcoming hockey season in ways that may be tougher for some teams to absorb than others. Please know that these decisions were not made lightly and come with the guidance of our sanctioning partners MN and USA Hockey in order to best protect the lives of all who participate, officiate, spectate, and those we return home to each night.
As we prepare for the upcoming season, we understand that social distancing is a recommended standard practice in all that we do in order to protect ourselves and others from unnecessary potential exposure of this deadly virus. When considering how to best limit the risk for potential exposure of as many as possible, while still allowing us to hit the ice this fall and play the sport we all love, some safety guidelines for this unique season will be put into place. (See Return To Play Guidelines below)
This will be a very unique year for many teams who will be directly impacted by the 1 team rule. We understand some teams may lose their goalie if they choose their second team or choose to play as a skater if they are a dual position player. For these teams, we will be opening up the classifieds online to help with merging and collaboration of other teams within your division who may also be directly impacted by this rule.
With the uncertainty of the season and what COVID may bring to our state with another potential surge this fall/early winter, we understand that the season may be cut short, delayed for weeks if a state shutdown occurs, or possibly be unaffected. We also understand that if a teammate were to contract COVID, the team would be forced to cancel their games for 2 weeks due to direct exposure and CDC/MDH quarantine guidelines. All this would directly impact team standings and points. For this reason, and planning ahead, the board recognizes that final team points may not be the true reflection of the team’s capabilities this season. For this reason, the end of season Championship Tournament will not be open to the “top point” teams, but rather to those teams who first commit at each division.
WHAM will have a COVID-19 email address (COVID19info@whamhockey.org) to send COVID specific concerns and questions to throughout the season. The website will also have a COVID specific page (link from homepage) with any updated changes, announcements, and guidelines for this season. Managers should expect to check this page routinely throughout the season.
Together, we can make this a successful, fun season of hockey that is as safe as possible for all. We appreciate your understanding and support throughout this unprecedented time and look forward to seeing you all back out on the ice this fall!
The WHAM Board
1. If I am a dual rostered player (ie. primary and a secondary player) during a normal season, can I choose to play on my secondary team (higher level team) this season and still be able to play on my primary team (lower level team) next season?
- YES - The WHAM board understands that many dual rostered players will need to make a decision between their two teams this year to make rosters work. The board is anticipating the 2021-22 season to be "back to normal" and you will be able to rejoin your second team that you are accustomed to playing with during non-pandemic years.
2. If I am a player in the league, but also coach a different team in the league, am I allowed to be on the bench with the team I coach?
- No - the 1 team rule includes both players and coaches. You are allowed to be an active participant on only 1 team this year - you must choose to play or coach.