Youth travel hockey program playing out of Winter Garden Ice Arena, Ridgefield, CT

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RAHA - COVID 19 COMMUNICATION 

As the state begins to reopen and we are able to get back on the ice, we are also aware of the potential for Covid-19 to return and cause a disruption or even suspension to our program plans. RAHA  will strictly follow the guidelines set forth by USA Hockey, Connecticut Hockey Conference, The Winter Garden and State and Federal government guidelines. We understand the investment that families are being asked to take in committing to 2020/21 programming and are sensitive to the rules and health considerations associated with this virus. 

As a result, we have consulted with many sources in an effort to bring the program up this season in the safest way possible with the priority of protecting the health and safety of all players and families. 

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

First, a question we have been asked frequently to this point. In the event we are paused or cancelled altogether RAHA will refund prorated fees to families net of costs associated with launching the season. Until that time, we will proceed under the presumption that the season will go on as planned.

We cannot issue refunds for players who voluntarily withdraw from the program.

PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES  

With regards to our regular practice times there are very specific rules we must follow to comply with the rink’s requirements, our own program requirements and USA Hockey requirements. These rules are ever changing and we will continue to adjust our programming accordingly. 

  • Players are to enter the rink no more than 10 minutes prior to their scheduled ice time and should plan to come dressed for practices. Players are to leave the rink directly after practice and undress at home.

  • Players are to come dressed, except for skates, helmet and gloves, as there are still no locker rooms available.  Players will lace up in the lobby area as well as behind the rink where there will now be benches and rubber flooring so as to allow space for more than one team. Please adhere to markings on the lobby benches and bleachers.  

  • There will be one door clearly marked as the entrance and a clear exit as well forcing one way traffic and more distance. 

  • There will be no more than 25 skaters on the ice at one time.  This will be managed by the on-ice coaches.

  • Attendance will be taken by coaches in order to monitor who is in the facility at all times. This information will be helpful should anyone become sick with Covid and those who were in contact need to subsequently quarantine. 

  • There will be hand sanitizing stations available when you enter.  Restrooms are also open.

  • Masks are required in the lobby and all other public areas. 

  • Due to occupancy regulations, we must limit spectators.  Only 1 parent/guardian will be allowed to enter with each child age 8 and under.  We respectfully request that children older than 8 be dropped off in the lobby.  No sibling spectators unless absolutely necessary.

We also continue to learn more about the importance of the familiar steps below that are effective in preventing any further spread of this virus: 

 

  • If you feel ill or have a fever, please stay home and do not attend practice or games. 

  • Practice good hygiene by regularly washing your hands and using hand sanitizer.

  • Additionally, if you do test positive  or feel you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, please stay home and contact Devon Myers ( ) so we can notify team members of the potential exposure to the virus.

WAIVERS

All players must sign 2 waivers before stepping onto the ice this season - 

  1. RAHA Waiver (All)

  2. Winter Garden Waiver (All)

  3. Danbury Ice Arena Waiver (Bantams and Midgets)

These waivers will be posted on the RAHA website and available for download if you wish to bring signed waivers with you on August 17th. Otherwise, we will have the available as you check in on August 17th.

It is important to understand that players will not be permitted to skate on August 17h without a signed waiver.

TRAVEL AND TOURNAMENTS

Please be advised that Governor Lamont has recently issued Executive Order No. 7III, which includes updated travel restrictions.  As a result, we are expecting any RAHA players who have traveled outside of Connecticut to a restricted state as listed on Connecticut's website to follow these guidelines.  Please plan to self-quarantine for 14 days or to follow the testing alternative before returning.   

 

CanAm - We are currently evaluating our participation in CanAm this season. We are looking at potentially postponing to early 2021 or cancelling altogether this year. We will closely monitor State of NY and USA Hockey sanctioning and make a decision in the best interests of our players and families. Our intent is to have a final decision on CanAm coming out of our Sept 1st RAHA Board meeting.

 

As for other tournaments - normally teams are scheduling away tournaments for January and February. At this time, we do not see the need to cancel those plans yet, but will continue to monitor conditions in the Northeast and USAHockey regulations and will make a decision about RAHA’s participation in those tournaments as we get closer to those dates and have a better idea of what the situation is at that time.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

With all of these restrictions in mind we need to remain flexible as a community with regards to ice time and scheduling. We are diligently working on securing ice so that each team has the same amount of practice hours and game time as previous seasons despite the restrictions with the numbers of players allowed on the ice at one time. While our hope is for the majority of the program to be run out of the Ridgefield Winter Garden, we will most likely run some practices in Danbury to accommodate everyone. 

We are concurrently working on a contingency plan should we be told, due to Covid-19, that we are not allowed to travel. Ideally, we would like to keep our players practicing and scrimmaging with one another should competitive play be shut down. Again we will follow State and Federal guidelines. 

IN SUMMARY

This has been a challenging time for us all.  Our goal is to approach our new normal in the most positive way possible and to take advantage of the opportunity we now have to get back on the ice together. That goal is to continue to provide a safe hockey environment that our players can call home. As a club we will continue to focus on the growth and development of our players through this difficult time. The hockey environment we all return to might look different; however, for the social, emotional and physical well-being of our players, we need to allow them the opportunity to return to the game they love to play. We look forward to continuing this journey with you all. 

Be Safe and...Go Lions!!