WINNIPEG, MB - The Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) is excited to announce that the 2020-21 Regular Season will begin on Friday, October 9th, 2020.
Since early June, the MJHL has worked diligently with Hockey Canada, Hockey Manitoba, Sport Manitoba and Manitoba Public Health Authorities to develop very comprehensive Return to Play (RTP) Guidelines to ensure that our players, fans, staff and communities can return to hockey in a safe, structured and responsible manner in today's new normal. All authorities recognize the significant and important role that fitness, sport, and competition plays both physically and mentally in our daily lives, specifically involving the game of hockey within the province and across our country. And as such, have remained extremely cautious and responsible in managing the approval process of returning to hockey within Manitoba.
Sport Manitoba and the Provincial Health Authorities have done an outstanding job in leading each sport within our Province in returning to play throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but they also recognize that they do not enjoy the same level of expertise as Hockey Manitoba or the MJHL as leaders of hockey in our province.
As a result, the Provincial Health Authorities, with the endorsement of Sport Manitoba have agreed to provide the MJHL with the appropriate delegated authority to re-introduce hockey upon approval by Hockey Manitoba. Authorities will continue to provide regular updates and the necessary guidelines that will be required. Greater responsibility will now be delegated to the MJHL and each member team as it relates to our full return to hockey.
"On behalf of the MJHL Board of Governors and with the support of Sport Manitoba and approval by the Hockey Manitoba Board of Directors, we are excited to share that MJHL Hockey will be returning to the province in October" shared Commissioner, Kevin Saurette. "We believe our thoroughly provincially vetted MJHL Return to Play - Phase II Guidelines will provide the MJHL, all member teams, players, staff, officials, volunteers, stakeholders, fans and communities with the best position to return to and enjoy hockey in a safe, structured and responsible manner in accordance with all necessary public health and facility guidelines. The league and member teams also understand the immense responsibility we have been provided as we move forward with the 2020/21 season.”
MJHL Regular Season to begin on Friday, October 9th
MJHL Main Camps will begin on September 18th with no more than 34 players in attendance. Teams will play no more than three exhibition games. Games involving out-of-province teams are not permitted.
The 2020-21 season schedule will be significantly modified to mitigate risk of spread or potential contact between multiple teams and to allow for minimal disruption of the schedule in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. Full schedule announcement will be made in the coming weeks.
Any upcoming Camps held by teams that are not Main Camps (Prospect Camps, Development Camps, etc.) are to be hosted before September 18th and are to follow the MJHL Phase I - Return to Play Guidelines which have been in place since June 26th. Full contact is not permitted during these camps.
Players/Staff and Officials are required to wear face masks while entering/exiting and within the arena for MJHL sanctioned activities while not on the ice.
Players/Staff are required to wear face masks while traveling to and from games (on the bus, entering/exiting restaurants and hotels, etc.)
Members of the public are strongly encouraged to wear face masks while in any MJHL facility during MJHL activity while following all necessary distancing and facility guidelines.
The MJHL RTP – Phase II Guidelines will remain fluid and flexible to accommodate the necessary response to advice from public health authorities.
As is the case for everyone throughout the province and beyond, these past months during the COVID-19 pandemic have placed significant financial stress on each MJHL team and community. Additional stress will be felt as each organization prepares for what will be required for the upcoming season to ensure we return to hockey in a safe, structured and responsible manner.
Each organization is to be commended for their absolute commitment to providing elite development opportunities both on and off the ice in the face of these financial challenges with the health and safety of all involved always being the number 1 priority. Teams will need and deserve all the support they can be afforded during this time as we return to the game we all love.
Please stay tuned for further exciting announcements in the coming weeks.
ABOUT THE MJHL
The Manitoba Junior Hockey League is one of ten Junior ‘A’ Hockey Leagues in Canada and is a proud member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL). The goal of the MJHL is to develop elite players and ultimately have them develop into elite citizens who make a positive contribution to their community - To provide fans, communities and supporters with the best possible hockey product through dedication to improvement in all areas of the game both on and off the ice.
To provide each MJHL player with an elite hockey development experience with a strong emphasis on education and positive citizenship. To deliver exciting Junior ‘A’ hockey action to fans throughout the province and enhance Manitoba communities in the spirit of sports excellence and goodwill.