After much consideration and input from BC Hockey Districts and Minor Hockey Associations (MHA), BC Hockey has cancelled the 2021 Minor Championships which traditionally operate annually under BC Hockey regulations.
BC Hockey partners with host Districts and Associations to operate and facilitate 16 minor Championships across BC and Yukon at the following age categories: U21, U18, U15 and U13.
BC Hockey is making the proactive decision at this time to allow all Districts and leagues the flexibility needed to facilitate programming that best fits into the viaSport provincial guidelines regarding sport participation focusing on the safety and well-being of participants.
"This decision was not made without many considerations. We worked in collaboration with our Minor Committee to evaluate all options regarding BC Hockey Championships," said BC Hockey Chair of the Board Bill Greene. "The focus this year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is to safely operate local programming so that our youth can participate in hockey. Our Districts and Associations are working creatively and diligently to offer various programs which follows viaSport and Hockey Canada's Return to Sport safety guidelines."
Under the current viaSport guidelines, teams can participate in a maximum of four (4) team cohorts, therefore should BC Hockey Championships occur, this would force districts and associations to alter any local programming and season schedules in order to fit within timeframes that require 14 day wait periods before changing cohorts. This could prohibit many of the Districts to use the traditional seasonal qualification of teams to participate fairly in BC Hockey Championships.
While the traditional BC Hockey Championships are cancelled, there is opportunity for innovative possibilities to enhance local or regional championships for competitive play in which BC Hockey will work to support the districts and associations.
With the unpredictability of what regulations and guidelines for travel and competition will be next March when minor championships occur, BC Hockey is making this proactive decision early in the season to cancel minor Championships for 2021. This allows districts and associations the opportunity and flexibility to build seasonal plans that can optimize skill development for participants with safety as the foremost consideration.
When the 2020 BC Hockey Championships were cancelled just days before they were to start, we understood the disappointment the participants felt along with all the time, effort and funding host committees had put into hosting these special events.
BC Hockey and our member partners have worked closely with viaSport, who works in conjunction with the Provincial Health Office, in order to develop guidelines for Return to Sport amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
We thank everyone for their input and understanding at this time.