Volume 8 Issue 7 | August 26, 2020
AHAI Members:

The AHAI Board of Directors want to take this opportunity to reach-out to all of you to provide an update on the current status of ice hockey in Illinois.

The challenges relating to the Covid-19 pandemic are daunting and ever-changing.

The AHAI Board empathizes with you and understands there are a myriad of Covid-19 related issues which created a series of challenges for rink facilities, leagues, clubs, parents, and most importantly players, that are not just unique - they are unprecedented.

While we all wish that hockey could return to "normal" this is simply not possible at this point in time. And none of us know when "normal" might be possible.

We want to make it clear that AHAI, in its role and responsibility as the governing body for amateur hockey in the State of Illinois, is in contact with medical experts and policy-makers in the State of Illinois to consider all avenues to (1) keep everyone as safe as possible, and (2) explore options to offer the membership as robust and as full a hockey experience as possible in the current environment.

AHAI will not trade safety for expediency but we want you to know that we are working on your behalf.
Currently, the State of Illinois classifies ice hockey as a "Higher Risk" sport. According to the Illinois classification, Higher Risk sports allow for no-contact practices and training only. The All Sports Policy may be found by clicking here.

AHAI Affiliate Organizations and leagues are accountable to governmental authorities and AHAI expects all its members to strictly adhere to federal, state and local government and departments of health policies, including local rink rules, for best practices on COVID-19 health and prevention. These policies include, but are not limited to, the All Sports Policy, Youth Sports Guidance, and Indoor/Outdoor Recreation Facilities Guidance from the State of Illinois. AHAI realizes that the policies can (and may very well) change at some point in the future. Each AHAI organization is responsible for awareness of the most current policies.

As players and ice hockey participants return to the ice, and in hopeful anticipation that scrimmages and/or games will occur soon, AHAI released the 2020/2021 Hockey Registry to all AHAI Affiliate organizations. Similar to prior years, rosters that comply with the AHAI/USAH Rules and Regulations will be certified.

However, the issuance of a team roster does NOT permit an AHAI/USA Hockey rostered team to participate in games or scrimmages (in state or out of state) nor does it permit an AHAI sanctioned league to conduct games or scrimmages. To be clear, the current AHAI policy does not permit any registered AHAI affiliated organization, team or league to participate in any games or scrimmages. At this time, AHAI is not approving travel permits or sanctioning in-state tournaments.

A violation of AHAI rules, regulations, bylaws, policies or procedures may be referred to the appropriate disciplinary AHAI committee for further action. A determination by the AHAI committee that an organization, team or league violated any AHAI rule, regulation, bylaw, policy or procedure may result in disciplinary measures including, but not limited to, coaching suspension, team staff suspension, decertification of a team or league, and elimination of eligibility to participate in the AHAI State Tournament.

Each AHAI affiliate should prepare its own plan, in conjunction with its local rinks, for returning players to the ice. AHAI does not operate ice rinks or affiliates nor does it determine when, and how, it is appropriate to return to the rinks. AHAI has no role in determining such actions.

Working collaboratively, and in compliance with the policies discussed above, may increase the opportunity to reevaluate the current classification of ice hockey.

Conversely, creating an environment which could lead to further exposure and incidence of Covid-19 infection may move the community further back from its intended goals. We are all in this together!

AHAI will release additional information as it becomes available.

Stay well.

AHAI Board of Directors
Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2020-2021 Season
The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U is now open. All applications will be submitted online. The Tier II Committee will have (3) three appeal hearings for those denied a substitute choice. The remaining dates for the appeals are August 27 and September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. If denied, please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at gregg.chudacoff@ahai2.org with your preferred appeal hearing date. The deadline for applying for a substitute choice will be September 15, 2020.

Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Seeking Nominations for Class of 2020
Illinois hockey has a very long and rich hockey history, in large part due to the tireless dedication and commitment of individuals who have helped make sure every individual who has had a desire to participate in this great sport has had the opportunity to do so. The Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding players, organizers, coaches, managers, supporters, and officials.

Please click here for Nomination Qualifications & Procedures. If you know of someone who you believe should be a candidate to enter the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2020, you are encouraged to click here for Nomination Form; please submit all assisting documentation by October 1, 2020. Click here  to view a list of past IHHF Inductees. The 2020 IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honor on Sunday, January 31, 2021 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847.269.2922 or jacole@comcast.net.
Concussion Concerns Remain
By Elizabeth M. Pieroth, PsyD, ABPP - The youth hockey community is appropriately focused on keeping players safe from COVID-19. However, when the players are back on the ice, concerns about concussions and other injuries also return. We want our players, coaches and parents to remain vigilant when it comes to player safety. Everyone involved in youth hockey should be aware of the signs (observable by others) and symptoms (reported by the athlete) of concussion. Click here for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Concussion Signs and Symptoms. READ MORE>>
A Step aHead Registration is Now Open!
The A Step aHead partners are excited to announce the 10th year of our program! We are proud of the work that has been done to educate our youth hockey community about sports safety and provide free baseline neurocognitive testing. We look forward to another 10 years of working to keep our athletes safe while they play the game they love.

This year the free baseline testing will be offered from now through November 30, 2020. We will continue to offer the testing at select Athletico clinics. REGISTER NOW>> 

Reminder: USA Hockey Offering Online CEP Clinics
By Jim Clare - AHAI Coach-In-ChiefAs has been discussed and disseminated for the past month, CEP Clinics are all done virtually at this time. We are working with the Central District to schedule several CEP Clinics at multiple levels. We will announce the dates once they are finalized.

We will let you know when we will return to the classroom. These clinics are hosted around the country by USA Hockey and the District Coach-In-Chiefs. I encourage you to attend one of these virtual clinics to gain your next level of coaching certification. Register online at USA Hockey under the Coaches tab. Here is a sample of clinics coming up in the next week that you can attend (there are dozens more listed on the USA Hockey website).
IHOA Announced 2020-2021 Officiating Seminar Schedule
The Illinois Hockey Officials' Association (IHOA) is pleased to announce the release of its officiating seminars for the coming season. If you are unsure of the requirements, please go to www.ihoa.com for the details. Registration is ongoing.

Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
QUESTION: Can a player lift the opponent's stick without being penalized under the Standard of Play guidelines?

ANSWER: Yes. A player may lift the opponent's stick at any time provided they do not impede their progress. This is most often done in an effort to prevent the opponent from playing the puck and is considered a good defensive play.

QUESTION: The first principle of the Standard of Play is "the use of the stick will be limited to only playing the puck." Does this mean that anytime a player uses his stick and makes contact with the opponent, a penalty must be called? 

ANSWER: No. Even though the principle encourages players to only play the puck with the stick, an actual rule must still have been violated in order for a penalty to be assessed. There may be instances where the stick may contact the opponent's body or stick, but no competitive advantage has been gained by an act that is in violation of the rules. It is important to recognize that, in essence, stick to lower stick contact that prevents the opponent from playing the puck could be considered to be making an effort to play the puck.  
USA Hockey Certificates of Insurance and Insurance Coverages
By Don Allord, Central District Risk ManagerRegistered players, coaches, and volunteers are covered by USA Hockey insurance. Volunteer Boards can register on the USA Hockey website and will be covered under Directors and Officers.

USA Hockey provides General Liability; Excess Accident; Catastrophic; Directors and Officers and Crime coverages. The Insurance Handbook can be found on the USA Hockey website by clicking here. The accident form can be obtained from the AHAI registrar at registrar@ahai2.org.

USA Hockey also provides, at no cost, certificates of insurance that many rinks and venues require. Liability limits of $2.0MM or below can be issued as soon as the Certificate of Insurance (Central District) is completed and sent in. Any limit over $2.0MM must go through the insurance carrier and can take up to a week to complete as long as all the information requested is on the COI form. You may not think the amount of crime coverage for your organization is enough. You can increase coverage. Contact K and K Insurance online for additional coverage information. READ MORE>>