The Saskatchewan hockey community received some clarity regarding the 2020-21 season when the Saskatchewan Hockey Association released its Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines on October 8.
Up until now only evaluations and practices had been allowed due to COVID-19, but the SHA released a 63-page document on Thursday that outlined a plan to return to game action in a five-phase approach, which has been approved by the province.
The SHA is currently in phase one, but phase two has a tentative start date of October 17 with exhibition games allowed within a mini-league. Teams will be permitted to play a maximum of two exhibition games during phase two and cannot play more than one game per day.
Phase three will allow for league games within a mini-league and has a tentative start date of November 1.
Phase four has a tentative start date of January 18, 2020 and will allow for league games within an expanded mini-league. The fifth and final stage would be playoffs and provincials at a date to be determined.
There will be no tournaments or inter-provincial travel during the 2020-21 season.
Spectators, coaches on the bench, and off-ice officials will be required to wear face coverings at all times in the arena.
Spectators will be allowed in the arenas for games. For Minor games (U18AA and below) the maximum capacity will be 150 provided there is enough room for physical distancing between extended household groups.
For Junior, Senior, and U18 AAA games, attendance up to 50 percent of building capacity is allowed as long as assigned seating is available.
The document also allows for hockey to be shutdown if COVID-19 cases rise to a point where the province no longer deems it safe to play.
To read the complete Safety Guidelines document click here.