Commonwealth issues updated guidance pertaining to rinks & hockey
Attached, please find the updated guidance from the Commonwealth (CLICK HERE FOR LINK) regarding youth sports and specifically ice rink facilities and youth/recreational hockey in Massachusetts which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020. It is important that the hockey community understands and follows this guidance. Those not following the guidance are subject to fines and shutdowns from the various state agencies at the local level and any widespread disregard for the guidance puts the entire sport at risk for a much longer stoppage, which is not what anyone wants.
While we are highlighting some of the changes to the guidance below, we strongly encourage everyone to read and understand the expectations.
FACE COVERINGS: Players, coaches and officials are required to wear face coverings at all times. This includes during play. Acceptable face coverings should follow the guidance issued by the CDC (CLICK HERE FOR LINK). Products that are specific to hockey (CCM “Game On”, Bauer Concept 3 Splash Guard, etc.) are understood to be acceptable. (p.6 of Guidance)
MODIFICATIONS TO SPORT: Previous modifications that required the elimination of deliberate contact are no longer in effect. This means that body-checking is allowed as permissible by USA Hockey playing rules. (p.4 of Guidance)
SPECTATORS: Facilities (at their discretion) now have the ability to allow two (2) adult chaperones and siblings per player into the facility provided they follow social distancing guidance and the facility remains below 50% of capacity. (p.7 of Guidance)
CONTACT TRACING: Both the facility operator (rink) AND the activity organizer (entity that purchases the ice time) are responsible for complying with any and all contact tracing requests. Failure to do so will result in fines and/or shutdowns of those who do not comply. (p.9 of Guidance)
MULTIPLE GAMES/TOURNAMENTS: Teams are limited to one game per day unless games are played back-to-back in a multi-sheet facility and the facility has adequate transition space for players and spectators and there is no break between games. (p.6 of Guidance)
TRAVEL/OUT OF STATE TEAMS and PLAYERS: Facilities may only allow Massachusetts-based teams and Massachusetts-based participants to participate in Massachusetts-based events held at Massachusetts-based facilities. Any Massachusetts-based athlete that chooses to leave the state to participate in a sports event must comply with the COVID-19 Travel Order issued by the Commonwealth before returning to work, school or public events. Any facility or program that hosts an out-of-state team at a Massachusetts facility or allows an out-of-state player to participate on a Massachusetts-based team risks facility closure or suspension of practices and/or games. (p.9 of Guidance)
LOCKER ROOMS: Locker rooms are to be closed until further notice. Facility operators will ensure that they are not open or occupied. Players are strongly encouraged to arrive dressed in their equipment and facilities will have socially-distanced space set up where players can put on their skates and other equipment prior to taking the ice. Each facility will have a traffic flow pattern specific to their set up. We encourage facilities to share this information with programs and coaches in advance of an ice session as well as posting online in conjunction with their league partners. (p.10 of Guidance)
TRANSPORTATION: If carpooling to an event (which is strongly discouraged), all parties must wear face coverings. (p.11 of Guidance)
We remain in constant communication with the Commonwealth and will provide updates to the hockey community if there are any changes or updates to the attached guidance.
We are excited to see the rinks reopen their doors tomorrow morning and have the kids back playing the game that they love. While people may have concerns or opinions about some of the new guidance, please understand that these are the rules that the Commonwealth has set and we are all responsible to stay within the framework provided. If there are any concerns or reports of non-compliance, people are encouraged to report it to the either the local board of health or Department of Labor Standards. They can be reached at
or (508) 616-0461 x9488.
Well, here we are about to kickoff our opening weekend of games. It seems like it’s been forever since we took to the ice in our blue & whites to represent our young Falcons. Clearly been a winding road to get to this point, but we are here, wherever that may be. It might not be exactly as we remember it in seasons past, but we do have a season and this year, it's all about the kids! I’m taking the glass is half full approach and err on the side of optimism during these strange times. From centers and wings requiring masks on the face offs, social distancing on the bench and one spectator per player are all the new elements we must adhere to if we desire to have normalcy back again in the near future. “I’d rather wear a mask, than not play at all.”, say the kids.
Personally, I feel terrible that not all parents, guardians, siblings, etc can come and watch their loved ones play, but we must adapt. And hopefully the better we follow guidelines, the sooner restrictions may let up a bit. For the time being, split games or rotate periods if needed, but the kids will know we’re there to support them, regardless if we must sacrifice our own desire to cheer them on for the full 36 minutes. Hockey parents are a rare breed, often crazy or I like to say “passionate”, so this is definitely not ideal. Fortunately, this will pass and we will remember these moments as a small period of time that once was. I urge you all to reach out to me directly if you have any questions, concerns or issues. Danvers Youth Hockey’s volunteers, coaches and Board of Directors have worked tirelessly to get us to where we are right now and we can’t have any individuals going off the grid and jeopardizing the reputation of the program. I know first hand that their have already been a few local programs warned due to parents and players not following protocol. I’m absolutely confident we have an upstanding group of families, so this will not be the case with us. I fully believe in the credibility of the DYH family, thus know it won’t be an issue. The Falcons are ready to take flight by hitting the ice and playing some good old fashioned hockey in just a few days, thus I prompt you to get yourselves focused and ready to begin the onslaught of the next 7 months of what we all consider the best time of the year!
Please take this message as a small victory knowing that DYH has stayed together and is stronger than ever for the onset of the 2020-2021 season!!
Sincerely, Pete Davekos Falcon President Danvers Youth Hockey
***Details are being ironed out, but a big move in the right direction as we have received notice that games will be played! We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more!
We hope you are enjoying your summer and time at home. While the weeks tick by and August begins to wind down we wait for schools to decide their reopening plan, as do we with the ongoings between MA Hockey & our Governor's office. I’ve attached a link below for all to read in detail, but essentially hockey has been dubbed a high risk sport like football, wrestling and basketball. MA Hockey, league owners and rinks have teamed up in hope of redefining hockey as a moderate risk sport with certain restrictions during play. We are in a holding pattern for game play until a decision has been made... but could change any day!
However, we as an organization, have met amongst our Board and our coaching staff, thus we are primed and ready to begin skating at the end of this month. We will be sending out an official practice schedule for our teams and players as we will begin on time. Practices, not games, will be the route we have to take as of right now. Though, once we are given the green light, I assume we will be overloaded with games and scrimmages for a fun-filled season per usual. Call us optimists, but we feel that because hockey is over six months long, we will endure.
Please get your player registered with USA hockey and send in your confirmation number and also please pay your tuition balances which are due by 9/30 to ensure your player is allowed to take the ice. Obviously, as we’ve communicated before, we will issue credits if less games are played by the end of the full season.
We do appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate thru these uncertain times during the onset of our beloved hockey season!