Stratford Aces Return to Play Development Plan, News (Stratford Aces Girls Hockey)

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Stratford Aces Return to Play Development Plan
Submitted By Jan Ballantyne on Thursday, September 24, 2020
The Stratford Girls Hockey Association is committed to getting our players back on the ice in the safest manner possible. In looking out for our player’s interest we believe that returning to play in phases gives our players the best chance to return safely while developing their skills in an identified progression after the longest layoff from the sport due to the global pandemic Covid-19. Since being affected by the pandemic we have all learned that rules and guidelines change daily. We will strive to continually develop our players in phases by creating a fun and eventually a competitive learning 

We are extremely proud of all of our players who represent the Stratford Aces all over the province as our teams travel to play, however we are also committed strongly to protecting our players until it is absolutely safe to travel again.
Below you will see three identified phases we have in place. All of these phases are subject to change as the rules and guidelines of Hockey Canada, The Ontario Hockey Federation, The Ontario Women’s Hockey Association and our local Health unit change and evolve. There is a possibility that we could progress into Phase 3 earlier than anticipated, but we also know the reality of possibly staying in Phase 1 or 2 for longer than we anticipate.

Phase 1 (September/October) – Players registered have been placed into proper age categories for on ice practices managed by selected coaches at the identified age category.  

Phase 2 (November/December) – Players registered will be divided into groups both practice/skills and for 3 vs 3 or 4 vs 4 scrimmages weekly within our Stratford Aces bubble. 

Phase 3 (January/TBD) – Competitive play versus other centres (3v3, 4v4 or 5v5) when deemed appropriate by our local health unit in conjunction with the OWHA guidelines on a return to travel competition.

Phase 1: Currently we find ourselves in Phase 1 of return to play where our players have been divided into age specific groups without team selection or seeded groups (AA, A, BB, B, C). This Phase currently will remain in place until the end of October. If things continue to develop and progress towards a positive outlook regarding Covid-19 with the return of larger gatherings such as school and hockey we will move into Phase 2 for the months of November and December.

Phase 2: This doesn’t mean tryouts or seeding, players will remain in age specific groups and will include both practices and scrimmages weekly against their peer group. This will allow our players two skates per week which includes an instructional component combined with a competitive component both essential to player development.  

Phase 3: This is a phase we eventually hope to get to as we all look forward to returning to hockey how we know it. However this phase is a long way off in our current state and we want to do our part in getting there safely. We will strive to adjust and plan to be ready when the Health units and OWHA are ready to clear associations to return to competitive travel hockey.  

Stay tuned for registration and more information on Phase 2 in the coming days.
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