Yesterday the Canadian University Sports leagues made the unprecedented decision to cancel all fall sports. Hockey will not begin before January 1, 2021. A final decision regarding the hockey season will be made no later than October 8, 2020.
This means, no football or other very popular sports where spectators are involved. Simply put, it is a monumental move by all governing bodies across Canada.
Its important to note that this was a joint decision U-Sports along with AUS, OUA, Canada West and CIS all being on board.
While this is not a junior hockey specific item, it does indicate the direction in which most governing bodies are viewing player and fan safety during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
In the next eleven days the Canada-United States border closure will also be rolled over and extended through the end of July. Which will further impact the 2020 season of junior hockey as tryout camps will again have to be cancelled or postponed.
While a return to hockey plan has been announced in Quebec, the plan does not forecast 5 on 5 play until the sixth and final phase. One source in Quebec expects phase six to come in January. This date matches the announcement made by the Canadian Universities. Is that simply coincidence?
While Canada is taking a Province by Province approach to reopening, like the State by State approach in the United States, players now must consider alternative playing options. The league or team players may have wanted to play for, may or may not be there come September. If you are not prepared for this, you may not be playing until 2021.
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser