The World Junior Championships are under way in Canada this coming week.
Upon arriving in Canada each team was tested and quarantined. Some positive test results came back from teams and those teams forced the postponement of exhibition games. Not really a big issue, and it was by all accounts expected.
Now, housing and team bubbles in place, next week will see some of the best competition we will be able to watch all year.
The bubble is a simple concept. Eliminate outsiders from the team environment, and inside the team environment, the bubble keeps everyone COVID free.
The bubble concept worked for the NHL, and it is working for individual teams who have the foresight to use this practice.
The weak link is billeting and contact with the public when it comes to hockey. Not just junior hockey, but all hockey.
Until everyone or the majority of people receive the vaccine, or have the antibodies, bubble team life is the only way forward.
In every infection instance in junior hockey, it has been the billet family, and direct or indirect contact with people outside of the team environment that has resulted in infections. That is a fact.
The NCAA NCHC division is doing a bubble. More than 3000 tests have been done and no COVID currently positive results!
The USPHL moving to their bubble environment in Florida in the coming weeks is a testament to embracing the bubble concept on large scale. So why aren’t other leagues doing it?
Maybe it’s time for other leagues to start answering that question. There are facilities available everywhere, and frankly there is no excuse for any league to not enter a bubble or some form of it in order to finish the season.
I hear hockey moms complaining now that they cant go to games if Johnny has to be in a bubble. Yes, its a shame you wont be able to live your life vicariously through your child this season. But you know having Johnny compete is a little more important than you having the ability to gossip in the stands.
I hear hockey dads moaning that team politics is going to play a part in who gets the most ice time and they cant talk to the coaches about it.
I hear some team owners complaining that their billet families will be disappointed now.
Does any of that really matter if “its all about the kids”?
Its time for lip service to stop and action to be taken until the pandemic is over. Whether you believe in the pandemic or the danger or not, if you want your child to play, its time to embrace the bubble.
If the top leagues and events in the world are doing it, why isn’t everyone else?
Joseph Kolodziej – Adviser