Where To From Here? A Message About Summer Hockey Season In Alberta

A few days ago we learned that the Government of Alberta is moving everything back one step. As of Friday no indoor dining will be allowed at restaurants, unless it is on a patio, while all other restrictions from step 1 are in effect as of the day of the announcement. So how does this affect summer hockey?

People are tired of COVID. We totally get it. It seems like the barrage of bad news just keeps on coming. Cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations are rising. But, the immunization rate is increasing as well. More and more people are getting the vaccine, and the province is receiving more doses weekly. As of April 6th, 755,831 doses of vaccine have been administered. Nearly 17 out of 100 people got one dose.

All this is a bump in the road. The hammer and the dance, inevitably predicted a year or so ago. Every day we are inching closer to normal. The Alberta Government also hinted at how we are going to go about reopening in the presser. Sure, the goal posts have moved, but they seem to make sense.

When all this will happen? All indications are that Stage 3 will be achieved sometime in mid June when every person over the age of 16 has had a chance to get the vaccine. In the meanwhile, hockey would probably be back in Stage 1 or 2. (if the government means immune is getting 1 dose, we should be at 22 people with a single dose out of 100 in less than a week or two).

Summer Hockey will happen this year, this is the path to recovery
The Path To Recover – Source, Government of Alberta, April 6th, 2021

What does this all mean for Summer 2021 Hockey Season?

There is one thing that isn’t in doubt. There will be a summer hockey season this year. When it will start we don’t know. But as we have said before, as soon as we have the green light for adult sports to start up again we will fire up the summer hockey season 2 weeks after that announcement. So be ready!

Sure the season may need to be adjusted an augmented depending on the actual start date. We are ready for that possibility, and we will make the best of it. On the outside chance that the summer hockey season is cancelled because of restrictions, your team fees will be refunded to your team GM. Read about how we did it in the winter here.

So either we play hockey this summer or you get your money back, and it is 100% guaranteed. Of course, if there is a reduction in the number of games for the season, the team will be credited the difference. We’ll do what is right as we have done every single time in the past.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these crazy times together.

Stay safe!

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

Summer Interest Payments Delayed

Hello NCHL Family,

If you missed the news last week, we unfortunately made the tough decision to cancel the Winter 2020-21 Season. All teams will be credited for any games that they did not play because of the COVID restrictions.

You can see the full announcement and how to get refunds here.

We also have good news though, as we officially opened registration for the Summer 2021 Season, and already have lots of teams signed up!

We also made the decision today to extend the non-interest deadline to March 15th, which means that all players’ payment plans come with zero interest if you sign up before that date. Starting on March 15th, monthly payment plans come with a 10% interest fee.

You can see all the details for the Summer Season here.

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing us at info [at] nchl.com

Thank you for choosing the NCHL!

Winter 2020-21 Season Cancelled

Hello NCHL Family,

We held out hope, but unfortunately there is no feasible way that we can continue the Winter 2020-21 NCHL Season. Your team will be credited for any games that they did not play because of the COVID restrictions.

Because of our money collection policy, we will only be giving Team GMs refunds, and they will be responsible for distributing refunds to their players.

GMs can fill out this form here to request a refund, and refunds will be processed in the order they are received. Please allow time for us to process these.

We also have good news though, as we are officially opening registration for the Summer 2021 Season! You can see all the details for the Summer Season here.

If you would like to keep your team’s funds on account, you can use these towards the Summer Season or next Winter Season if you will not be playing this summer.

Please let us know if you have any questions by emailing us at info [at] nchl.com

Thank you for choosing the NCHL!

The Results Are In, What To Do About The Winter Hockey Season In Alberta?

Just as we thought we knew what’s going on, the government threw a new curve ball at everyone and allowed minor sports to continue their seasons in development mode.

In the meanwhile we asked you the player, what should be done about the remainder of our own winter season and the response has been overwhelming! We received over 1,000 responses. Thank you for participating and giving us your thoughts.

So without further adieu, here they are.

 

Calgary

 

Calgary Results – What should happen to this winter hockey season?

The first question we asked was, what would you rather do this winter, get your money back, finish the season off or try to fit as many games as possible into what is left of winter if restrictions are lifted. The results are at best mixed, but most people want to play in some fashion.

 

Calgary Results – What should the summer season look like?

The second question we asked was, what should the summer season look like. Some of you don’t play summer hockey which is fair. Though this summer will probably be quite different than most, travel is still unlikely. Why not play summer hockey?

Clearly, there is no consensus here on what the season should look like, we will do our best to figure it out so you can have a great time playing hockey this summer!

 

Edmonton

The results in Edmonton were not much clearer and were quite similar to what we saw in Calgary.

 

Edmonton Results – What should happen to this winter hockey season?

More of you wanted to start the summer on time than cram the winter season into a few months left in the season, and of course some of you wanted refunds but the majority wants to play some kind of hockey. Of course this is a personal decision for each person.

 

Edmonton Results – What should summer season look like?

Again some of you do not play summer hockey. Which is fair. Though if normally don’t maybe you should give it a try? The commitment is not huge. And again there are many opinions on what summer hockey should look like, but it is clear we all miss playing!

We also received all kinds of comments about what should happen, we read them all and they will factor into our decision making process. There were some real good ones in there, and some really entertaining ones.

Regardless, we are nearly there with the plan of what will happen next. Once we have the quirks ironed out, we will put it out there for everyone to see what is next. There is one thing for sure, we will continue playing hockey at some point, and we hope you do so as well.

Thank you for your patience with us while we navigate our way out of this mess. It is much appreciated.

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

 

Winter Season Update – The Results Email We Sent

Thank you for your patience while we try to figure out the updated government restrictions, what that means for recreational sports, and how we continue going forward. We reached out to our players and got an overwhelming response of over 1000 players, so we really want to thank you for that!

The funny thing though, is that it didn’t really provide much in terms of a consensus, and it is very clear that players want different things. You can see the responses we got here:

We told you that we would have an update by the end of the week, and we have not come to a final decision yet, but we are working hard on the many options we have, and we do appreciate the feedback we got. We will try to address everyone’s concerns as best as we can and as quickly as possible.

We will be giving team refunds for games missed, so we are putting a plan together on how that will go as well. We appreciate your patience as we navigate through these difficult and unfavourable circumstances.

Please stay safe and healthy so that we can all get back to normal and back on the ice as soon as possible!

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

What to do about Winter Hockey Season? Help us decide, your opinion matters!

By now you probably have heard that Government of Alberta announcement on January 29th, 2021 and hockey is not looking like it’s in the cards for a while.

We are working on the best options for the NCHL to move forward and we need your help!

Please take 1 minute of your day to fill out this short, anonymous survey. Answers will be accepted until Thursday, February 4th. Your opinion matters greatly to us.

After that will have another update by the end of this week with more info on what we will happen with the 2021 Winter and Summer Seasons.

Customer Guarantee: As always, we guarantee that when we cannot provide the product you registered for, your team account will be refunded the difference of the games that you did not receive.

Thank you for your patience in these trying time, and for playing with us all these years.

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

HOCKEY IS ON PAUSE UNTIL JANUARY 11th, 2021

The Alberta Health Authority announced a list of new restrictions for the province today. Even though vaccines are just around the corner, today’s reality is rising hospitalizations and cases. Unfortunately, these restrictions also include team sports, and hockey specifically.

This is a regrettable situation, and we understand how you feel, but we all need to do our part in flattening the curve and stopping the spike, so that we can resume playing the game we all love as soon as possible. The announcement today does not mean the winter season is cancelled. All nightmares end eventually, and so will this one.

We anticipate that things will be looking better in the new year, as more people are inoculated. What does it mean for this hockey season and the games you have missed, and will miss under the new restrictions? It is our full intention, for the games that would have occurred during the time that restrictions are in place, to make up as many games as possible prior to the end of the current season. We recognize that it may not be possible to make up all the games missed.

As you can see, this is a fluid situation and anything can happen. There is one thing you can be certain of, no matter what happens, we will make sure things are right for you and your team. If we are unable to make up the games affected by the restrictions during the Winter 2020-21 season, we will apply a credit to your team’s account balance, for your GM to manage for every game we are not able to reschedule. We will not know what these credits are until the end of the season, at this time your team GM can request a refund of the credit, or leave it on account for future season. This is our guarantee to you. Once we have more information, we will further update you.

From all of us here, thank you for choosing the NCHL and your patience with us as we navigate these unprecedented times together.

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

HOCKEY IS ON PAUSE FOR 3 WEEKS IN ALBERTA

Today, November 24th, 2020 the Government of Alberta announced a list of new restrictions for the province that will come into effect on Friday November 27th, and will last for 3 weeks. You can see the full list of restrictions here: https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx

Unfortunately, these also include team sports, and hockey specifically. This is a regrettable situation, and we understand how you feel, but we all need to do our part in bending the curve and stopping the spike, so that we can resume playing the game we all love as soon as possible.

What does it mean for this hockey season and the games you have missed, and will miss under the new restrictions?

It is our full intention, for the games that would have occurred during the time that restrictions are in place, to make up as many games as possible prior to the end of the current season. We recognize that it may not be possible to make up all the games missed. As you can see, this is a fluid situation and anything can happen.

There is one thing you can be certain of, no matter what happens, we will make sure things are right for you and your team. If we are unable to make up the games affected by the restrictions during the Winter 2020-21 season, we will apply a credit to your team’s account balance for every game we are unable to reschedule.

This is our guarantee to you.

We are aware that Premier Kenny said this in the conference: “Sport leagues are also impacted, but can apply for exemptions, if they have “well-developed COVID safety plans”. We are not sure what this means exactly, and will do our best to find out whether we qualify for such an exemption, or what needs to be done so that we can. Once we have more information, we will further update you.

From all of us here, thank you for choosing the NCHL and your patience with us as we navigate these unprecedented times together.

A Better Way To Play!

The NCHL Welcomes Its New Lead Ambassador

The NCHL would like to introduce Jen Dorward as the new Lead Ambassador for the league.

Jen has been working with the NCHL for the past 5 years as a time keeper and league ambassador. She will now be the main point of contact for team GMs in regards to any concerns you may have. Jen will be helping you directly, or will make sure that you are connected to the right person who can best help with what you need.

She will also be checking in after your games occasionally to find out more about how the game went, and how your team’s season is going overall. This helps us best identify teams for realignment and to improve the overall league parity. Your experience matters a great deal to us, and we are working every day to improve on what we do.

Normally Jen would be in charge of coming to your dressing rooms, and scheduling other ambassador visits in all cities. Unfortunately with the COVID-19 restrictions, she will not be able to come visit your dressing rooms throughout the season, so we are doing our best to still stay in contact, address your concerns, and communicate any important information you may need about the season.

With all of her experience and her passion for the game, we know that Jen will be a great fit for the position. This is one of the many little things we do for you as a player, and team GM to make your league experience with us amazing.

If you have any questions or concerns about your games you can fill out a form here (Calgary, Edmonton, Richmond). If you have general questions please email info at nchl.com

The NCHL – A Better Way To Play!

KEEPING YOU SAFE WHILE PLAYING HOCKEY THIS WINTER – COVID SPECIFIC RULES FOR THE SEASON IN ALBERTA

First things first, before you can step on the ice you must fill out a COVID specific waiver.

Now that we got this out of the way, lets delve into the new rules for the winter hockey season so we can all play hockey in a safe environment.

The following Rules and Regulations are in place due to COVID and will commence until further notice by Alberta Health Services.

*These rules are in place for Calgary and Edmonton. Richmond GMs will be emailed their own set rules based on viaSport British Columbia*

*Please note some of these are not Arena Specific and are subject to change*

  1. If you are feeling ill or sick please stay home and not risk attending the arena and potentially affecting other players
  2. Please bring hand sanitizer or other disinfectants as extra precaution as not every arena will provide this on site
  3. Please wear a face covering or mask while entering and walking around the arena until you reach your dressing room. Face coverings or masks are not required on the ice surface during warm up or games
  4. Please arrive with water as water fountains will not be available at arenas. Please utilize individual water bottles
  5. Please arrive no more than 15mins prior to your scheduled ice slot. You must leave no later than 15 mins after your ice slot has ended. It is recommended that you arrive pre-dressed
  6. Showers or washrooms in the dressing rooms are unavailable. Washrooms are provided at the main lobby area of the arena.
  7. Please maintain a 2m distance anytime not on the ice surface to assist with physical distancing
  8. Please follow maximum occupancy dressing room limits that are posted on dressing room doors or elsewhere in the facility
  9. Please respect and follow the rules and regulations of each arena ie. directional arrows, signage and entrances/exits
  10. No spectators can watch unless otherwise stated at each arena
  11. Do NOT pick up pucks following the 3 minutes warm up, please leave this to the Referee and Scorekeeper. This is to provide physical distancing as well as no contact with pucks.  Please GENTLY pass the pucks to the referee crease from a safe distance after the warm up buzzer.
  12. If a scrum breaks out, it is the responsibility of team members to separate participants. Referees will not be breaking up scrums as it severely limits physical distancing and health and safety protocols. 3rd Man In penalty infraction will not be made if you separate your player from the scrum. BUT if you enter the scrum to break it up and become an active participant the 3rd Man In penalty infraction will be called at the discretion of the referees
  13. Each team will be maxed at 15 players and 1 goalie per game. Even though teams are maxed out at 16 players/per game they could still have i.e. 30 players on their overall roster. Any additional players above 16 will need to be submitted to stats[at]nchl[dot]com so they can be labelled with a COV or DNQ as exception
  14. If you require a sub goalie or have a backup goalie please email us for approval per mini series in your cohort, this will reset after every 14 day break
  15. If your team requires a sub, you can only use players from your current cohort, another cohort where the player hasn’t played the last 14 days or a player not currently playing in any other league.
  16. GMs will not be signing and verifying the game sheet at the start of each game. GMs are asked to come with a written roster for their team which will be given to the referees and provided to the scorekeeper. This roster needs to be provided for your teams first game and the first game following your 14 day break. It does not need to be provided for every game. If you have a sub playing from another team in your cohort, or a sub goalie please let the referee know so this can be recorded on the game sheet. This is to prevent playoff qualification issues as rosters are final at the end of the game and rosters will be submitted with the game sheet.
  17. No shaking of hands post game. Raise a stick, or three cheers as a way of showing good sportsmanship