Ottawa

Minor hockey postponed by coronavirus

Late Thursday, Hockey Eastern Ontario announced all games are postponed due to COVID-19.

Protocols were tightened around handshakes, water bottles before that

The pros have suspended the NHL season, but minor hockey is going ahead, with precautions. (Lucky Business/Shutterstock)

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  • Late Thursday, Hockey Eastern Ontario announced all games are postponed due to COVID-19.

On Thursday, the NHL suspended its season over the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women's World Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C., was called off and the MLB suspended spring training and pushed back the start of the baseball season by at least two weeks.

The night before, the NBA pulled the plug on its season. Earlier that day, the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal were put on ice.

But organizers say minor hockey across eastern Ontario is going ahead, at least for now, with new measures to keep players and coaches safe. 

It's year end for many teams, with local, regional and championship games still scheduled. 

The Ottawa East Minor Hockey Association (OEMHA) says it's going ahead with its 2020 March Break tournament this weekend, which includes novice and atom teams travelling from as far away as Nunavut, some of which have forked over as much as $30,000 to take part.

No sharing of water bottles and no handshakes. Instead, players will keep their gloves on and bump fists. (Daniel Thomas/CBC)

None of that tournament's scheduled games is scheduled to take place at Brewer arena. The rink, located across from Carleton University, has been turned into a COVID-19 testing site, though it's not yet open.

Hockey Eastern Ontario says it's not aware of any cancelled games. It says it's following these guidelines put out by Hockey Canada about how to keep players and coaches healthy.

  • No handshakes between officials and coaches before games, just a fist bump.
  • Players fist bump with hockey gloves on instead of shaking hands.
  • Make soap and/or hand sanitizer available in dressing rooms and hotels.
  • Gloves should be worn by staff handling towels or laundry.
  • Towels should not be shared on the team bench.
  • Players should not share clothing, bar soap or other personal items such as razors.
  • All players must have their own water bottles.
  • Bottles should be labelled and washed after each practice or game. 
  • Officials should avoid the practice of drinking from the goaltender's water bottle.
  • No sharing of water bottles or towels in the penalty box.
  • Advise players to try not touch their own mouths or noses.
  • Keep players away if they are showing any signs of infectious disease or virus.

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