Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association, Inc.
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On December 20, 2020, in light of the continuance and extension of other states’ orders pausing hockey, the WAHA Board of Directors met by Zoom Call and extended the following order until January 19, 2021. At that time, the Board will revisit the issue and determine a course of action going forward:

The state governments of Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan have paused hockey. Beginning at 12:01 a.m., Monday, November 23, WAHA and USA Hockey will not sanction any games, scrimmages, tournaments, jamborees or practices in Wisconsin with any team from any state where their government or USA Hockey affiliate has a no-out-of-state- travel order in effect. This order will be in effect until January 19, 2021.

At the same time, the current mask or HECC approved splashguard requirements remains in effect for all players, coaches and officials, for all practices and games. WAHA will continue to monitor this situation and has asked all WHOA on-ice officials to submit a WHOA Incident Report if a team/coach/player does not comply with this requirement. Any report of non-compliance will be sent to the Association President and WAHA Regional Directors for that Association.

There are medical exemptions to wearing the mask or HECC-approved splashguard. Before each game, the on-ice officials will ask each team’s coach which team members, if any, have signed written proof that grants them that exemption. The team manager or coach must be able to produce that document if asked to do so.

Regional Directors will be expected to follow up with the Association President to address the situation of non-compliance with the mask requirement immediately.
We have heard your feedback about the masking requirements for on-ice participation. WAHA still believes the safest option for everyone is the use of a mask/face covering. Many of you have purchased spitguards/splashguards, and, as long as they are one of those identified in the following link: http://hecc.org/certspitguards.html, you may wear either that device OR you may wear a mask, BUT, all players coaches and officials, during games or practices, unless they have a doctor’s note excusing them specifically because of a medical condition, must wear either a mask or a spitguard/splash guard.

November 19, 2020

Dear Association Officers:

As we all know, the COVID-19 virus is infecting people in Wisconsin at all-time-high rates. If Wisconsin Amateur Hockey is going to have games/tournaments, play-downs, state tournaments and for some, post-season Central District and USA Hockey National play-off opportunities, every association, coach, player, and spectator must abide by the practices listed below. Without compliance to these must-dos, there is a high chance that WAHA will have to pause or shut down the hockey season in its entirety. These directives are for all Tier I and Tier II teams.

  1. The state governments of Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan have paused hockey.  Beginning at 12:01 a.m., Monday, November 23, WAHA and USA Hockey will not sanction any games, scrimmages, tournaments, jamborees or practices in Wisconsin with any team from any state where their government or USA Hockey affiliate has a no-out-of-state- travel order in effect. This order will be in effect until December 21, 2020, when it will be reviewed again by the WAHA Board.
  2. Associations must have mitigation plans in place that include monitoring players, coaches, and volunteers for the COVID virus. This plan must have a provision to pause the play of their teams in the event a player, coach or volunteer is exposed or is infected by the COVID virus. The plan should also state that people who show symptoms of COVID or who are actually infected stay away from the ice arena, players and teams. This plan must be posted and readily available on the association’s web site.

In addition, full season can only happen if associations practice strict adherence to the Return to Hockey Guidelines shared with you earlier in the fall and posted on the WAHA web site at www.wahahockey.com. Unless every one of us does all that we can to mitigate the virus during practices, games and arena use, the WAHA Board will be forced to do their part to take steps to curb the spread and to keep people safe, much like other local and state agencies have done.

The WAHA Board of Directors is committed to having a full successful hockey season.   In order to accomplish this we need you to follow your local, county, state and ice arena guidelines. For all associations, per WAHA requirement, the following must be practiced at all times:

  1. The use of face coverings at all times in the arena, practices and games included, by players, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators. This is currently a State of Wisconsin requirement. The face covering MUST be worn properly, meaning covering completely the mouth and nose. (Remember, the virus is mainly transmitted through the air).
  2. The practice of physical distancing in the arenas. This includes plans to move people in and out of the arena in the safest manner by using separate entry/exit points when possible.
  3. If locker rooms and/or restrooms are being used, that they are cleaned between games/practices. (The virus can also be contracted off surfaces.) NOTE: WAHA discourages the use of locker rooms if a six-foot physical distance among all players/coaches cannot be accomplished.
  4. Associations gathering contact tracing information from spectators/volunteers, coaches and players who enter the arena for games and practices. (To be used by the association in the event of an outbreak.)
  5. Associations work with rink management to get sanitation stations placed throughout the arena so people can sanitize their hands.

Recommended –

  1. Associations conduct temperature checks of persons entering the arena for practices and games. (Safety precaution.)
  2. Associations make an effort to restrict travel distances for games/tournament/jamborees to the closest locations as possible in Wisconsin.

Finally, WAHA suggests that associations consider using vending machines for beverages and prepackaged goods in concession stands and strongly encourages associations to contact their ice arena managers and encourage them to fully comply with their people safety protocols and recommendations.

We understand there are many associations and teams that are doing an excellent job of following guidelines and keeping people safe. A huge thank you goes out to those people. What we need now is a greater level of commitment from those who have either lapsed in their efforts or who took a minimal approach to implement the safety measures listed above.

Yours in hockey,

Al Deming, President
WAHA Board of Directors

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The impact of the pandemic on the WIAA hockey season, especially in terms of the cancellation of some conference play, the policy of Dane County prohibiting game play along with games not being scheduled until January 25th 2021 have had a huge impact on everyone. Several questions have been asked of the WAHA Board about the upcoming season. On Wednesday evening Oct. 21, 2020 the WAHA board met via zoom call to address those questions.
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