AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE IS ONE OF THE COMMUNICATIONS THAT WAS SENT TO FAMILIES REGARDING SEASON FEES AND THE ADJUSTMENTS/REFUNDS PROCESS/TIMELINE!
FEBRUARY 4, 2021: RETURN TO HOCKEY UPDATE
As you are probably aware, Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced at today’s press conference that winter (contact) sports can resume fully on Monday, February 8, 2021 with certain mandated guidelines for a safe return to play. Masks MUST continue to be worn at all times.
As a result, beginning on 2/8 KOHA teams will resume contact practices and may return to scheduling and playing games. Keep an eye on your schedule as there will very likely be changes and additions as everyone on our staff, as well as coaches and managers, work to get the season back underway!
While this is the announcement we have all been eagerly awaiting, it is imperative that player accounts are current to ensure that full participation can continue. If you have questions about your player’s account, please contact us immediately to make arrangements to keep your player on the ice.
As always, please monitor our website and your inbox for any updates from our state and local government health departments as well as our governing bodies that impact the safe return to play mandates and guidelines. (We will also forward spectator limit information for our rinks once that is confirmed as well.)
We appreciate your continued support as our staff, coaches, skills staff, team managers, and partners at Athletic Mentors and Wings West have worked tirelessly through the changes to keep your players on the ice and as prepared as possible for this restart.
JANUARY 25, 2021: CALL TO ACTION for the youth hockey community in Michigan from the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA).
To All Members of the Michigan Hockey Community:
Please review the letter below to Governor Whitmer, written on behalf of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA) and its nearly 50,000 statewide participants, on Monday, January 25th, 2021. The letter was submitted in response to her impromptu Friday morning press conference, which brought another unexpected (unwelcome) delay to be placed on the ice hockey community. This could push our hockey season back as far as a February 22nd re-start.
This is the latest in what has added up to a nearly year-long disruption in our hockey activity. Despite the risk mitigation measures set forth by USA Hockey, the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association (MAHA), facilities across the state as well as the ongoing compliance of our statewide membership, our hockey community remains unable to compete throughout the state.
Throughout our navigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, our statewide membership has remained passionate and vocal. Collectively, you share our frustrations in the apparent lack of science and data to support the continued pause in our activity. Despite reports of progress in suppressing COVID-19 throughout Michigan, ice hockey remains on a small list of prohibited Winter contact sports.
JANUARY 13, 2021: This email was sent on 1/13 after the update from the Governor and MDHHS
Hello KOHA families!
As a result of the Governor’s press conference today, we know there are A LOT of questions about what it all means with respect to hockey.
While we are awaiting clarification on a couple of things, here is what we DO know:
Ice rinks were considered “open” before today, so seeing them listed as “OPEN” does NOT mean a return to hockey as normal. We have gotten some calls to the office already about this.
Hockey IS classified as a contact sport, thus no games are allowed in Michigan (except professional sports).
The capacity limits for ice rinks have been increased which means that we may be able to return to team practices with some restrictions in place (rather than just skills practices) January 15-31st.
We also believe we may be able to re-start our House C program this weekend, with some restrictions in place. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR INBOX for further details on our Learn To Skate, 6U/8U/10U/12U/14U House C programs from Frank Noonan!
We know today’s announcement wasn’t exactly what we had hoped for, but there does seem to be light at the end of the tunnel - especially if we continue to adhere to the guidelines set forth.
We will send out another communication as soon as we have more information/clarification.
We appreciate your patience as our staff navigates the restrictions in our efforts to get everyone back out on the ice as quickly as possible!
JANUARY 3, 2021: As the COVID 19 numbers continue to improve across the state we are all hopeful that the season will be allowed to resume on January 16th.
We have been hearing from some people that are unclear about what KOHA is planning in regards to the fees and the time that may have been lost due to the pause. We wanted to take a moment and explain where we are now and where we believe we are headed as the season moves forward.
KOHA Staff has been working hard to make sure that we are prepared and are offering what we can to keep players skating while conforming to the restrictions of the current orders. Below, we will give you as much information as we can to help everyone understand what our plans are based on the changes we know.
Here is what is happening with the season as we know it today.
USA Hockey has moved the national tournaments to April 28th through May 3rd.
In response to the national tournament changes, MAHA is moving the state tournaments for non-national bound teams (ages under 14U AA) to the weekends of April 16th through 18th or April 23rd through 25th. National bound teams state tournament will be April 9th through 11th.
With the change in the state tournament dates MAHA is moving the District tournaments as well. The district tournaments will be held either the last weekend in February, the 26th through the 28th or the first weekend in March, the 5th through the 7th.
The District Runner-up tournament will be held on March 20th – 21st (10U A and 14U A divisions only)
MAHA has a State Tournament Committee meeting scheduled for January 7th where all the proposed date changes should be approved. Once that happens we will know for sure where and when each age group and level will be playing their district tournament.
LCAHL has moved all season ending championship tournaments to the last 3 weekends in March. Age groups will be announced once they determine that the MAHA changes are approved and there will be no conflicts with league play.
Adray league is meeting this week to discuss if any movement of their league tournaments can happen. Moving the tournaments can be problematic based on ice availability and all teams trying to reschedule lost games from the pause. As of right now, the Adray State tournament will stay as planned on the weekend of March 19th – 21st in Alpena.
The JV league is in discussions about how to proceed with the season. They are talking about extending the season and rearranging the divisions so teams are not trying to reschedule too many games.
KOHA Adjustments (to season fees)
With all the above changes KOHA has rearranged schedules for House B and Travel. Please make sure that you look at the schedule and make all the needed changes to your teamsnap calendars. These changes start as soon as Monday January 18th as we have added skills back into the schedules for that week as well as the week of Feb. 15th . Those two weeks were originally not scheduled to have skills. We have also added practices through the end of March. Normally we end the season after the 2nd week of March. It appears with District and State tournaments changing that our teams will be skating through March and for some, if they make the state tournament, could be skating well into April.
Because everything is being extended it is very important that we make sure all the player accounts are being paid as scheduled. The season is going longer than originally budgeted for and KOHA cannot try and chase payments into March to keep teams funded if they should extend into April.
KOHA has no intention of keeping unused fees such as ice time or tournaments, but until we know what each team has used and how far they advance, we don’t know what will be unused. Once a team finishes the season we will go through the team expenses to determine what was not used and issue refunds to each family. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT GAMES/GAME COUNTS HAVE NEVER BEEN THE BULK OF A TEAM'S BUDGET.
The Dec payment was due on Dec 30th and we will be going through team player accounts to make sure families are current before players will be allowed to resume practicing and playing games with the team. We know these are difficult times for all of us and we know some are concerned about the season resuming. Teams are scheduled for skills practices over the next two weeks of the pause as they were the week before Christmas, which is being paid for from player fees. KOHA needs to be prepared for the season to resume as planned on Jan 16th and to do this player fees need to be paid.
We will continue to work so that we can provide the players the best experience we can under the current conditions, and we truly appreciate everyone's support of KOHA throughout the season.