carefully considering the evolving public health response to the COVID-19
pandemic, the NHGHA Board has decided that the best way to protect the health
and safety of all our participants and preserve safe and sustainable minor
hockey programming is to continue to require all eligible participants (including
players, coaches, trainers, managers, and other volunteers having direct
contact with players) born before 2010 to be fully vaccinated no later than
October 31, 2021 (that is, have received two doses by October 17, 2021).
On September 2, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) announced that it would be requiring (subject to any additional developments) that, as a condition of participation in the OWHA, players and other participants who were born before 2010 be fully vaccinated.
On September 14, the Ontario government announced that children aged 12 to 18 who enter an indoor facility to actively participate in an organized sport would be exempt from the provincial vaccination requirement. Workers or volunteers, including coaches and officials, were also exempt from the provincial requirement. However, the government made it clear that the provincial vaccination was a minimum and that public health units, facilities, and organizations could establish their own additional policies or requirements.
After the provincial announcement, the other members of the Ontario Hockey Federation (GTHL, OMHA, Alliance, and NOHA) announced that they would be continuing to mandate that all players and other participants who were born before 2010 be fully vaccinated. The OWHA announced that it would be following the provincial requirements although associations could choose to impose stricter requirements. Associations were also required to comply with any stricter requirements imposed by public health units, municipalities, arenas, or other facilities.
Public health units, municipalities, and facilities have already started to impose stricter requirements. For example, Wellington Dufferin Guelph PHU and the City of Hamilton are already requiring all coaches, volunteers, and officials to be vaccinated while the Town of Oakville will require all participants age 12 or over to be vaccinated to enter a town facility.
Hockey is an energetic game played in an indoor environment where there can be close contact. Scientific experts have said the best way to continue to protect young players who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated and the older people around the game who might be more vulnerable is to surround them with a community of people who are vaccinated. The NHGHA’s vaccination policy puts the health and safety of your children and our participants first and foremost.
Spectators aged 12 and over will continue to be subject to the provincial requirement to show proof of vaccination before entering any indoor sports facility.
The NHGHA will comply with the Ontario Human Rights Code and accommodate participants who are unable to be vaccinated as a result of a ground protected under the Code.
Further details on how to provide proof of vaccination and the process for applying for an exemption will be provided to all registered participants in the coming days.
Any questions regarding this policy should be directed to [email protected].