Tag Archives: COVID19

Rebels edge Glens in Friday night hockey scrimmage

Junior ‘B’ hockey returned to the county last night, as the Alexandria Glens and Char-Lan Rebels skated in a modified, non-contact scrimmage, the first of the exhibition season for both clubs. The action at the Glengarry Sports Palace, in Alexandria, was played in front of a limited number of spectators, due to COVID-19 regulations, as the Rebs edged their northern rivals 3-2.

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Owen Carter, Seamus O’Connell, and Nathan Faubert scored for Char-Lan, with assists netted by Brant Woodside, Liam MacDonald, Ryan Grant, Alexxi Paquette, and Hunter MacPherson. Goaltending duties were shared by Anthony Innco and Dawson Irving.

Kyle Joly scored both Alexandria goals, in the first period, with assists awarded to Alexandre Saul and Nico Pozzebon. Masters of the mash mansion were Tanner Gillies and Tyler Desjardins.

The two teams are slated to go at it again tonight in Williamstown, at 8:15 p.m. Tickets to the same are now sold out. Only those with a previously purchased ticket will be admitted due to COVID-19 restrictions at the arena. The game will be broadcast online at Hockey TV (subscription required).

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Tighter COVID-19 rules to impact sports in Ottawa, Toronto

The so-called hot spots for COVID-19 cases – Ottawa, Toronto, and Peel Region – have seen a number of new restrictions imposed by the provincial government. The new rules affect many aspects of society, including sports, which now will be prohibited from any scrimmages, limited only to training with physical distancing.

Ontario government logo

From the Ford government announcement… “In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Public Health Measures Table, and local medical officers of health and other health experts, the Ontario government is introducing additional targeted public health measures in the Ottawa, Peel, and Toronto public health unit regions. These modified Stage 2 restrictions will be for a minimum of 28 days and reviewed on an ongoing basis.”

The new rules, for these regions, will take effect on Saturday, October 10, at 12:01 a.m.

In terms of sports, the rules state, “Limiting team sports to training sessions (no games or scrimmages).”

These three regions will also see social gathering numbers reduced to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, along with the closure of bars/restaurants for indoor service, gyms and fitness centres, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing arts centres, spectator areas at racing facilities, and more.

For the full details, please see the government press release here.

These new measures do not, at this time, apply to our region, remains in the government’s Stage 3 plan.

Earlier this week, MPP Lisa MacLeod, Ontario’s minister of heritage, sport, tourism, and culture industries, was quoted in a CBC News story about the provincial government’s plans for hockey, specifically the top junior league, the OHL. In the piece, MacLeod was quoted as stating that the OHL will have to “remove physical contact, including bodychecking, if it’s to have a 2020-21 season.”

According to MacLeod, as quoted in the story, the OHL is not interested in playing under a bubble format as the NHL did for its 2020 playoffs. The OHL had already delayed the new season, tentatively aiming for a December 1 start (unlike Quebec’s major junior hockey league which began regular play this month and has experienced COVID-19 positive cases).

The CBC News story about MacLeod and the OHL further indicated that the provincial government would require the OHL and all sports organizations in Ontario to remove close physical contact amongst players. Also complicating issues for the league is the fact two teams are located in current COVID-19 hot spots, while three other clubs play out of USA cities.

Regarding local junior hockey leagues, the EOJHL (junior ‘B’) has begin team-versus-team scrimmages without body contact, as has the CCHL (junior ‘A’), following the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play policy and its high-performance league guidelines.

The so-called HEO Stage 3(a) allows “our players an opportunity to safely continue their development by participating in modified-for-COVID non-contact game play.” In addition to the CCHL and EOJHL, this applies to the HEO U18 ‘AAA’ and HEO Minor ‘AAA’ leagues.

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Curling clubs striving to hit the ice this fall, winter

Local curling clubs are working towards reopening this fall or winter in a challenging environment due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Lancaster and District Curling Club set a goal of 80 full-time paid members registered by October 15. Club president James Doonan made the announcement to members via e-mail, with a post added to the LDCC Facebook page.

“The Board of the Lancaster District Curling Club has decided on a path forward for this season; our decision was made after reviewing the [member] survey results, the recommendations of the COVID committee, recommendations from the various curling associations at the federal and provincial level, and, finally, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.”

The number of 80 full memberships was determined to offset start-up, ice installation, and operational costs at the club.

Should things get underway, a number of strict rules will be enacted to govern usage of the facility and game play.

  1. Masks will be required in all common areas such as the bar, washrooms, entry. Masks will not be mandatory on the ice once play has started but are encouraged throughout.
  2. The bar will be limited to 1 or 2 post-game drinks. Players must leave before the following
    game finishes as only two teams will be allowed upstairs at any one time. Masks are not required while drinking/eating.
  3. All equipment must be sanitized when you arrive at the club.
  4. Only players scheduled for a game on any given evening will be allowed in the club and only during the time approximately 15 minutes before the game.
  5. Every player will be required to sign in when they play and be subject to this information being shared with government authorities should they have to perform a contact trace exercise.
  6. We will no longer store equipment at the club. Brooms, shoes, slider/grippers, stabilizers, sticks will need to be taken home. The club is working on a plan to have low-cost purchase or rental units available for sticks and stabilizers.
  7. The Timbits and Junior programs run on the weekends will be suspended until further notice.

For further membership information, please see this link on the LDCC website.

In September, the Alexandria Curling Club held its annual general meeting virtually. The full video can be seen here and on their Facebook page.

Meanwhile, the Glengarry Curling Club in Maxville has taken the decision to remain closed until at least January 4, 2021.

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Glengarry Curling Club (Maxville) letter, dated 1 September 2020

The Cornwall Curling Centre is aiming for a November return to play.

Whenever curling resumes, there are sure to be alterations to the game. Check out this video for some examples.

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GSL officially nixes fall soccer

After a summer without soccer on pitches across the county, the Glengarry Soccer League announced its tentative plans for an indoor season to begin this fall, but that has now been nixed as well.

GSL logo

On September 23, the league issued a statement saying, “After reviewing the guidelines from OSA [Ontario Soccer Association] and the government, discussions with the EOHU [Eastern Ontario Health Unit], and monitoring the current situation with COVID-19 and the community, the GSL has decided not to run an indoor soccer league this fall.”

In some consolation, the statement adds, “We are going to reassess and consider having a shortened league come January.”

The GSL last saw action in early March, when the 2019-20 season came to an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, winter indoor soccer playoffs were underway. Initially, matches were postponed, with play subsequently cancelled and no champions declared.

Through the summer, other GSL programs were delayed and later cancelled, including all youth and adult outdoor soccer, as well as the competitive regional Glengarry Hearts teams that compete in the Ottawa-based ERSL.

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Junior C hockey league hopeful for season start December 1

The region’s junior ‘C’ hockey league, the National Capital Junior Hockey League, is hoping to be able to drop the puck on a new season, beginning December 1.

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Last season came to an abrupt stop on March 12, with playoffs underway. Initially a suspension, the 2019-20 season was officially cancelled on March 14.

The Vankleek Hill Cougars were East Division regular-season champions.

Planning for a 2020-21 season has been underway for some time. Representatives of the 10 teams of the NCJHL met on August 17, with all “teams expressing their intention to continue active participation in the league.”

As noted by the league, current provincial health restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic limit hockey to 4-on-4 play with no contact, “with strict rules relating to physical distancing, maximum number of players on the ice as well as how many people are able to attend games.”

“Our main concern always has been, and will continue to be, the health safety of our players, staff, officials, and fans. We will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available.”

NCJHL announcement
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North Glengarry announces reopening plans for arenas, recreation facilities, programs

The Township of North Glengarry is planning to gradually reopen sports and recreation facilities and resume recreation programming, beginning for most this month

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The arena at the Glengarry Sports Palace will be the first of the townships two rinks to see ice and usage. The target date to begin ice rentals is October 7.

As for the ice at the Maxville rink, that is being delayed until “ice demands increase… In the interim of the ice reopening at the Maxville & District Sports Complex, staff will be preparing activity spaces and enhanced programming on the arena floor for use by the public.”

The dome in Alexandria partially reopened on August 24 (track and tennis/pickleball courts). “At the present time users are required to arrive dressed for their activity and to bring their own personal equipment due to COVID-19 guidelines.”

Reservations can be made by e-mail to programcoordinator@northglengarry.ca

Parks continue to remain open, with green spaces and play equipment available for use.

Community halls across township are now open for rental, to a maximum of 50 attendees. For more information, send an e-mail to recreation@northglengarry.ca

Recreation programming, too, is gradually returning, starting with yoga at the Glengarry Sports Palace, set to begin October 5.

“During this gradual reopening period, the township will be working with individuals and various sports organizations that use these facilities to ensure that the Eastern Ontario Health Unit’s guidelines are being followed. The goal is to allow the public to have access to the township’s facilities in a controlled and safe manner. The township is confident that residents will abide by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the sports organizations’ directives; however, if violations are observed by staff, these may result in the closure of the facility for the day or for longer.

The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance for the Township. Play safe!

Township of North Glengarry media release

Complete information on facilities can be found on the township’s website here. Details on programs can be found here.

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GSL hoping for 2020-21 indoor season

This week, the Glengarry Soccer League announced that it is planning for a 2020-21 indoor season, the kick off sometime this fall.

Last winter’s indoor campaign came to an abrupt halt in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially a suspension, the season’s remaining action, including playoffs, was eventually cancelled. Subsequently, the GSL was forced to cancel summer outdoor minor soccer, summer outdoor adult soccer, and regional youth competitive soccer (Hearts teams).

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GSL announcement on Facebook

As of posting this story, the league’s website had not been updated, still displaying information to register for the now-cancelled summer outdoor season.

The GSL has been limited by health and safety guidelines imposed by the league’s sanctioning body, the Ontario Soccer Association.

Under the OSA outline, as of September 17, leagues are now permitted play within a region (We are part of the east region, EODSA), with modified games (e.g. no throw-ins, limited handling of the ball) and training. In the case of indoor soccer, per government guidelines, a maximum of 50 people can be in the facility at any one time.

For the full, updated OSA guidelines, please see this link.

As the GSL notes, Stay Tuned!

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CCHL aims for October 1 return to play

The region’s junior ‘A’ hockey league is aiming to begin its 2020-21 season on October 1, pending approval of its return-to-play plan by local health authorities.

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In a media statement issued September 4, the commissioner of the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), Kevin Abrams, announced that his league, using the Hockey Eastern Ontario return-to-play plan as a guide, has been working with “four regional health units and ten municipalities through our twelve member teams” to formulate a path forward for hockey to resume.

The plan includes “modified play in pre-season” to begin October 1 for all teams, including the Hawkesbury Hawks and Cornwall Colts.

“In these uniquely challenging times, I must thank our member teams, the players and parents participating in the current programs, as well as the HEO RTP Task Team, the HEO Board and Staff, and the 4 local health units and facilities in the 10 municipalities that are home to the CCHL, for their support and patience as we work through these unprecedented times together.”

Kevin Abrams, commissioner of the CCHL

The 2019-20 CCHL season was abruptly halted in March, following instructions from Hockey Canada to suspend play due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league had just begun its playoffs, which included the Hawks, the second-place team from the Yzerman Division. The Colts didn’t qualify for the post-season, ending the campaign fifth in the division.

In preparation for the hoped puck drop on a new season, teams are spending this month engaged in training, skills development, and evaluation. Upon approval of the CCHL plan for the pre-season, Abrams will “submit a similar proposal for the commencement of the CCHL regular season in the ensuing weeks.”

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Alexandria Curling Club requests input on return-to-play plans

As other local clubs have, the Alexandria Curling Club is looking for input from members on return-to-play plans for the coming season.

The club has an online survey available here.

The survey includes questions about what would encourage you to return to curling this year and what protocols should be in place to mitigate risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Club executive intend to use the feedback to facilitate their planning. Further to that, the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, with limited in-person seating available (by prior arrangement with president Duncan Ferguson). The meeting will also be available for online participation.

For more information, please see their Facebook page here.

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Hockey Canada fall 2020 cancellations include international event slated for Cornwall

The World Junior A Hockey Challenge tournament was scheduled to be held in December but has now been cancelled as part of Hockey Canada’s suspension of events booked for fall 2020.

It would have been the 15th annual edition of the international hockey tournament that features tier 2 junior ‘A’ teams from hockey-dominant countries. Traditionally, Canada has two entries, and local players have featured on past squads.

The 2020 event had been scheduled for December 13-19 with games to be played at the Cornwall Civic Complex.

According to the Hockey Canada release, organizers will be looking to reschedule the event to December 2021.

Other cancelled tournaments are the national women’s under-18 championship, set for November in B.C., and the para hockey cup, booked for December in Nova Scotia.

From the announcement, “Hockey Canada’s priority remains the health and safety of all participants and the general public. We believe the decision to cancel these events is the safest decision given the ongoing uncertainty of the [COVID-19] pandemic at the local level, as well as the international implications associated with these events.”

Here it the full press release:

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Media release from Hockey Canada regarding events cancelled for fall 2020.
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