SPS Fuzion has been receiving requests for information or details on how Covid-19 might impact the season, and/or what the season could look like. The simple answer is that things are changing weekly, if not almost daily.
The purpose of this page is to answer as many of your questions as possible with the information that we have to date, and to provide timely updates as more information or details become available.
SPS Fuzion in conjunction with SPMHA, Kings Club and SMHA have created the Return to Play Guidelines document and encourage you to check back frequently for updates as we receive updated information. We have also included links to relevant guidelines and protocols that may be of interest to you.
If you have a question that is not covered below, feel free to send it to email@example.com and if applicable, we will add it to this page. We understand that our membership is looking for details and we thank you for your patience as we try to navigate this difficult time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is SPS Fuzion doing now to plan for the upcoming season?
As club under the SPMHA Minor Hockey Association SPS Fuzion are working in conjunction with the SPMHA contingency committee that is monitoring the guidance being provided from Alberta Health Services, Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta. Below you will find links to the current guidance documents from each of those organizations. Effectively Hockey Canada has provided general guidance to all the provincial bodies. Hockey Alberta has in turn provided general guidance to the local associations and leagues while taking into consideration the current Alberta Health guidelines.
In addition, below you will also find the County of Strathcona’s Guideline for Arena Users and Spectator and Dressing Room Capacity. As the facility operator, Strathcona County is responsible to set the rules under which hockey programs will be entitled to operate in their facilities.
As such, based on the current directives from Alberta Health Services, Hockey Alberta and Strathcona County, SPMHA along with our partner associations (SPKAC, Fuzion & Strathcona Minor Hockey) have developed a Return to Play Guidelines document. Please keep in mind things are fluid at this time and as any of the above guidelines are changed or modified, we shall be doing the same.
What is the refund policy on conditioning camps and season registration?
We can appreciate the increased concern regarding hockey-related expenses given the varying experiences that our members have had over the past several months. We believe that we cannot over-communicate enough our stance on refunds. Our members will pay for what they get. In terms of conditioning camps, if any camps are cancelled before they begin, full refunds will be processed. If any camps are cancelled after they begin, refunds will be processed on a prorated basis. In terms of the 2020-2021 registration fees, should there be a cancellation of the season before it begins, members can expect a full refund. If there is a cancellation after season start, prorated refunds will be provided based on the amount of season completed. Our full refund policy can be found in our SPS Fuzion Policies and Procedures document. Registration fees account for a variety of items including ice allocation, administration, development, equipment, officials and league & membership fees. We will complete our due diligence as details evolve and will be ready to address financial implications as we encounter them. We appreciate your patience and ask that you trust that we will communicate information as we have it.
Are conditioning camps running this year?
We will be proceeding with conditioning camps as scheduled to operate within the guidelines provided in Hockey Alberta’s off-season skill development outline in its return to hockey programming. As of 7/17/20, the County of Strathcona has instituted 30-minute flood times which may result in changes to camp scheduling. Another meeting is scheduled with County representatives prior to the beginning of camps as the County will review this policy through the first several weeks of operation.
How are evaluations going to run?
We have been working consistently throughout the summer to not only identify improvements on the current evaluation process but to also determine how to effectively proceed with evaluations and team creation given the current COVID restrictions. Multiple options are being considered and this depends on cohort sizes and facility guidelines as we get closer to evaluation periods. One of the primary objectives of the committee is to reduce stress for all parties involved including players, parents, and evaluation volunteers. In terms of gameplay during evaluations, we will need to wait and see if cohort sizes change and are considering how to proceed if they remain status quo.
Is COVID-19 covered under our Hockey Canada Insurance?
Yes. Unlike most other insurance policies available to sports organizations, as a sanctioned member of Hockey Alberta & Hockey Canada, any participant of our program is covered for infectious disease (inclusive of COVID-19) under our collective insurance policy through till at least September 1st, 2023. For more information on the Hockey Canada Insurance program, which is only available to sanctioned Minor Hockey Association participants, CLICK HERE.
What will gameplay look like next year?
All administrative bodies are expecting some form of competitive gameplay to occur. What that looks like is dependent on cohort sizes as determined by Provincial Health Authorities at season start. Given that it is July 22, no concrete determinations have been made, as the state of the world is ever-changing. The next EFHL meeting is scheduled for August 12 and we expect to have some concrete determinations made at that point. No options are off of the table at the moment. Options for consideration include formation of regional cohort groups, round robin play allowing for isolation periods, internal association play and others. SPS Fuzion understands that members want to participate in games, and will continue to explore all options, with the safety of our members and our community as the priority.
What is the estimated impact to ice allocation if 30-minute flood times are enforced between sessions?
As of 7/17/20, the County of Strathcona has instituted 30-minute flood times between sessions for the remainder of July as well as the month of August. We will review this process with County representatives in mid-August to discuss whether a 30-minute flood will maintain into the Winter season, or if a traditional 15-minute flood will be feasible while adhering to guidelines. If a 30-minute flood schedule is maintained, then the majority of the Winter schedule will need to be rewritten amongst the Strathcona County Minor Ice User Groups. Once that is completed, we will be able to determine the impact to allocated ice per division. It should be noted that if gameplay is delayed, traditional game slots would be replaced with practices and/or development sessions for players.
Can players utilize dressing rooms?
Yes, players and coaches will be allowed to use the dressing rooms to the maximum capacities as directed by Strathcona County. Players are not required to wear masks, in the dressing room but will be required to remain seated in their designated area until the ice surface is ready for them to proceed directly on and they will not be allowed to shower following any sessions.
What is the impact on teams if someone on the team or their family member tests positive?
We will be requiring Covid tracing protocols including mandatory check in questioning as per the guidelines set out by Alberta Health and Hockey Alberta, In the event we experience a positive Covid test from any of our participants we will follow the guidance of those organizations as may be required, including testing of participants/coaches and quarantine protocols as may be required to safely return that participant and/or team to play. Any additional details on this process will be updated here in due course once more information is available.
As with most of the Covid rules, guidelines and regulations, ours are based on families self-regulating and abiding by these guidelines. We are currently looking at options for how to collect the tracing information which may be sign in sheets at the rinks or online registration for each session.
What happens if a family does not want to travel for a tournament or attend any other team event?
Based on current guidelines it is highly unlikely that there would be any tournaments or other travel-based team events until at least January. However, in the event those guidelines change, as with any team event, no player is obligated to attend anything that they do not wish to.
Will face masks be required for players to reduce the risk of transmission?
This is not a current mandate from Hockey Canada nor Hockey Alberta. As such, it will not be a mandate from SPMHA. Players will have the choice to wear a face mask under their cage on their helmets.
Face coverings (non-medical masks) will be required in Strathcona County facilities beginning August 4, 2020. Players, coaches and spectators will be required to wear a mask when entering recreation facilities and in any public gathering areas within the facilities. Face coverings will not be required on the ice surface. Please see Strathcona County's FAQs for more information.
Will spectators be allowed in the rinks?
Yes, spectators will be allowed in the rinks, subject to the restrictions laid out by Alberta Health Services. During Phase 2, current guidelines allow for up to 100 spectators, provided there is adequate room for proper physical distancing. The County of Strathcona has assessed its facilities and has provided specific spectator capacity limits for each arena.
We recognize that families will want to attend their child's ice sessions, and often they will have other siblings in tow, but we recommend that whenever possible, families limit themselves to 1 spectator per participant, so that we don't end up exceeding capacity limits and putting facility operators in a position where they have to turn spectators away. Strathcona County has ambassadors at all facilities to ensure that proper protocols and capacity limits are being followed.
Please remember that this situation is very fluid and constantly changing. SPS Fuzion is committed to returning our players to the ice this fall in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of the governing authorities in a safe manner. As more details become available, questions posed, or guidelines are amended we will update this page accordingly.