We have the updated guidance document listed below from the Commonwealth (CLICK HERE FOR LINK) regarding youth sports and specifically ice rink facilities and youth/recreational hockey in Massachusetts which goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, November 7, 2020. It is important that the hockey community understands and follows this guidance. Those not following the guidance are subject to fines and shutdowns from the various state agencies at the local level and any widespread disregard for the guidance puts the entire sport at risk for a much longer stoppage, which is not what anyone wants.
While we are highlighting some of the changes to the guidance below, we strongly encourage everyone to read and understand the expectations.
FACE COVERINGS: Players, coaches and officials are required to wear face coverings at all times. This includes during play. Acceptable face coverings should follow the guidance issued by the CDC (CLICK HERE FOR LINK). Products that are specific to hockey (CCM “Game On”, Bauer Concept 3 Splash Guard, etc.) are understood to be also expected acceptable. to meet the standards set by the CDC. (p.6 of Guidance)
MODIFICATIONS TO SPORT: Previous modifications that required the elimination of deliberate contact are no longer in effect. This means that body-checking is allowed as permissible by USA Hockey playing rules. (p.4 of Guidance)
SPECTATORS: Facilities (at their discretion) now have the ability to allow two (2) adult chaperones and siblings per player into the facility provided they follow social distancing guidance and the facility remains below 50% of capacity. (p.7 of Guidance)
CONTACT TRACING: Both the facility operator (rink) AND the activity organizer (entity that purchases the ice time) are responsible for complying with any and all contact tracing requests. Failure to do so will result in fines and/or shutdowns of those who do not comply. (p.9 of Guidance)
MULTIPLE GAMES/TOURNAMENTS: Teams are limited to one game per day unless games are played back-to-back in a multi-sheet facility and the facility has adequate transition space for players and spectators and there is no break between games. (p.6 of Guidance)
TRAVEL/OUT OF STATE TEAMS and PLAYERS: Facilities may only allow Massachusetts-based teams and Massachusetts-based participants to participate in Massachusetts-based events held at Massachusetts-based facilities. Any Massachusetts-based athlete that chooses to leave the state to participate in a sports event must comply with the COVID-19 Travel Order issued by the Commonwealth before returning to work, school or public events. Any Massachusetts based team that chooses to leave the state to participate in a sport event or any facility/program that hosts an out-of-state team at a Massachusetts facility or allows an out-of-state player to participate on a Massachusetts-based team risks facility closure or suspension of practices and/or games. (p.9 of Guidance)
LOCKER ROOMS: Locker rooms are to be closed until further notice. Facility operators will ensure that they are not open or occupied. Players are strongly encouraged to arrive dressed in their equipment and facilities will have socially-distanced space set up where players can put on their skates and other equipment prior to taking the ice. Each facility will have a traffic flow pattern specific to their set up. We encourage facilities to share this information with programs and coaches in advance of an ice session as well as posting online in conjunction with their league partners. (p.10 of Guidance)
TRANSPORTATION: If carpooling to an event (which is strongly discouraged), all parties must wear face coverings. (p.11 of Guidance)
We remain in constant communication with the Commonwealth and will provide updates to the hockey community if there are any changes or updates to the attached guidance.
We are excited to see the rinks reopen their doors tomorrow morning and have the kids back playing the game that they love. While people may have concerns or opinions about some of the new guidance, please understand that these are the rules that the Commonwealth has set and we are all responsible to stay within the framework provided. If there are any concerns or reports of non-compliance, people are encouraged to report it to the either the local board of health or Department of Labor Standards. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (508) 616-0461 x.9488.
Phone: 781-664-2700 x101
General Counsel, USAH Director (2025), Audit & SafeSport Chair
Phone: (617) 620-1302