Return to Ringette – What will it look like?

We all have a lot of questions about the upcoming season. While many specific details are still being finalized, there are many questions that can be answered.

What will the “Return to Ringette” look like this season?

Ringette Alberta (RAB) released their official guidelines on July 30th with details on what the 2020/21 Ringette season format will look like in our province. The health and safety of all members is the primary concern, however meaningful competition will also remain a priority. We must follow the Government of Alberta’s direction in our return to play plans. This means while we are in Stage 2, we must use physical distancing where possible and mini-league cohorts for competition.

How will the Mini-League Cohorts work?

Please read the Ringette Canada and RAB documentation for full details and latest updates. At this time, the following points provide an overview:

  • Local associations within our “Alberta Health Zone” are working together to structure teams into “mini-league cohorts” of 50 MAX participants/personnel.
  • SCRA is in the “Calgary Health Zone” which includes many of our fellow associations in RAB Zone 3 and Zone 2 (ie. Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Indus, Strathmore, Rockyford).
  • RAB has asked the existing Leagues (ie. Black Gold, Z123/Chinook, CORA, etc) to continue to oversee the operation of the mini-leagues in their jurisdictions.
  • Teams will compete in their mini-league cohort for a period of time and then take a 14 day training break (ie. practices only) before being “re-pooled” into another mini-league cohort of different teams in their division, and then the process repeats. The re-pooling of mini-league cohorts enables a variety of competitors over the season.
  • We are working closely with our fellow local associations to discuss registration numbers and cohort team sizes. Our regular registration closes on Aug 15 for U10-U19, however our registration numbers for U14-U19 won’t be completely final until after Calgary AA Ringette sets their teams in early Sept.
  • In general, we will aim for viable team sizes that allow for a variety of competitors within the 50 person max cohorts. Team sizes will also depend on the age group, number of available goalies and the final registration numbers.
  • These are some examples of how the cohorts could be structured:

Example 1:  Four U10S1 teams in mini-league cohort #1

  • 2 Officials
  • Team 1:  10 players, 2 coaches
  • Team 2:  10 players, 2 coaches
  • Team 3:  10 players, 2 coaches
  • Team 4:  10 players, 2 coaches

Example 2:  Three U12B teams in mini-league cohort #1

  • 2 Officials
  • Team 1:  11-13 players, 3 coaches
  • Team 2:  11-13 players, 3 coaches
  • Team 3:  11-13 players, 3 coaches
  • Off-ice minor officials (ie. scoresheet, timekeeper, shot clock operator) are NOT counted in the 50 person cohort limit as they have no contact with the team.
  • Spectators are NOT counted in the 50 person cohort limit. The local and provincial health authority guidelines, municipal bylaws and facility restrictions on spectator numbers must be followed.
  • Shared practices can be scheduled with teams in different cohorts with additional restrictions.
  • Players can cross-affiliate to teams in the same cohort.  NO affiliation is permitted to different cohorts.
  • Coaches can cross-affiliate to teams in the same cohort to form a “coach group” if needed. This will be particularly helpful in cases where SCRA has two teams in the same cohort.
  • Junior Coaches / On-Ice Helpers may not be feasible this year. Stay tuned for further updates on this.

What safety and screening protocols will be in place?

  • Individuals are asked to participate in only one “sport / performance cohort” at a time (ie. can’t play on a club basketball team and a Ringette team at the same time). All participants will need to sign a participation agreement and waiver.
  • Health screening and attendance tracking will be mandatory at every team activity using the RAMP Team App (ie. not TeamSnap). RAB will cover the cost of the RAMP Team App for teams this season. (Managers / Coaches: Please wait for further instruction before purchasing the RAMP Team App on your own.)
  • All participants, volunteers, parents, etc must be familiar with and adhere to local and provincial health restrictions, municipal bylaws, Return to Ringette guidelines and facility requirements.
  • All other safety-related policies are still in effect (ie. police checks, coach certifications, Respect in Sport, code of conduct, etc.)

How will travel and tournaments be impacted this season?

  • NO tournaments are permitted outside your Alberta Health Zone or outside your mini-league cohort teams. Provincials / Regionals / Nationals / etc are not expected under Alberta’s Stage 2.
  • Tournaments within our Alberta Health Zone are possible with teams in the mini-league cohorts. Local associations are working together to consider their tournament planning.
  • Esso Golden Ring Tournament – we don’t have an update on the status of EGRT at this time. Check their website for the latest info.

What will evaluations look like this year?

  • Typical evaluations as we have seen in previous seasons will not be possible this year. We are in regular communication with RAB and our fellow local associations to coordinate our evaluation plans with a goal of equitable teams.
  • We are reviewing the RAB guidelines and we aim to finalize and publish our 2020/21 Evaluation Ice Schedules and Team Formation Process details on our Evaluations page by the end of August at the latest.
  • In the meantime, we can advise that UAA testing will not be part of our pre-season evaluation process for U10-U14 this year and that no evaluation sessions will be scheduled over the Labour Day weekend. AS-U14 team formation will be based on data. U16 – U19 will use a draft process.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work toward the Return to Ringette. We are looking forward to having our players back on the ice, skating hard and having fun!