As many of you know we recently received word from our Government that they have changed some of the regulations regarding what we can do on the ice. The restriction of only having five players and one coach on each side of the ice has been lifted and our new guidance is regulated by square footage. The regulations we are now operating with is that each player has 300 square feet per player. On our smaller ice surface at Lynnwood Ice Center this would allow us to fit 55 players on the ice. We can assure you that we will not be putting that many kids on the ice for quite some time. We will however operate at roughly half of that and limit the number of kids on the ice to 25. Within this group of 25 players will operate and participate in sessions in pods of 5 players.
While participating in these sessions social distancing is still the point of emphasis. There will be no games or competitions that would require extended periods of time where players would be in close proximity to other players or instructors. Players and coaches will not congregate in close proximity at any point during practice including any team stretches, white board time or water breaks. Coaches are currently creating practice plans to efficiently and safely run both tryouts and upcoming practice sessions to accommodate the restrictions we are operating under.
Following tryouts teams will begin their practice/skill sessions operating as individual teams rather than sharing ice with other teams which will lower the number of players on the ice at one time from 25 to under 20. Teams will take part in 50 minute on-ice sessions without sharing the ice for the near future. As teams are formed, they will begin taking part in dryland exercises that will take place outside of the facility and ran by the same staff that would run the on-ice session.
Registration and Payment Plans
As we begin to operate under these new State guidelines, we will be forming our NW Admirals Select teams by way of tryouts. As you are aware by way of registration each player is registered at a base rate for the season. If they are to make a NW Admirals Select team the family will be issued a link to register for that team that comes with an additional cost. Under the current situation we will not be collecting money for that additional registration until current restrictions are lifted and we are able to operate under more normal circumstances. Once that time comes, we will open the payment plans for NW Admirals Select and that price will be prorated based on when that time comes. For now, families will register and only make payments on the base rate that comes with each division.
As of right now to limit the number of teams or user groups our A3 teams will not be formed in an official capacity. Once restrictions are lifted, and/or a viable league play option is available these teams will be formed and will begin payment for that division and the total cost will be prorated based on start time of that division.
As we continue to navigate schedules and timing, we are also considering the start date for recreational evaluations. We are currently hoping to begin these evaluations following Labor Day. We are working closely with other Associations and the MHL to create a plan that ensures a quality experience for the recreational players. This could mean starting a little later than normal and extending the season out appropriately. It could also mean a shortened season at which point overall cost could be adjusted depending on hours of ice provided.
We are still following the same regulations from the state regarding entrance and exit of the facility as well as not being allowed to have spectators in the building. Players will be allowed to enter the building 15 minutes prior to their session in a mask. They must arrive 50% dressed in their equipment and will be provided a socially distanced space to put on their remaining equipment before entering the playing surface. Masks must be worn until they step on the ice. Following the session, they will remove their skates downstairs and immediately exit the building out through lower exit.
We are very excited that we can take this step in the right direction and a little closer to normal. This is still however a new situation that we are monitoring closely and ensuring that we can move into this next step without losing site of our commitment to operating in the safest manner possible.