Let The Games Begin!, News (Tavistock Minor Hockey)

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Let The Games Begin!
Submitted By Larry Kropf on Thursday, October 15, 2020
The 2020-2021 Covid hockey season continues to progress!  Coaches are in the process of making Bubble Teams for their age groups, and the minor hockey executive committee is working to create a program that provides a safe, fun, challenging, productive season for all of our players.

Safe and Fun!  Those are the critical ideals everyone is working toward.  Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation provided excellent guidance on how to maximize the safety of everyone involved in minor hockey.  Thanks for doing your part accepting the restrictions put in place to reduce the risk for everyone!

The "Fun" aspect was left to each association to develop on their own. 

For better or worse, the majority of the structure that the OHF and OMHA have provided for hockey programming is gone this year.

Decisions have been made
This year's executive committee has earned my enduring respect, for their passionate commitment to respectfully considering all the variables at play for the upcoming season!  This group is tasked with the impossible job of deciding  what "Fun" is for all of our players, families and coaches, and how do we deliver one program that delivers that?  

We discussed, development of all players, development of hockey skills, development of life skills, competition levels, how much is too much or too little, team versus individual challenges, inclusion versus division, challenging elite players while coaching everyone and providing instruction to everyone appropriate to their level of skill and interest.  Family considerations were discussed, consistent ice times, inclusion of other centers in our bubbles, travel requirements, equitable ice times for all groups, given our ice time allocation by the arena board.  What is the financial impact, for the TDMHA, For our families?

This is the short list.   None of the topics had a solution that best suited everyone in our organization.

Hockey is a team game.  Everyone on the team brings different skills, no individual is more important than the team and by working together the outcome is greater than the sum of the parts.  The Tavistock Community has lived this philosophy;  Not just at the rink but in the community as whole.

The Plan Going Forward
To start our hockey season the age groups will be divided into equal teams to ensure competitive games in each bubble.  The Novice age group will have 4 teams, all other groups, 3 teams (Bantam may have 2).   We have met with Plattsville, Embro and Norwich to discuss filling as many Bubbles as possible to 5 teams.  All These centers are in our Public Health Unit.  If these Bubble leagues are accepted there will be some travel to these centers.

Consistent ice time is critical to help our families plan.  Once practice time idea may will have have 2 teams practicing together and coaches working together on practice plans.  this arrangement maximizes our safe use of he ice, and facility and allows coaches a number of players to split into groups and challenge everyone, while maintaining the team philosophy.

Is the plan perfect?  Far from it!  Is it workable?  Absolutely!  Could it change?  Without a doubt!

Please continue to share your thoughts as the season progresses!  We are all in this together and will develop and adapt as a team!

Sincerely,

Larry Kropf
President
Tavistock and District Minor Hockey Association
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