Games are cancelled for the next two weeks for all the 6,500 players in the Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association (VIAHA).
The decision was made Wednesday night during a virtual meeting with the island’s 17 minor hockey associations, according to VIAHA president Jim Humphrey.
“Our decision last night was we’re going to pause all minor hockey on Vancouver Island. For two weekends. So when I say ‘pause’, there’ll be no games being played in minor hockey up and down the island for the next two weekends.”
The move includes all minor hockey players and teams, ranging in age from five years to 19. Humphrey they had to do it, considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases among players.
“From what I’ve seen and taken from all the emails I’ve gotten in the last week, I figure we have between 15 and twenty minor hockey players have COVID.”
The president of the Victoria Minor Hockey Association, Nicki Reich, Vancouver Island’s largest minor hockey association, says she was surprised to hear how many players are affected. “Finding out that there are actually far more cases on the island is actually quite surprising to me.”
Until last night, Reich said she was aware of only one case involving a player on the island. Cancelling games for the Victoria Minor Hockey Association’s 750 players makes sense.
“We have no complaints. Zero complaints. Not one person has said that we shouldn’t be doing this. everybody has said this is probably a good time for a reset.
Practices will continue during the next two weeks. After that games on the island may resume. However, under new orders introduced by Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, spectators are no longer allowed at sports and travel is limited to local areas.