August 11, 2020
TO: All Associations
It has been brought to the Board’s attention by the East Section, from MULTIPLE SOURCES, that a number of East Section players have recently tested positive for COVID-19; that some are sicker than others, with some players very sick; and in some cases have passed the virus on to family members and/or friends.
The players who tested positive participated in non-sanctioned tournaments held in New Hampshire (Exeter) and in Connecticut (Champions of Cromwell). Players (and some coaches) who participated in these tournaments may now have contracted COVID unknowingly, and could also be passing the virus along to other players in their home rinks and to family members and friends.
The other Sections may have similar examples of noncompliance. NYSAHA and its Section Presidents have stated in numerous emails and notices posted to the NYSAHA website, that hockey is indefinitely suspended from ALL ON-ICE, OFF-ICE and administrative activities in order to help prevent the spread of COVID. A player who participates in a non-sanctioned tournament or other non-sanctioned activities does not mean that player (or coach) is immune from COVID. Participating in out-of-state tournaments, with players from other States, is not a very smart decision; violates the safety precautions put in place by NYSAHA and the Sections; and violates the New York Governor’s Executive Orders with regards to high risk sports such as ice hockey. The safety and wellbeing of all of our players is our utmost priority and should continue to be so.
The NYSAHA Board has been working with New York Government agencies and officials to get hockey safely started throughout the State, since under USA Hockey we are ONE DISTRICT. Reckless decisions that are now leading to positive tests amongst our players will only hurt our attempts to get our sport reopened by the State Government. These reckless actions resulting in sick players and others will not help our cause at all
NYSAHA and its Section Presidents remind everyone that those coaches who normally work for your Association, but who have decided to take matters into their own hands, are potentially bringing the virus back to our rinks and possibly infecting other players who have kept themselves safe and are abiding by the Governor’s Executive Orders and the safety restrictions of NYSAHA. Playing games, scrimmages, and participating in league activities and tournaments are not permissible at this time. Associations must understand that actions that directly tie their organization to participation in non-sanctioned events risk discipline down the road.
We all need to be smart here, and we need to contain COVID so we can restart ice hockey and keep our players healthy and safe. Overzealous coaches and parents can set us back and cause more restrictions being placed on our sport.
Yours in Hockey
Board of Directors
New York State Amateur Hockey Association, Inc.