by Rose Williams
Some youth hockey associations could be fined if players and coaches don’t wear masks during practices or games.
Minnesota Hockey is the governing body of youth hockey in the state of Minnesota and teams are divided between twelve districts, including District 10. Each district includes several local hockey associations.
The district’s rules, as of Jan. 11, state that a player or coach’s first offense to the mask rule will result in a week’s suspension from all team activities, including games. Additionally, their respective associations will be fined $500.
The second and third offenses to the mask mandate will result in a $1,000 fine each, and a two-week or 30-day suspension, respectively, from team activities.
The COVID policy states that the district will be “coordinating with on-ice officials, arena staff, association leadership, and District 10 board members to enforce progressive penalties” for those not wearing masks during practices or games.
Minnesota Hockey District 10 includes the following local hockey associations:
- Andover Huskies Youth Hockey Association
- Anoka Hockey Association
- Becker/Big Lake Hockey Association
- Blaine Youth Hockey Association
- Cambridge-Isanti Youth Hockey Association
- Centennial Youth Hockey Association
- Champlin Park Youth Hockey Association
- Coon Rapids Hockey Association
- Elk River Youth Hockey Association
- Hinckley Youth Hockey
- Mora Hockey Association
- North Branch Hockey
- Pine City Youth Hockey Association
- Princeton Youth Hockey Association
- Rogers Hockey Association
- Spring Lake Park Youth Hockey
- St. Francis Youth Hockey Association
The district’s guidelines state that “a hearing can be requested on all suspensions by a request to the District 10 disciplinary committee chairman.” It is not specified whether a hearing can be requested regarding the fines.
The Minnesota Department of Health’s guidelines for testing and quarantine times are provided in District 10’s policy, demanding that all players, coaches, and parents follow those rules or face an “investigation” that could result in suspension from youth hockey activities for up to 30 days.
The district is also requiring that teams attending games outside of Minnesota wear masks or face coverings during those games and events. The same suspension and fine policies will apply to those not following the masking rules out of state.
Other districts are enforcing similar policies: District 11 hockey will be issuing $250 fines and one-game suspensions for the first offense, $500 fines and one-week suspensions for the second offense, and suspensions for the remainder of the season for the third offense.
Meanwhile, the home page of District Six’s website declares in capitalized, bold letters, “Effective immediately, the officials will not be blowing their whistle before every face off. They will simply be dropping the puck.”
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Rose Williams is an assistant editor for Alpha News.