BC HOCKEY RETURN TO HOCKEY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Updated September 3, 2020
1. What is a cohort?
Answer: In accordance with viaSport’s Return to Sport guidelines each Provincial Sport Organization
(PSO) may implement cohorts during Phase 3 that will allow for participants to be involved in contact
activity and breach the 2-metre physical distance guidelines. A cohort can consist of either fifty (50)
people or four (4) teams, whichever is deemed most appropriate by the PSO. BC Hockey’s Board of
Directors has endorsed the four (4) team cohort model, which allows for up to four (4) teams to
participate in Phase 3 activity as a group, which in the case of hockey allows for more than 50
participants, based upon active roster sizes.
2. What are the parameters regarding transitioning cohorts?
Answer: A participant may be part of only one (1) sport specific (hockey) cohort at any single time. A
participant may transition to a new / different cohort as an individual participant or as a member of a
team, granted that a 14-day wait period has occurred prior to participating in Phase 3 activity within the
3. How do cohorts operate regarding tryouts and evaluations?
Answer: If a tryout/evaluation consists of Phase 2 based activity only (observance of physical distance
/ 2-metres & non-contact) this will not to be considered a cohort environment. Therefore, a 14-day wait
period prior to beginning Phase 3 activity within any cohort would not be required following the
completion of the try-out / evaluation stage.
If a tryout/evaluation includes Phase 3 based activity of any kind, all players will automatically be
determined a member of that tryout cohort. Therefore, upon the conclusion of the tryout/evaluation all
participants will be required to complete a 14-day wait period prior transitioning to a different cohort with
that team or any other team (in the event that the player is not selected for the team they are trying out
Please note, during any 14-day wait period, a participant is permitted to participate in any Phase 2
based activity, regardless of their previous or active participation in a cohort.
4. What are the maximum numbers of players on a team?
Answer: Junior, Senior and U18AAA teams’ active roster limit is 25 players, of which a maximum of 18
skaters and 2 goaltenders are eligible to play in any scheduled game.
The minor hockey active roster limit is 19 players with a maximum of 17 skaters and 2 goaltenders
eligible to play in any scheduled game.
These parameters align with Hockey Canada regulation E 2 and Hockey Canada playing rule 2.2.
5. What is the maximum number of players that can be on the ice?
Answer: Patron capacities are at the discretion of each individual facility, in accordance with the
Provincial Health Authority. Capacity for building occupancy may vary from facility to facility. Other than
the roster limits outlined in question #4, there is no hockey specific maximum number of participants
allowed on the ice, granted that all participants can adhere to either Phase 2 or Phase 3 guidelines and
the facility capacity parameters. The Hockey Canada Seasonal Structure document ‘Appendix A’
provides guidelines regarding number of participants on the ice that can safely participant in physically
6. Defining cohort / participant interaction
Answer: Any participants within a single cohort, can participate in full Phase 3 activity with any other
participants within the same cohort (e.g. games, training, activities and contact skills). If a participant is
part of a cohort, they are still permitted to participate in any programming that meets Phase 2 guidelines
with any other participants regardless of cohorts because physical distance is maintained during Phase
7. What are the definitions of ‘Region’ and ‘Community’ regarding Return to Sport?
Answer: The definition of ‘Community’ for the purpose of Phase 3 activity is the individual cohort a
participant or team is part of. A cohort essentially becomes the community based programming and
may be made up of teams from the same member association or in some cases participants from
surrounding or neighboring associations, based upon the particular program structure or ability to
provide reasonable competition.
‘Region’: For the purpose of forming cohorts, participants within the Province of BC are restricted to
participating in cohorts with other members of the BC Hockey membership within the geographical
Province. Similarly, BC Hockey participants in Yukon Territory are restricted to participating within the
BC Hockey Membership within that Territory. However, it is highly recommended that cohorts be formed
as locally as possible; within an MHA first, then within a District MHA / League (inter-Association) or
potentially within the Province or Territory if it is the only means of coordinating reasonable competition.
8. Will there be rule adjustments?
Answer: BC Hockey is reviewing enhancements to existing procedures, rules and protocols to assist in
delivering Phase 3 activity. Any adjustments will be curated and communicated to the membership for
implement during Phase 3. This process will include an education period for all participants, including
officials. BC Hockey requests that officials not be integrated into Phase 3 activity until these measures
have been confirmed and delivered. Please, note officials are not part of a cohort and therefore must
maintain 2-metre physical distance during activity.
9. Can coaches participate in more than one (1) cohort?
Answer: Coaches are not considered part of the cohort model, as long as they can keep physical
distance (2- metres) and wear a mask during Phase 3 activities. Therefore, a coach can serve as a
team official with teams in multiple cohorts if required.
10. Are clinics being delivered online only?
Answer: Coaching and officiating clinics are being reviewed in accordance with Hockey Canada’s 2020-
2021 minimum requirements. BC Hockey is seeking to make clinic curriculums deliverable online, if
necessary. The BC Hockey clinic host request webpage is currently closed and projected to re-open in
mid-September in order to begin processing requests. Unfortunately we are unable to process any
requests submitted prior to the release of Phase 3 (August 24, 2020). Therefore, all members wishing
to host a clinic should wait until the new clinic guidelines are released and submit at that time. It is
projected that clinics may become available for participant registration in late September to early
11. What are the restrictions regarding player benches?
Answer: Currently any participant in Phase 3 activity must either maintain social distance (2 metres
from any other participant), wear a mask or be separated by a barrier from other participants while on
the players’ or penalty bench. BC Hockey is working on this item with viaSport. We recognize the
urgency of the issue and can confirm it will advance to the Ministry and related health officials ASAP.
Updates will be provided once clarifications have been obtained.
12. What is the protocol regarding contact tracing information being provided to facilities?
Answer: Any pre-screening (registration/forms etc.) can be set forth by the association / member in
accordance with a facility’s request. This may vary from facility to facility. However, members should be
prepared with contact tracing and pre-screening measures that can be easily shared with facilities either
electronically or on site. CLICK HERE for example.
13. Question: How do we deal with team officials and the inability in some facilities to be on the bench,
while keeping physical distance?
Answer: Every facility may vary slightly on how this is handled. Limits to the number of people allowed in an
arena and how many people there is space for on a bench will dictate how a team will proceed. A team may
have as many team officials (to a maximum of 5) on the bench during a game, as long as they can maintain a
minimum 2 metres physical distance from each other and the players or there is a barrier (e.g. plexiglass)
between them and the players. Should the number of team officials on the bench be limited by space, some
coaches or the HCSP person may be required to stand somewhere other than the bench. In the case of the
HCSP, it is important that if they are not on the bench (in order to adhere to physical distancing parameters)
that they are able to easily access the ice in the case of an injury or health emergency. The HCSP will still
maintain all their responsibilities, regardless of whether or not they are physically on the bench. When
necessary, the HCSP you be prepared to escort an ill player to the facilities designated isolation area for