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Northern Virginia Hockey Club

NOVA Board Meeting announcement

Topic: NVHC Board Meeting
Time: Aug 11, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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    NoVA Ice Dog News

    NVHC delayed season start & spring refund status

    07/17/2020, 12:30pm EDT
    By NVHC Board

    Parents,

    Based on a confluence of changing conditions with Virginia’s Phase III guidelines, lack of specific information from our home rinks at Mount Vernon and Fort Dupont, and other concerns associated with items such as ice cost and school schedules for the fall, we are changing our confidence assessment regarding our ability to organize and field teams for fall 20/21 to LOW. Therefore, NVHC cannot guarantee we will have organized CBHL, Girls, or CCHL teams this fall. Planning for 8U House will be finalized once we receive further information from Mount Vernon.  The Club does not intend to use any other facility than Mount Vernon for 8U House. 

    Hockey Updates

    • Based on recent engagements with Mount Vernon management, NVHC has low confidence in our ability to predict when we will get ice, how much will be available, and what restrictions will apply for ice usage at Mt. Vernon or Ft. Dupont, our two primary rinks.  While we have medium confidence we can secure ice at Haymarket and Laurel in amounts similar to past seasons, we do not believe this is enough to serve as the sole ice for the Club and we do not believe it’s feasible or wise to operate from two geographically distant rinks that also run their own programs. We are not currently considering use of these rinks as the potential sole source of ice for Aug-Oct for any of our programs.
    • We have low confidence in our ability to determine the size and cost of our program. Rink guidance across the DMV on how many players can skate on a sheet is constantly changing (along with the restrictions on activities that can be performed on the ice). Other rinks from which we have rented ice in the past have either increased their costs, limited the number of players we can put on the ice at once, or both. 
    • We have low confidence that the CBHL and CCHL will be able to support having games in the fall based on current Virginia Phase III recreational sport guidelines.
    • We have low confidence that we will be able to execute a normal weeknight practice schedule due to the recently published Fairfax County school schedule that includes a 4:50 pm release time for some elementary students.  

    We will continue to gather information from our partner rinks and announce more specifics on our fall/spring hockey programming once we have better information. We expect this will not occur prior to mid-August (right at or outside the window provided to us for providing initial CBHL rosters to the League). 

    PVAHA guidance for 10-18U Travel and 10-19U Girls states that clubs can offer positions for new players starting July 20th. Based on the NVHC uncertainties, we want to share these confidence assessments with parents now to make sure no players miss the opportunity to tryout at clubs that feel they have more control over what they can offer in the Aug-Oct timeframe.

    We will leave our no-cost registration open into mid-August so players can return to register after other clubs have made their own travel and girls roster decisions. We will not roster players until we can definitively announce what we can offer and when players can get on the ice. If you decide to leave for another hockey opportunity, please let us know as soon as possible so we can update our registration data. You can re-register later. Contact tim.froemke@novaicedogs.org for CBHL and carson.evans@novaicedogs.org for Girls.

    We will still run our planned on-ice sessions on the 26th of July at Haymarket. Players who paid to attend this session may still do so. 10U and older players who would like to attend this session to provide coaches with more information for later roster decisions or just to have an opportunity to skate, may also sign up using the Coed > New to CBHL Travel link. Please indicate your intent for the skate in the free text block labeled “If you played at a different club last season, what club, age group, and level.”  

    Updated Spring Refund Policy

    Given the current unknowns and delayed season start, as well as to simplify our accounting going forward, we plan to refund the previously collected spring fees rather than apply them to fall registration. Because the Club incurs other expenses beyond ice (that occur whether we are skating or not), we will refund 85% of spring fees on Thursday, August 13th. As a non-profit organization, we are always appreciative of donations which allow us to continue to provide a high quality, low cost hockey experience to our players. If you would like to donate all or a portion of your Spring fees, please let us know by replying to this email before August 1st. 

    Regardless of whether the spring refund applies to you, if you would like to donate to the Club, you can do that through our registration system. The donation option is available at registration step 1.3.  We greatly appreciate your consideration as fees and donations are our only Club revenue.

    Thank you to all of our Ice Dog players, coaches, volunteers, and families for your understanding, patience and cooperation while we monitor our ability to get back on the ice.

    NVHC Board Members

    Ice Dog Families:

    Although we are still waiting for the details associated with Mount Vernon’s reopening (currently slated to reopen its doors on the 27th of July) and how this will affect our ability to rent and use ice there for the Club, we think it is prudent to begin registration for our CBHL, Girls and 8U programs’ 20/21 seasons. CCHL registration will open in early-mid August.

    To register for any NVHC program, you will have to obtain a USA Hockey Number for the upcoming season, which is required by USA Hockey and is non-refundable. USA Hockey registration for the 20/21 season can be completed here.

    Click Here to Register Now for CBHL, Girls, and 8U.

    The Situation

    • NEW - Mount Vernon has announced they will reopen on the 27th of July but cannot provide detailed guidance yet regarding when they will be able to rent ice to the Club. We now have a low degree of confidence that we will be able to secure enough ice between the 13th and the end of July to conduct regular tryouts for the 20/21 season.
    • NEW - We have a high degree of confidence that we have enough data from the 19/20 season as well as Spring Selects tryouts to apply the alternate team selection process provided in PVAHA guidance and build CBHL team rosters.
    • NEW - We have secured enough ice after the 20th of July to conduct supplemental tryouts for non-Club players and Club players who previously played House, did not participate in Spring Selects tryouts, but are interested in playing on a CBHL travel team this year.
    • NEW - We have a high degree of confidence that we can use the alternative PVAHA registration guidance to field at least one team per age group for our Girls program without conducting on-ice tryouts.
    • We continue to have a high degree of confidence that we will be able to start the 20/21 season in late August/early September with practices conducted at Mount Vernon and Haymarket.
    • UPDATED - We have a high degree of confidence that we will be able to use ice at Fort Dupont and Laurel in September.
    • We have a medium degree of confidence that we will be able to hold games with other local clubs in early fall.
    • UPDATED - We have a low degree of confidence that teams will be able to travel outside of the DMV region for games or tournaments. This is driven significantly by USAH sanctioning, and although you may hear of tournaments taking place in various markets, NONE are sanctioned by USAH at this time.

    Facilities

    The current status of our partner rinks is as follows:

    • UPDATED - Mount Vernon: Closed but planning to reopen on the 27th of July. We are continuing discussions with the Rink Manager to determine when we will be able to rent ice following their reopening.
    • Fort Dupont: Closed and not planning to open until after September 1st. We are working to schedule ice with them now.
    • UPDATED - Haymarket: Open. We have secured ice for CBHL supplemental tryouts on July 26th. We can put 40 skaters on the ice at one time.
    • UPDATED - Gardens Ice House: Closed but planning to reopen in early August, pending additional guidance from Prince George County.

    Registration Planning by Program

    CBHL (10U-18U)

    Due to the late planned opening of Mount Vernon (after the 27th) and the continuing Forward Virginia requirement to maintain physical distancing, when practicable, during the conduct of sports, the Club plans to take maximum advantage of the PVAHA guidance for this season that allows for rostering of players without tryouts.

    We will conduct a four-step process for registering and rostering players for our CBHL teams. You must register for NVHC CBHL Tryouts prior to being considered for any roster position during any Step. Please register as soon as possible to allow NVHC as much time as possible for thorough decision making.

    Step 1 - immediately - We have opened two travel registration optionson our website: (a) a no-cost option (titled “Coed > Returning Travel and Spring Select Players”) for players who played on 19/20 Ice Dog CBHL teams or tried out for a Spring Select Team this spring. (b) an option (titled “Coed > Players new to CBHL Travel…”) for players who did not play on a 19/20 Ice Dog CBHL team and did not try out for the Spring Select Team this spring. This includes players who played on an Ice Dog CCHL team in 19/20. These players will pay a $50 non-refundable on-ice tryout fee as part of registration.

    19/20 Ice Dog players must register by July 13th to be considered for rostering during Steps 2 or 3. Non-member players must register by July 19th to be considered for rostering during Step 3. Players must register by July 24th to participate in the July 26th on-ice tryout and be considered for rostering during Step 4.

    Step 2 - July 13 - CBHL Coed Team roster positions for 19/20 Club members who participated in a travel program or participated in our 2020 Spring Selects tryouts may be offered for the 10U through 16/18U age groups without on-ice tryouts.

    Step 3 - July 20 - CBHL Coed Team roster positions for players who did not play on a 19/20 Ice Dog CBHL team and did not participate in our Spring Selects tryouts this spring may be offered for the 10U through 16/18U age groups without on-ice tryouts.

    Step 4 - July 26th - on-ice tryouts will be held in Haymarket for players who were not offered a CBHL Coed Team roster position during Steps 2 or 3. More details to follow on the specific time and requirements for this on-ice session.

    Given the public health conditions, the status of our partner rinks, and PVAHA Tier II travel guidance, we believe this is the best approach to field competitive teams for the 20/21 season in a timely manner. Details on our roster selection process are listed below:

    • If an offer is extended and accepted at any point, you will need to register your player for the team offered and pay the monthly travel fee for August.
    • All roster position offers expire after 72 hours. Expired offers are immediately returned to NVHC to utilize as the club deems necessary.
    • The CBHL Director has assigned a Lead Coach for each Age Group. Each Lead Coach, under the supervision of the CBHL Director, will assemble a Committee of coaches and individuals who possess specific knowledge of that particular age group.
    • Committees will review each registered applicant, discuss all appropriate information, and consider offering roster positions without on-ice tryouts. A Committee decision to offer a roster position must be unanimous.
    • Any Tryout Committee member who is also a parent of an applicant within that specific age group will not receive a vote in regards to their player.
    • The CBHL Director has final say in all decisions.
    • Tryout applicants not offered a roster position during Step 2 or Step 3 will be invited to on-ice tryouts, Step 4 (as necessary). On-ice tryouts will apply the same Committee approach applied in Steps 2 and 3 (see above), utilizing information obtained from the on-ice tryout process. Understand that we will follow all facility guidelines regarding distancing, entry and exit points, population limits, etc.
    • Players not assigned to a Club CBHL Coed Team may register for our CCHL program.

    Girls (10U-19U)

    We will conduct a four-step process for registering and rostering players for our Girls teams. You must register for the NVHC Girls Tryouts prior to being considered for any roster position during any Step. Please register as soon as possible to allow NVHC as much time as possible for thorough decision making.

    Step 1 - immediately - We have opened a no-cost Girls travel registration via our website.

    Returning 19/20 NVHC Players must be registered by July 13th to be considered for rostering during Steps 2 or 3. Non-member Players must be registered by July 20th to be considered for rostering during Step 3. 

    Step 2 - July 13 - Girls Team roster positions for Club members who participated on a 19/20 Ice Dog team may be offered for the 10U through 16/19U age groups without on-ice tryouts.

    Step 3 - July 20 - Girls Team roster positions for players who did not play on a 19/20 Ice Dog team may be offered for the 10U through 16/19U age groups without on-ice tryouts.

    Given the public health conditions, the status of our partner rinks, and PVAHA Tier II travel guidance, we believe this is the best approach to field competitive teams for the 20/21 season in a timely manner. Details on our roster selection process are listed below:

    • If an offer is extended and accepted at any point, you will need to register your player for the team offered and pay the monthly travel fee for August.
    • All roster position offers expire after 72 hours. Expired offers are immediately returned to NVHC to utilize as the club deems necessary.
    • The Girls Director will assign a Lead Coach for each Age Group. Each Lead Coach, under the supervision of the Girls Director, will assemble a Committee of coaches and individuals who possess specific knowledge of that particular age group.
    • Committees will review each registered applicant, discuss all appropriate information, and consider offering roster positions without on-ice tryouts. A Committee decision to offer a roster position must be unanimous. Any Tryout Committee member who is also a parent of an applicant within that specific age group will not receive a vote in regards to their player.
    • The Girls Director has final say in all decisions.

    Step 4 - Date TBD - If registration numbers require on-ice tryouts to resolve player placement at any age group those tryouts will be held at a to-be-determined date and location.

    8U Programs

    • 8U House: Our 8U House program will run as close as possible to previous seasons. The season runs from late August to the end of February, with practices and games on Saturday and Sunday mornings (times TBD). Players are divided into two divisions based on age and skill. For full details on the structure of the program see the NoVA 8U House Program webpage.
    • 8U Travel: We plan to field 3 8U Travel teams this season. In addition to participating in the 8U House program, travel players practice once a week on weekday evenings (day and time TBD) and play games on weekends. If you have questions whether your player is ready for travel hockey, please contact 8U Director Scott Richard (scott.richard@novaicedogs.org). See our NoVA 8U Travel Program webpage for further details on the program.
    • Registration: No-cost registration for our 8U Programs (8U House and 8U Travel) is now open on our registration website. Please registeras soon as possible if you are interested, as the program size may be limited by public health measures. Further information on pricing and start dates will follow.

    CCHL (10U-18U)

    Registration for our CCHL programs should open in early-mid August with evaluations occurring in September.

    LTP

    We will not conduct fall LTP sessions and will revisit winter and spring sessions as the season progresses.

    Summary

    As soon as the cost of ice, number of participants, and length of season become more clear, we will be announcing our season fee structure for months beyond August. We are currently looking at a number of options to control costs, adjust fees as the season progresses and ice restrictions loosen, and otherwise adapt to what we believe will be a fluid and unpredictable hockey environment.

    We will continue to communicate frequently as we receive additional information that affects our planning and decision making. For those with specific questions related to the upcoming season, please feel free to submit your questions here.

    Sincerely,

    Dee Reardon
    NVHC President