The Orillia Ball Hockey Club season will get underway next week as part of Step 2 of the province’s reopening plan.
“From our understanding, sports can resume as long as they are non-contact, and ball hockey is technically a non-contact sport,” said club manager Adam Woolfrey.
“There is some accidental contact at times, but it’s not prolonged in any capacity.”
Adult leagues will get underway on Monday and youth leagues will get started July 12.
Woolfrey said COVID-19 restrictions won’t challenge the integrity of the game.
“We are going to be running our regular hockey leagues (but will be) enforcing contact a little heavier for safety reasons,” he said.
“We are going to carry on in following all health regulations, and we hope to get a bit of a shortened season in.”
The summer ball hockey season will consist of 10 games, plus playoffs, which falls just short of a usual 12-game regular season.
“We had to shorten the summer season because we are starting late, but we are still so excited to get back out there and so are the players, parents, and even our officials cannot wait to get going.”
Typically, ball hockey registration numbers are lower than other seasons because of other summer sports and activities. However, registration numbers for this year’s season are continuing to climb.
“Given the fact that everyone has been kept inside for a while, we are hoping we will have a great turnout this summer, and I’m sure we will,” Woolfrey said.
The club is challenged now with kick-starting the season with just two weeks’ notice.
“We’ve been working behind the scenes for the last two weeks to field teams as we were anticipating this start, so we have been working on building our schedules, getting officials lined up and getting teams in the door,” Woolfrey explained.
“We wanted to make sure everyone has a kind of rolling start to play, but still get going as fast as we can.”
The OBHC is still has rink rentals available, and registration for next week’s season is still open. For more information, click here.