Canlan Sports response to amended OHF policy on “non-sanctioned” hockey.

Please continue scrolling for our full statement on the amended OHF policy on non-sanctioned hockey, and their policy wording that confirms that this change is not applicable to Summer hockey leagues/teams.

TORONTO, ONT. — On August 25th, 2021, Canlan Sports was notified by minor hockey association partners that the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) had issued “Game Plan 2.0”, which indicated that the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) had amended the cut-off date for non-sanctioned hockey from September 30th, 2021, to September 10th, 2021.

At no point in time did the OHF notify Canlan Sports that any changes were being considered, nor implemented. Bringing youth hockey back this Summer hasn’t been without challenges. It hasn’t been perfect. But it’s been worth it to see kids from across Ontario back in the rink, playing the game they love. We believe that sport changes lives for the better.  That is why we, and many other stakeholders across the Province worked diligently to bring the game of hockey back in July, scheduling programming in accordance with a long-standing minor hockey non-sanction cut-off date of September 30th.

• According to the OHF’s non-sanctioned policy, Section 2.3 confirms that the OHF’s cut-off date is not applicable, as a non-sanctioned league does not include summer hockey leagues/teams.”

Canlan’s Summer ’21 Youth Hockey League dropped the puck on July 23rd with a 9-game season scheduled to conclude on September 26th, in accordance with the original September 30th cut-off date.

Canlan’s Summer ’21 Canlan Classic Tournaments also started the Summer season on July 23rd, with the final event in Ontario scheduled to conclude on September 26th, in accordance with the original September 30th cut-off date.

Based on Section 2.3 in the OHF’s non-sanctioned policy that excludes “summer hockey leagues/teams” from consideration for any cut-off date, our position is that Canlan’s Summer ’21 league, and tournament programming can continue to run through to its scheduled conclusion on September 26th, which is also in-line with the original cut-off date.

Additional Considerations

While the OHF’s policy confirms that non-sanctioned Summer leagues/teams are not subject to the cut-off date, we are very disappointed that the OHF chose not to consult Canlan Sports, nor did they provide any notice that the cut-off date would be subject to change in September 2021.

This action places thousands of families in a very difficult position, trying to understand the implications of OHF policies.

• In 2019/20, the OHF’s cut-off date for non-sanctioned programming was September 30th

• In 2020/21, the OHF’s cut-off date for non-sanctioned programming – in a season that was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – remained as September 30th

• On August 25th, 2021, the same day that Canlan Sports indirectly received notice that the OHF had proposed an amendment to the cut-off date, a letter was sent to the Ontario Hockey Federation requesting that the cut-off date for 2021 be restored, in good faith, to September 30th

• After a follow-up letter on August 30th, 2021, the OHF responded on September 3rd that they were not open to any changes.

• On September 3rd, 2021, Canlan Sports subsequently sent additional correspondence, and on September 8th, 2021, the OHF determined that no change would be made.

More than 6,000 participants across Ontario have laced up their skates at Canlan Sports locations in Ontario to participate in CCT and YHL programming during the Summer ’21 season. Hundreds of referees, timekeepers, and convenors have been able to earn a supplemental income after being unable to work in the game of hockey for months. Your health and safety has been our top priority from Day 1, and that will continue to be our number one commitment moving forward.

For the hockey families who have joined us this Summer, for those who have sacrificed so much over the past 18 months, we look forward to the final two weeks of our Summer ’21 league and tournament programming, and we wish all of our participants the best of luck as they transition to the minor hockey season thereafter.

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