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NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 Guidance for Coaches and Players

Phase 1 – Practices, Clinics, Tryouts Only

Phase 1 Arriving at the Rink
1.  All players and coaches must complete the NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 waiver agreement (1 time only) before they are allowed on the ice. 

2. Players or coaches with any risk factors or illnesses should not participate in any on-ice activity. Any players, coaches or spectators exhibiting symptoms or signs of an illness should not be in the facility at any point.

3. Participants must follow the rink's COVID-19 protocol for entering the facility.  Please note that the rink protocols are constantly changing due to guidance changes from the state.

    Ice House COVID-19 protocol

    Palisades Center Ice Rink COVID-19 protocol

    Palisades Center Ice Rink COVID-19 waiver (1 time only)

4. All participants must be USA Hockey registered for the 2020-21 season to participate in any NJ Ice Dogs sanctioned on-ice activity.

5. Players should arrive at the rink fully dressed (except for skates, gloves, and helmet) wearing a face mask no more than 15 minutes before the start of on-ice activities. Anyone arriving earlier than 15 minutes before their start time should wait outside of the facility and be socially distanced from others.

6. The NJ Ice Dogs will be using the Test Alerts application for COVID-19 health screening.  All NJ Ice Dogs personnel entering the rink are required to take the health screening with their mobile device and show the results to the team manager/health screener. Team manager/health screeners to notify the NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 coordinators for those results that are flagged.  There is a separate health screening link/code for Ice House and Palisades Center.

     Health Screening information sheet for Ice House

     Health Screening information sheet for Palisades Center Ice Rink

     Health Screening information sheet for Ice Vault

     Health Screening information sheet for Away Rink

7. In the event of a positive outbreak within the team/coach, team managers to notify the NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 coordinators.  NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 coordinators are Joseph Riina (973-864-4423) and Kevin Pinkham (201-873-4543)

8. The NJ Ice Dogs COVID-19 coordinators will follow rink and health department protocols for proper notification in the event of any positive outbreak within the team

9. If there is an activity occurring at the rink before the team’s scheduled start, you may need to wait until all players from the prior event have vacated the building. There should not be interaction between the two groups.

10. Parents must follow the rink's COVID-19 protocol for entering the facility which usually includes wearing masks.  Some rinks are not allowing parents to enter the facility at all to enforce the 25 indoor person limit.  In these cases, parents must drop off their players at the rink at the beginning of practice and pick them up after practice is over.  Exceptions are normally made to allow for goalies to get dressed at the rink as well as for a parent to tie the skates for younger players.

11. Families should provide coach/team manager with accurate contact information in the event of emergency while the player is at the arena. This information MUST be accurate and the responsible party MUST be able to reach the designated person if the need arises.

12. Whenever possible, players should use the restroom at home prior to leaving for the rink in an effort to limit bathroom use at the facility.

13. Players should be bringing their own rehydration liquids to the rink in clearly marked or labeled containers with the player’s identity. The container should be re-sealable. Players should NOT plan on refilling their containers at the rink.

14. Prior to the first on-ice session, coaches and/or association leaders should host an e-meeting to explain procedures to parents, and to answer any questions.

15. Coaches should be as prepared as possible to ensure complete utilization of the allowed ice time. This also helps ensure that players are not distracted and know they need to be on time and ready to go, not engaged in other areas of the building.

16. Dryland activities inside the arena are not allowed at this time

17. Safesport policies will continue to be in effect in all phases. There should always be a minimum of two adults at every on-ice event, and there should be no unsupervised one-on-one interaction between a player and a coach.

Phase 1 On-Ice Activities for Practices:

1. Coaches should maximize use of "stations" spread out throughout the ice to lessen the chance for players bunching up.

2. Players need to maintain as much separation as possible. Whenever possible, coaches should be promoting social distancing on the ice, while recognizing that there may be times of close contact by players.  As an example, if coach is diagramming a play on a white board, ensure players are not bunched up close to the other players and coach.

3. Avoid using player benches.

4. Coaches should be keeping players active and engaged at all times. Players should not leave the ice during a practice unless absolutely necessary.

5. The number of coaches on the ice should be kept to a minimum, and it should be noted that each coach will count toward the number of people allowed on the ice as stipulated by the Department of Health.

6. Extra “helpers” or players who are not full-time members of the team should not be on the ice.

7. Drills should be age appropriate (station-based) and non-contact in Phase 1.  Please review early on ice USA Hockey recommendations

8. Coaches should avoid talking face-to-face with players, as well as avoid contact with players whenever possible. Physical contact may be necessary when assisting a young player or a player with a disability (helping up or adjusting equipment), but whenever possible, coaches should provide assistance without physical contact, or ask the player’s parent/guardian to assist.

9. At the completion of the ice time, players should exit the rink via the approved rink exit points. Do not ask players to participate in picking up pucks or other equipment from the ice.

Phase 1 After On-Ice Activities are Completed:

1. No on or off ice interaction (socializing, team meetings, dryland activities) should occur following the conclusion of practice within the rink. Players should remove skates and helmets and leave the premises within 15 minutes of the end of practice.

2. Parents/Guardians must be made aware of the time when the players will be done. The parents or person assigned to pick up players at the arena must be punctual. Players should not have to wait for a ride.

3. Players should vacate the arena immediately to allow for the next user group to enter.

4. Coaches or other responsible adults should remain until all players are safe and removed from the premises.

5. While at home, players should clean and disinfect gear after each use.


Phase 2 – Games and Scrimmage (Proposed)

Please note that many aspects of Phase 1 should also be practiced during Phase 2.  Assuming there are no severe setbacks during Phase 1 the following is recommended:

1. Competitions may begin to occur between teams from within a local geographic area.

2. At the scorer’s/announcer’s box, best practice would be that one assigned adult will be responsible for clock and scorebook with nobody else allowed in the area.

4. There should be no more than two coaches allowed in the bench area during games.  Coaches on benches should be wearing masks.

5. During a stoppage of play caused by a save, the goalie should drop the puck on the ice for the official to retrieve.

6. There should be no pregame or postgame handshakes. Teams should honor each other after the game with a stick salute.

7. A two official system shall be used for games at all levels