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FAQ

Why are we making changes?

Safety and Health
Sports should always be played in a safe manner and ensure our players are in the best health possible.  Overall health and safety of our players, coaches, officials, and spectators are our number one priority this season more than ever before due to the higher risks. Players, parents, coaches, officials, and spectators should always stay home if they have any virus or disease that could be easily spread to others, even if it is not COVID-19 for public safety.

Compliance
WFHA must be compliant with our partners in the community, state and in hockey.  We want to keep playing as long as possible and compliance with policies and procedures will ensure that. 

The Facts As We Know It

COVID Facts
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an illness caused by a virus that is primarily spread from person to person. You can become infected by coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19. You may also be able to get it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Oversight and Regulations
WFHA is governed by USA Hockey and North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association (NDAHA) with partners in the community of the West Fargo Park District and West Fargo Public Schools for our facilities.  Public Safety is handled by the federal, state and local governments which also oversee both the West Fargo Schools and West Fargo Parks.

What if we don't make the changes?

Health
Illness could spread to players, coaches, parents, families and officials which could cause long-term affects including death.

Facilities
Disease spread within our partner facilities could cause shutdown of facilities which would limit or halt all practices, games and tournaments.

Competition/Opponents
Widespread outbreaks could cause teams to halt playing our association or prevent cross-border or interstate travel, cancel tournaments, etc.

Who decides what changes we have to make and which we choose to make?

  • Federal/State/Local Government
  • NDAHA/USA Hockey
  • Partner Facilities
  • Board of Directors & Hockey Director

How often do we expect changes to be made?

  • As COVID-19 cases rise and fall, the protocols and response plans for each school, local government, state, facility, and hockey association will impact our players in ways we have never experienced.
  • Facilities, schools, teams and tournaments will be making changes in the their best interest which will force WFHA to make adjustments in response.
  • Positive COVID-19 cases in our own membership will drive the same ongoing changes in our own association which will be felt by the same partners in the facilities, schools and in our competition.

How will we find out about changes that are made in our association?

All general membership communication will be handled though the appropriate channels based off of audience:

  • Email/Web/Facebook for Membership Wide
  • Email/SportsEngine Messaging from Hockey Director/Team Managers/Coaches for Level or Team Specific Items.

What will practices, games, jamborees and tournaments look like?

In general, .....

Cancellations will happen whether it's due to an outbreak, facility changes, or other unforeseen events.  We will do our best to reschedule practices, games, jamborees and tournaments, but ultimately the safety and security of our players, coaches and families is our number one priority always.

What can I expect for changes in the facilities?

Facilities used by the WFHA are owned by the West Fargo Public Schools (West Fargo Sports Arena) and the West Fargo Park District (Veterans Memorial Arena).  Based on the level of risk set by the the federal, state and/or local government, WFHA will be limited to using the facilities under the appropriate guidelines as defined by these groups.  Changes in these facilities may limit our participation and interaction at these locations, so our diligence is imperative to the overall continuation of our program.

We ask that regardless of the risk level, all players, parents, coaches, and spectators follow the following guidelines while using these facilities:

  • Social Distancing guidelines need to be followed.
  • Effective hand washing on a frequent basis.
  • Individuals under 18 who are not on-ice must remain with their parent/guardian at all times
  • Masks should be worn at all times when in the facility.
  • No loitering before or after games.
  • Communication with facility employees when there is a shortage of soap, sanitizer, toilet paper, paper towels or any issues that may cause further risk or harm.

What can I expect for changes in spectators?

Spectators will be allowed in the rinks for games ensuring they are compliant with both the facility and Association policies. Parents/guardians and spectators may be limited based on the event type and location as the overall risk level changes. All spectators will need to wear masks at all times while in the building.

What can I expect to see different with Coaching?

Maximum number of four certified coaches per team. Coaches will wear masks in and out of the rink like everyone else. Exceptions to this rule would be when coaching during practices or games. However, Coaches will need to wear their masks when they are within six feet of an individual or group.  Coaches will unlock and lock their team locker room and must stay with their team the whole time while at the rink. Coaches will escort their team onto the ice when the ice is ready to ensure players are not congregating in the players boxes or other areas before/after practices or games. Coaches will create a seating chart and submit it to the Hockey Director for tracking purposes before their first practice.  Coaches will enforce seating chart and any players that cannot follow it will be asked to leave the rink.  Coaches will follow all WFHA COVID protocols and must adhere to all privacy expectations set forth via WFHA regarding player sickness, injury or any other instance that may contain personal information. Any coaches that violate these privacy protocols, in any way, may be dismissed for the season. 

What can I expect for changes in Team Management & Team Events?

  • Team Manager opportunities for each team and level will be minimized to focus on items that are required to be performed such as team leadership, game reporting, travel coordination and off-ice duties. 
  • Scheduling assistance will still be required as a Team Manager role in all Travel Teams.

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS I CAN DO AS A PARENT/GUARDIAN?

CHECK YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILD DAILY before you send them out into the world.  This is a helpful chart that makes this decision much easier:  CLICK HERE

IF YOU CAN'T GO TO SCHOOL/WORK, DON'T COME TO HOCKEY.  This is not just during times of a pandemic, but anything from influenza to an injury takes it's toll on your body.  Regardless of your position or the event, stay home and rest until you can give 100%. 

PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS from spread. Remember that just because you don't currently have symptoms doesn't mean you are not contagious.  Tips to help you stay safe can be found on the ND Dept. of Health website. CLICK HERE

WFHA COVID-19 PROTOCOLS AND PROCEDURES

REPORT YOUR SITUATION TO WFHA

WFHA is requiring all players and coaches who are symptomatic, contacted for COVID exposure,  awaiting test results, or tested positive to both stay home and report their situation to WFHA through an internal link.  This will help us track when you can return to play as violations will be strictly enforced. 

RETURN TO PLAY

To ensure safety of anyone who has not been impacted by COVID directly, WFHA is requiring all players receive an official email notification when they are able to return to play based off of their situation and direction from local health officials.  

VIOLATIONS

Players and coaches found to be in violation of any of these policies and procedures will be penalized deemed on the risk their violation poses to others in the association, including but not limited to:

  • Missing practices and/or games
    Missing jamborees or tournaments, including state tournaments for the peewee/12U and up levels
  • End of season for player with no refund on registration.  Dib and fundraising obligations would still be required. 
  • End of coach contract without pay and/or no-rehire for future seasons.
  • Banned from future participation with WFHA.

What if the season gets cancelled?

With so many unknowns each day, the board and staff at WFHA realize that there will be a need for flexibility and reason based off of the current environment.  Although we will not have an immediate response for every situation that may arise, we will do our best to make fair and balanced decisions for the overall membership and association as we see fit.  This would include but not limited to: refunds, dibs, fundraising, coaching contracts, etc.  Your patience and cooperation is always appreciated!

Department of Health: Federal and State


Centers for Disease Control

ND Dept. of Health COVID-19 Information

ND Dept. of Health COVID-19 Information


Minnesota Department of Health


Fargo Cass Public Health