True North Hockey Canada COVID-19 Guidelines & Protocols COVID-19 INFO


True North Hockey Canada COVID-19 Guidelines & Protocols

*These guidelines are subject to change with any new information or updates from the government on COVID-19 protocols.

True North Hockey Canada will strive to provide a safe, fun, and fair environment for all participants during these unique times. 

Government Mandated Pause in Play Protocol

True North Hockey Canada will deliver a full season of play even if the Government mandates a temporary pause in play. Should any pause occur, the season will be extended to completion. Weeknight league will play a minimum of 24 games. The Super Sunday league will be a minimum of 23 games. Should the league be paused during a scheduled team installment, the payment will also be paused and extended until play has been resumed.

All players MUST complete the General and COVID-19 online waivers. No player will be permitted to participate in a game unless these forms have been completed online. Paper waivers will not be accepted at the rink except for substitute goalies.

All Players, Administrators, Game Supervisors and Referees must answer these 7 questions before entering any arena:
Team Reps must inform their players and make sure these guidelines and Protocols are being followed. 

    1. Are you sick with a cold/flu or are you displaying any signs of COVID-19 and/or flu-like symptoms?
    2. Do you have any of the following symptoms which are new or worsened if associated with allergies, chronic or pre-existing conditions: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, and/or runny nose?
    3. Have you returned from outside the country (including Canada / USA) in the past 14 days?
    4. In the past 14 days, at work or elsewhere, did you have close contact with someone who has a probable or confirmed case of COVID19?
    5. In the past 14 days, at work or elsewhere, did you have close contact with a person who had acute respiratory illness that started within 14 days of their close contact to someone with a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19?
    6. In the past 14 days, at work or elsewhere, did you have close contact with a person who had acute respiratory illness who returned from travel outside of the country in the 14 days before they became sick?
    7. In the past 14 days have you been directed by Public Health to self-isolate?

If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions, stay at home.

If you have answered “No” to all of these questions, enjoy your game!

Remember, everyone is responsible for preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Building Entry/Exit

Only players and staff will be allowed into the facilities. No spectators or coaches are allowed. Do not enter the facility until 20 minutes before your scheduled game time and vacate your assigned dressing room no later than 20 minutes upon the conclusion of your game. It is recommended that players arrive at the facility dressed to play to their respective comfort level. Face coverings are mandatory at all times inside the facility except during on ice game play and sitting on the bench.


The use of Hockey Sticks and any form of player equipment will be limited to just the individual players. Shared equipment will not be permitted. Players must have their gloves on at all times during play. In the event of a lost glove, the player must retrieve their glove(s) immediately.

Hygiene, Hand Washing, Touching Face, Laundering

Players must practice proper hygiene, wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol), and practice proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
Our Facilities will provide hand washing and/or hand sanitizer stations at entrance & throughout facility. All clothing, uniforms, and gear must be washed/cleaned/disinfected between each use.
will not be permitted. Physical distancing must be adhered to in the dressing rooms and each room will have a maximum capacity based on the size of the room. When a dressing room has reached its safe capacity, “overflow” dressing rooms and/or space will be offered in other areas of the facility.

Rink Entry
Each team will have a designated area to enter and leave the playing surface before and after each game.

Water Bottles
Players will be required to bring their own water bottles to all games to help to reduce transmission risk. Individuals will take their own water bottles home each night for cleaning and sanitation. Recycling bins will be made available for disposable water bottles.

Game Play  

  • All TNHC Weeknight games will be two periods of 16 minutes stop time. Teams will not change ends between periods.
  • All TNHC Super Sunday games will be three periods of 15 minute stop time. Teams will not change ends between periods.
  • Roster. Recommended roster size of each team is 13 players and a goalie per game (Note: Additional players can be added to your roster but only a maximum of 13 players and a goalie will be permitted to play in a game).
  • A three second rule for players in the crease will result in a whistle and a face-off outside the blue line. Any intentional contact with the goalie will result in a minor penalty.
  • When there is a whistle in an end zone, the onus is on the attacking team players to immediately move past the hash marks and line up for the face off.  Failure to do so immediately will result in the face off being taken outside the blue line.  For other face-offs, players are encouraged to separate quickly and move to their face-off position.
  • Players must refrain from post-game handshakes, high fives, fist/elbow bumps, chest bumps, group celebrations, etc.
  • Stick salutes to your opponent will replace the traditional post-game hand shake at the end of the game.
  • Players must practice physical distancing on the bench during game play. It is understood this will not always apply as there will be some brief exchanges while players are entering and leaving the bench area during game play. Bench areas have been extended with temporary rubber flooring and seating. When changing players on a stoppage, the players coming onto the ice must leave the bench before the players they are replacing get there and take a route to the face off avoiding those players.
  • Bench Area Social Distancing Protocol:
  • Benches have been clearly demarcated to show exactly where players must sit during a game. At the start of each game, Referees will remind teams to adhere to social distancing protocols.
  • At any point in the game, the referee will remind the team to maintain social distancing if they are not in compliance.
  • Failure to maintain social distancing will result in a bench minor.
  • Electronic whistle. As a hygienic solution to the traditional whistle, all True North Hockey referees will be outfitted with an electronic whistle.
  • It will be at the referee’s discretion to blow the play down along the boards if they feel there is prolonged engagement that may bring additional players into the fray. The same action could be taken in front of the net when a large gathering happens in loose puck situations. Quick whistles will be encouraged.
  • Face-offs. Referee will place the puck on the dot and then retreat to a safe location. Players will then take their positions and reach out and touch their opponents stick opposite of them to indicate a safe distance. Once everyone is set and still, the referee will blow the whistle to resume play.
  • Spitting is prohibited and will result in a minor penalty. Each team will get one warning and after that, the minor penalty would apply on every instance.
  • Pucks. It will be mandatory for all referees to wear gloves and wash their hands between games.
  • Penalties. To maintain physical distance, the following will apply:  Only one player will be permitted to be in the penalty box at a time unless space allows for 2 players. Any subsequent penalty calls would result in those players serving their time on their player bench sitting adjacent to the penalty box.  In situations where a player who was in the penalty box has returned to the ice and there is still a penalized player on the player’s bench at the next whistle, then that player would move to the penalty box.
  • Face Masks. It is strongly recommended that all players wear a full facial shield as well as a facemask during play. A minimum of a half shield is still required for all players. The league recommends and endorses the use of the Under Armour Sports Mask during game play and while on the bench.

Player Conduct

We remind all players that we are still in a pandemic. Players must follow specific guidelines regarding unnecessary engagement and contact with opposing players.

The league will be taking all the necessary measures to protect referees during circumstances involving player engagements and altercations.

The league’s goal is to minimize any unnecessary physical contact and verbal engagement that involves close contact with opposing players and referees.

Any situation with two or more players in a VERBAL ALTERCATION will be addressed by the referees in the following manner:

  • The referee will blow the whistle with a verbal warning to separate.
  • If players refuse to comply, a minor penalty will be called.
  • If players persist, misconduct penalties may be enforced. If players persist, other penalties up to and including expulsion from the game will be enforced.  When one player is clearly the aggressor and moved into the other player’s “space”, only that player will be penalized if the other player did not retaliate.  When this action is aggressive, that player will be given at least a Game Ejection plus any other penalties that might apply.

All puck battles are to be “stick on puck”. Any situation with two or more players that involves INTENTIONAL CONTACT will be penalized according to existing rules but called tighter than they might have been before COVID-19

  • A minor unsportsmanlike penalty will be assessed immediately. If players persist, misconduct penalties might be called.
  • Any fighting or unnecessary rough play will not be tolerated. These actions will be dealt with in a harsh manner by the Tier Administrator.
  • Referees will not physically intervene in all these types of altercations. Referees will only be giving instructions from a distance.

Have fun and play safe.