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. We will provide another update prior to the start of our 2020/21 Fall/Winter League that will start on Tuesday, October 13th, 2020.

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

Please review our guidelines & procedures below for the upcoming Preseason League starting on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020.

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.

Team Reps are to inform their players on making sure these guidelines are being followed. 

Players cannot attend any games if they or anyone in their household are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. If a player who is sick arrives at the rink, their teammates should encourage him/her to go home.  If that player comes onto the ice showing obvious signs of sickness, the refs are authorized to send him/her home as a precaution for everyone in the building.

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

Building Entry/Exit

At this time, only players and staff will be allowed into the facilities. There will be a separate entrance and exit for each ice surface. 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 the time frame of their scheduled game.


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.

Dressing Rooms and Bench Areas

Enhanced and frequent cleaning and disinfection of Team Dressing rooms and bench areas will be completed after every game. Use of dressing room showers and washrooms 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 games for the 2020 Preseason League will be two periods of 16 minutes 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 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 will be extended with temporary rubber flooring and seating. It is recommended that when changing players on a stoppage, the players coming onto the ice should leave the bench before the players they are replacing get there and take a route to the face off avoiding those players.
  • 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 create physical distance, the following will apply.  At the Rinx and the CAA rinks (not including Spectator) only one player will be permitted to be in the penalty box at a time. Any subsequent penalty calls would result in those players serving their time on their player bench sitting adjacent to the penalty box.  In the other rinks where the penalty box is on the opposite side from the player’s benches, TWO players would be allowed in each penalty box (as far apart as possible) as those penalty boxes are larger.  Any subsequent penalized players would sit on their player’s bench at the end closest to the red line.  In both cases the timekeeper will communicate with these players using a whiteboard.  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. The league recommends and endorses the use of the Bauer Concept Three with Splash Guard for maximum protection.

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 game 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.
  • Players are reminded to respect physical distancing between them and referee, especially after a whistle. Any player that intentionally does not follow these guidelines will be issued a Game Ejection plus any other penalties that might apply at the referee’s discretion.

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

  • A minor unsportsmanlike penalty will be assessed immediately. If players persist, misconduct penalties may be enforced.
  • Any fighting or unnecessary rough play will not be tolerated. These actions will be dealt with in a harsh manner by the league committee.
  • 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.