CHICAGO, IL – The United States Hockey League (USHL), the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States, announced Friday its plan to start the 2020-21 season this fall with the intention to play a full schedule. The Board of Directors met Thursday in the first of a series of weekly scheduled Zoom calls to review Return to Play protocols for the coming season based on the latest recommended COVID-19 health precautions.
“Our Board of Directors meetings have been another great example of how in a time of uncertainty across sports, our Clubs are coming together to provide the best opportunity for our players to continue their development in the safest manner possible,” said USHL President and Commissioner Tom Garrity. “Each of our Member Clubs was represented as we discussed the best way to return to play for the 2020-21 season while ensuring the safety of everyone involved in returning to the ice.”
The Board of Directors meetings use information provided by separate USHL committees including the COVID-19 Taskforce, Scheduling Committee and Competition Committee, which all have separate, specialized focuses to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information for the discussion of the Return to Play protocol.
Return to Play
The USHL has created a working Return to Play document, updated daily, which features guidance on safety protocols at local, state and national levels. USHL front office members are utilizing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and collaborating with representatives from the NHL and USA Hockey. Each Member Club is responsible for working directly with local health officials to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest information in their market. The main emphasis of the document is providing guidelines and recommendations for the safety of players, coaches, staff, billets and fans, as well as ensuring Clubs are taking all available precautions against the spread of COVID-19.