The AJHL has announced that the 2020-2021 season will be delayed amidst safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hockey Alberta’s Return To Hockey Plan and Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch does not allow for the season to begin on it’s planned start date of September 18. Players, staff, and fan safety continues to be the league’s top priority, and as such the league remains in conversation with the provincial government to ensure a safe return to play.
While the regular season has been postponed, the league has also announced the implementation of a Development Season. This Development Season will run in all 15 AJHL markets and will allow players to train, practice, and continue to develop as athletes. Players can choose to opt-out of the Development Season if they choose to. Training Camps can open starting August 31st and will run until the regular season officially begins.
“As anxious as we all are to return to competition and embrace our communities, public safety and the safety of our athletes has to be the priority,” stated AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. “The opportunity for an AJHL Development Season will amplify the League’s ability to provide our athletes with a valuable experience through the quality instruction of our coaches and access to team training resources.”
The Development Season will adhere to both national and provincial health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of its players, staff, and coaches. Teams will be required to use the ABTraceTogether App, which will alert users if they have come in contact with someone who has contracted the COVID-19 virus.
The league will announce plans to begin the 2020-2021 season, as well as the scheduling of the 2021 AJHL Playoffs, 2021 Doyle Cup, and 2021 Centennial Cup at a later date.