Volunteers of the Lower Mainland Ringette League are working hard to get the 2020-21 season set up. As you know, team formation and game play has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Associations and Leagues are currently working through our provincial and club Return-to-Ringette plans. Here are some things you can expect this season:
There will be no banners or medals awarded
LMRL has decided not to award league champions at any age division this season because there are a number of challenges that prevent game play as usual. Availability of officials, smaller rosters, illness (or quarantines), and unique facility rules may result in game adaptations such as 4v4 play, borrowing of players within cohorts, or friendly coach-guided scrimmages.
Athletes, coaches and volunteers will be staying home if they exhibit any symptoms of COVID-19, which is easier to encourage when games do not count towards a championship.
All of these reasons mean that awarding banners and medals does not make sense this season. The 2020-21 season will be one remembered because we all worked collegially together to get athletes on the ice in difficult circumstances.
League games are being scheduled for November
Teams are currently being finalized, cohorts will be formed, and our Ice Scheduler and executive are working to get games going by mid-November. Officials will be centrally scheduled by the LMRL Referee-In-Chief.
Teams will be pooled into cohorts of up to four teams. Best efforts will be made to pool like calibre teams and to keep travel between associations as local as possible.
Zone ringette begins in all divisions
Ringette BC has implemented their Ringette Strategic Plan, which sees competitive ringette moved into a zone format; the removal of the league AA teams; the initiation of an “Excellence Program”; and the removal of tiering at all divisions.
This means that this season is extra challenging as we all work together to adapt to these changes. Please note that LMRL Associations work together to administer these teams as per Ringette BC guidelines. The zones are:
- Zone 1 – Port Coquitlam Ringette, Coquitlam-Moody Ringette
- Zone 2 – Delta Ringette, Vancouver Ringette, Richmond Ringette
- Zone 3 – Burnaby New West Ringette, North West Vancouver Ringette
- Zone 4 – Fraser Valley Ringette, Surrey White Rock Ringette, Chilliwack Ringette
Game play may be different at different facilities
When you go to play a game at your neighbouring association, please know that COVID-19 protocols could be different than they are at your home associations. Parents may be asked to wear a non-medical face mask and may not be able to watch games, for example. We will update our website to include these protocols.
Certified coaches and officials needed
There is a shortage of officials and certified coaches this season. Please consider taking a course, even if you are a ‘backup’. Due to cohort restrictions and the requirement to self-isolate when even a little sick, more volunteers than ever are needed. Female coaches are especially sought after. Visit coachingringette.ca to find courses and to register.
Thank you for your patience as we pull all of these moving parts together. Athlete, coach and volunteer safety is our number one priority.
—Shannon Bettles, President, Lower Mainland Ringette League