Thunder Bay, ON
The Superior International Junior Hockey League recently announced a delay the start of the 2020-21 regular season until November 14th. Today, the league is releasing more expanded details on their potential return to play.
The goal of the SIJHL is to complete an uninterrupted 2020-21 season schedule with participation of all seven member franchises located in Canada and the United States, and have our 2021 Bill Salonen Cup league champion represent the SIJHL at the Dudley-Hewitt Cup to challenge for a spot in the Centennial Cup Canadian Junior A Championship tournament.
Achievement of this will depend largely on any public health restrictions in place on account of the pandemic. Specifically, barriers currently in place indefinitely that necessitated the decision to delay the start of training camps to at least September 14th and the start of the SIJHL to November 14th are:
- In Ontario, there is a restriction for indoor public gatherings that limits attendees to 50 people.
- In Ontario there is a restriction for sports leagues that limits participants to 50 athletes.
- In Ontario there is a restriction that sports competitions do not contain “intentional or deliberate contact.”
Furthermore, the US / Canadian border is closed to non-essential travel until August 21st.
The Ontario restrictions and the border closure are under constant review and revision by governmental and health authorities. Based on recent developments and indications, the SIJHL is optimistic that some or all restrictions will be loosened in time to permit our November 14th tentative start date.
Presently, the SIJHL has no plans to request any special treatment or exemptions to permit our league to operate outside of the recommended guidelines and restrictions put in place by our respective governments and health authorities. The league is mindful of the ongoing efforts to manage the pandemic and is committed to having our operations be compliant with all mandated public health requirements at all times.
We will continue to publish updates as the situation evolves and more information becomes known. In the meantime, please follow SIJHL team and league websites and social media for latest updates including training camp information.