New provincial health orders have forced the BCHL to again delay the start of the 2020-2021 season

BCHL delays season start

The BC Hockey League had hoped it could begin its abbreviated 2020-2021 season this past weekend.

Provincial health orders restricting participation in sports by anyone over 18, enacted amid the second wave of COVID-19, has forced the league to put its plans on hold.

The original order, which expired Monday, has been extended through Jan. 8, 2021.

With nearly half of the league comprised 19 and 20 year old players, the league has announced it will delay the start of the season to the new year.

“For the past nine months, the board of governors, the league office and the return-to-play task force have done everything possible to do right by our players and the public,” said board chair, Graham Fraser.

“Under our PHO-approved COVID-19 safety plan, we successfully trained and played exhibition games from September to November, completing 90 games without a transmission, but the current restrictions will not allow us to start our regular season in December.”

Fraser says the league remains committed to exploring every possible avenue which will allow it to start a season safely, as soon as possible.

He says the league is even exploring the possibility of a BCHL-hub.

Commissioner Chris Hebb says the league is disappointed 19 and 20 year old players are not allowed to participate in on-ice activities, considering teams and players have adhered to restrictions against travelling outside their home arena.

"We are working diligently with BC Hockey, viaSPORT BC and the PHO to get our older players on the ice, but at the moment we must follow the PHO’s order as written," said Hebb.

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