End of Season Update, News (Northumberland Minor Hockey)

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End of Season Update
Submitted By Michelle Brown on Thursday, March 18, 2021
To say that this season has been challenging would be a gross understatement! However, to not recognize the serious fun that the Nighthawks are having and the hard work, Covid form filling, rule following, mask wearing, hoop jumping that your families and all of our volunteers have done to make this happen would be a true disservice.  

As we are approaching the end of the season I’d like to take a moment to recap with you all.

Back in October when our season began we were unclear as to what programming we would be able to offer. Hockey operations during a Pandemic was nothing that any of us had experience with. Regardless, you registered your children and were just as over joyed with the prospect of your players hitting the ice as we were. We are thankful to you!

The NMHA has always been proud to continue to offer some of the lowest registration rates in our area.  We believe that hockey, especially this season should be an affordable activity for the youth in our community. This year we eliminated our Early Bird special, but in turn reduced our standard registration fees by $50-$100 and included a jersey for every player to keep!  In addition to our Association not having the luxury of Tournament revenue, and limited sponsorship, we covered all costs for; Development, Referees, Timekeepers, and a significant increase to ice requirements (due to our team rosters being capped at 10).  The value for a hockey season has never been greater!

Initially, our goal was to offer 12 weeks of a modified “development” season.  We started the ball rolling with 4 Development sessions for all teams with War Horse Hockey which were supplemented with team practices. Fortunately, we were able to transition into 4 on 4 game play and meet the desires of everyone. Outside of a few Covid related shutdowns - we have been soaring forward and the players are thrilled to be enjoying ALL GAMES ALL OF THE TIME!  Our youngest Nighthawks continue to develop with their dedicated coaches and will be more than ready to get their first "official" games under their belts next season.

As you can imagine, scheduling has been one of our biggest challenges this season.  Our aim was to provide all kids with 2 ice times per week.  Factoring in the two disruptions to programming and limited ice availability, this hasn’t been an exact science.  Our Ice Scheduler and VP's have combed over everything to ensure that ice time has been as fair as possible across the board.  We have addressed any major discrepancies to bring balance to the divisions. Although its not perfect from top to bottom, the plus minus is within reason and we are thankful for your continued understanding, support and patience.

There are only a couple of weeks remaining and I hope that they are happy and fun ones for you all. As always, I am so thankful to you all for your dedication, your outstanding volunteerism and especially to your children for taking this all in stride.  Their excitement to hit the ice is still palpable and their love of hockey has not been jeopardized at all.

Until we return to "normal" hockey, embrace this fun experience!

Michelle Brown

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