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A Message From the EJEPL Regarding NY State Travel
Photo credit: Getty Images
Based on the current NY State mandates regarding travel, multiple testing, and quarantining upon return to NY from out of state for more than 24 hours, the Eastern Junior Elite Prospects League (EJEPL) feels it is irresponsible to ask NY teams to travel to PA and points south to play hockey games. Upon return from a more than 24-hour trip, players would have to miss at least three days of school, as well as parents missing work for at least three days.
Due to these circumstances, we will not be inviting any NY teams to attend the Dec. 4-6 Showcase. In addition, we will be waiting for potential ease of restrictions or NY opening for in-state play before reworking NY team’s schedule grids. Once one of the previously mentioned events occurs, all NY teams will receive updated grids to schedule and complete their season.
The EJEPL is also exploring the possibility of extending the season and delaying the playoffs to a later date on the calendar. An announcement regarding this will be coming in the near future.
The Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC) has issued a statement with respect to “spit guards” that some manufacturers are developing, claiming that they reduce the spread of the COVID19 virus. However, these spit guards are not approved by HECC as it does not have sufficient research to determine their effectiveness. If a player decides to wear one of these spit guards, doing so voids the HECC certification of the helmet. The HECC Statement on COVID-19 Spit Guards is provided below, and the direct link to the HECC Statement may be found at http://hecc.org/spitguards.html.
HECC STATEMENT ON COVID-19 SPIT GUARDS
HECC has become aware of several different products that have been developed and are on the market that are presented as "spit guards" or devices that claim to reduce the transmission of COVID and other airborne illness (defined here and hereinafter referred to as "Spit Guards"). These Spit Guards are available on the market in different forms, including stick-on type devices that are applied to the inside or outside of the helmet, as well as other products that have not yet reached the marketplace.
At this time, HECC has not been presented with enough research to determine the effectiveness of any of these products in preventing the spread of airborne illnesses. In the light of the above, HECC offers the guidance below to players, parents, coaches and officials on the use of those Spit Guards.
1. HECC has determined that any modification to the helmet will void the helmet's certification. This would include any Spit Guard that is applied to the helmet, or any Spit Guard that replaces the components of the approved helmet.
2. A helmet modified with any Spit Guard must be verified by HECC with that modification. It is HECC's position that:
The original helmet manufacturer must approve the use of the Spit Guard with its product, AND
The modified product must be verified by the HECC validator to ensure that it still meets the applicable test standard.
Without meeting these two requirements the HECC Certification is voided by the addition of the Spit Guard.
Verified Products (including any tested combination of a helmet and Spit Guard) will be posted on the HECC web site, HECC.org. Click here to view a list of HECC-approved Spit Guards.
PLEASE NOTE: Certification of helmets modified with Spit Guard in no way indicates an endorsement by HECC of any particular Spit Guard or a recommendation as to its effectiveness or benefit to the young athlete.
According to Yahoo News, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, during a recent news conference, asked residents of his state to step up their contact tracing, and targeted the Garden State’s youth ice hockey community in light of a rise in cases of COVID-19.
"We are seeing a failure to cooperate (with contact tracers) in more than 60 percent of cases, and a lot of that is with hockey," said Murphy during his news conference. "We're sick and tired of hearing this, folks. If we don't get better cooperation and compliance, we will take drastic action."
Taking aim specifically at youth hockey, Gov. Murphy added, "Indoor sports, generally is an area of concern, but I want to state very specifically, hockey is in our crosshairs. I am not sure why, but we are hearing of a lot of noncompliance, including by parents. So for anyone who is playing hockey, I got nothing against hockey, but watch yourselves. We have that high on the list, and unless we see better compliance and lower levels of infection, we will take action."
“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the Association. We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”
Low and moderate risk winter sports practices (bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing, and swimming & diving) are still on schedule to begin on Nov. 30th for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time. Regular season games/contests can begin for low and moderate-risk winter sports once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.
“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high-risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA president. “While it is certainly the goal of the Association to provide all students with the ability to participate in interscholastic athletics we must remain steadfast in our decisions to ensure the safety of our athletes is our focus.”
At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA State Championship events remain as scheduled.
This is just a reminder to all EJEPL Member Organizations and USPHL Elite Division clubs that the EJEPL follows ALL state and local guidelines with regards to COVID mitigation mandates. The EJEPL will not sanction any game that is played contrary to these mandates. In addition, the EJEPL expects all of its' member clubs to follow these guidelines as well.
States such as Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have specific mandates regarding youth sports and travel. The EJEPL will follow all of these mandates to the letter and expects all members to do the same.
If any organization is uncertain of the mandates in their state they should contact the league office and access their governor's website for more information.
All future EJEPL showcases will be designed in accordance with all mandates. Loose game schedules are also being re-worked and will be sent out, again, in accordance with these mandates. Until you receive your new grids, all loose games currently scheduled with teams from out of your state and in violation of the state mandates must be postponed or canceled pending the new grids.
The new Travel Guidance provides “Quarantine Criteria for Travel” and addresses travel that involves a “contiguous state,” which are: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. The Travel Guidance provides one set of requirements for travelers to contiguous states who return to New York in less than 24 hours, and a different set of requirements for travelers to contiguous states who return to New York in more than 24 hours. How individuals and teams and their travel plans are impacted by the new Travel Guidance should be carefully considered, and caution should be paid to complying with them.
In general, if teams or participants engage in games, scrimmages and/or travel, they may be subject to applicable State of New York requirements, including quarantine in certain instances, and may be subject to penalties by the State of New York or local governments, including local Departments of Health, if it is determined that the travel violated these guidelines.
Ice Hockey Comments by Governor Cuomo at his Press Conference on Monday, November 9, 2020
At his press conference on Monday, November 9, 2020, Governor Cuomo stated, in response to a question that included changes to the restrictions placed on ice hockey, that at this time no decisions have been made about modifying ice hockey’s classification as a “higher risk” sport under the NY Forward Guidelines. The Governor further noted that any change would have to be evaluated by the New York State Department of Health, taking into account that the COVID-19 infection rate and related metrics are getting worse, not better, in the State of New York. The Governor declined to say whether, or when, any changes might be forthcoming.
Continued Efforts by the New York State Hockey Amateur Hockey Association
The New York State Amateur Hockey Association continues to work with senior policymakers at NY Forward in the Governor’s Office, and has cooperated with USA Hockey and other organizations, to have ice hockey games and scrimmages allowed under the NY Forward Guidelines and the Travel Guidance. This work is difficult with much of the country experiencing a “second wave” of the virus, but we are energetically and diligently continuing our efforts for permission to have games and scrimmages allowed.
Nassau County Hockey will be offering its logo apparel via online provider Squad Locker. All orders can be submitted online, using the Nassau County Hockey logo. Click on the logo below to begin your Squad Locker experience.