In March 2020, hockey rinks around the country abruptly closed their doors as the nation went into quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After the spring, some organizations and rinks tried to reopen throughout the summer and fall months, but the consistent threat of the virus caused changes in protocols and false starts to get back on the ice.
As the summer of 2021 approaches, however, professional teams as well as some college and high school programs were able to play competitive games. With more time, understanding and practice with protocols in place, it looks like hockey camps are open for business again, and it could not have come at a better time.
“When you refer to this past year, all the intermittent starts and stops, in again, out again, the staccato nature the way this past season has unfolded, what I’m hearing from parents and competitors, what I’m seeing is the need for the kids to get out and get back to activities,” said Garry Hebert, founder of the World Academy of Hockey. “Sports is the toy department of life. We get out there, we exercise our muscles, but mentally, this past year has been most incapacitating.”
Over the past year, not only were many hockey events canceled, but also many schools went to a virtual model, gradually attempting to bring more and more students back in person in the classroom. Some kids did not get to play with their hockey teams, nor did they get to go to school and socialize with peers.