Although games proceeded on Friday night, the KIJHL has suspended their regular season as a result of further guidance from viaSport.
On Thursday, Dr. Bonnie Henry put in province-wide restrictions that included the limiting of non-essential travel, limits to social gatherings, and mandatory masks in public areas. Consulting with BC Hockey on Friday, the KIJHL was understood the restrictions were to limit travel across health authorities, and with the KIJHL fully existing within Interior Health, the games went ahead.
The league has since changed its stance.
“In light of the new parameters outlined on Friday evening by viaSport, which include restrictions concerning travel between different communities, the KIJHL will pause all regular season game play beginning Saturday, November 21st,” said the KIJHL in a statement. “Under the current Provincial Health Order, competition between teams cannot resume until Monday, December 8th at the earliest. Other Phase 3 activities, including team practices, may proceed so long as they adhere to all aspects of the KIJHL’s Return to Play policies.”
The KIJHL said they have observed all guidance and protocols outlined by British Columbia, the Provincial Health Officer, viaSport, Hockey Canada and BC Hockey, along with their team’s own home facilities.
“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, the KIJHL has made the health and safety of our athletes, staff, volunteers, billet families and fans our top priority.”
“We recognize that circumstances can change quickly, and we will update our plans as soon as new information becomes available. The KIJHL appreciates the patience and support of our fans, volunteers, billet families and sponsors as we navigate this process.”
On Friday night, the Nelson Leafs had a dominant outing against the Grand Forks Border Bruins wining 10-1 while the Castlegar Rebels doubled up on the Osoyoos Coyotes 6-3.