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KIJHL formally cancels season after indefinite COVID-19 restrictions

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has officially decided to pack it in for the year.

The 2020/21 regular season and playoffs as well as the Teck Cup Championship will not proceed this year following the decision by the KIJHL’s governing body.

“We are disappointed for our players, team staff, volunteers, sponsors, game officials and fans that the 2020/21 season will not be completed,” said Jeff Dubois, KIJHL Commissioner. “Over the past number of months we have made every effort possible to keep our athletes on the ice and to give all of them, and especially our graduating 20-year olds, the opportunity to compete for a league championship.”

The decision was formally made following Friday’s update from Dr. Bonnie Henry that the B.C. Government would be extending the current restrictions indefinitely.

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“The further extension of the PHO takes us beyond where our regular season would typically end and our playoffs would begin,” added Dubois. “As we approach March and April, we are faced with the reality of arenas removing their ice for the spring and summer, and that leaves us unable to plan for a meaningful conclusion to our season.”

MORE: B.C. extends enhanced COVID-19 restrictions indefinitely (Feb. 5, 2021)

At this time, KIJHL clubs still have the option to train under the current COVID-19 guidelines, with the possibility for exhibition games if restrictions remain as they are. However, meaningful action between clubs is now officially off the table with the cancellation of the season.

“I’d like to thank all of our stakeholders for their patience and understanding during a difficult and challenging season,” said Dubois. “Our athletes and staff members have done a tremendous job of keeping everybody safe, and our billet families deserve special recognition for welcoming players into their homes during this pandemic. We look forward to being back on the ice this fall and getting back to the game we all love.”

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