Return To Hockey 2020-2021

In our 13 years we have never spent more than four consecutive days off the ice. It’s hard to believe that our temporary suspension of operations, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was over five months, beginning in March of 2020. We’re pleased to have returned to the ice as of August of 2020, with the exception of a two week governmental hold in October.

There’s no doubt that the impact of COVID-19 to our organization, and more broadly to our sport as a whole, has been enormous. However, the support of our players and community to forge ahead and return to the ice in a safe and responsible manner has been greater. Together, we can ensure that we’re permitted to remain open by continuing to comply with unprecedented government regulation and taking precautions that promote an overwhelmingly safe environment.

We’ve established this page as a reference guide for our players as we prepare to return to the ice. It will be updated as new information becomes available. We’re calling it Return to Hockey and we can’t wait to welcome you back to the ice.

STATUS BOARD

Out of state players
Not permitted

Face Coverings
Nose and mouth must be covered at all times.
At Phillips Academy: Gaiters not permitted

6′ Distancing
Required at all times

Locker Rooms
Closed

Showers
Closed

Access To Rinks
10 minutes before game time

Curfew
Lifted as of 1/25/2021

Municipalities Not Allowing Hockey
Somerville

Spectators and Guests
Not permitted

Postgame Handshakes
Not permitted

Relaxed Cancelation Policy for NCH Games
Through March 2021, cancel 6 hours of more for full credit to be used within 30 days

MOST IMPACTING GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

  • Face coverings must be worn at ALL TIMES, both on and off the ice, inside and outside of the rink.
    • A face covering must STAY IN PLACE ON ITS OWN and must COVER BOTH NOSE AND MOUTH.
    • A game must be stopped if anyone on the ice is not in compliance.
    • Those repeatedly out of compliance must be asked to leave a game.
  • Only those who reside in Massachusetts may participate.
    • If your address is outside of Massachusetts but you currently reside in Massachusetts then any lease, utility bill, or similar document may be used as proof of residency.
  • You must maintain 6′ of distancing on benches and while dressing.
  • Locker rooms are not available at this time.
    • Dressing in public areas is permitted but players must maintain appropriate covering (think beach appropriate) at all times.

JERSEY REQUIREMENT

  • Standard Games/No Commitment Hockey games require skaters to wear their registered StinkySocks Hockey jersey in order to participate. This does not apply to BYOT games or to goalies in NCH games.

Our Commitment to Your Wellness

StinkySocks Hockey has always been about wellness. Getting on the ice to play the game we love is a way for us to all to enhance our physical and mental wellbeing. One of our founding values is to maintain an environment that protects players from anything that detracts from an enjoyable experience. Our goal in these unique times is to continue that, with new and additional attention given to reducing the risk that COVID-19 may pose to our community.

At The Rink

We’re working with our rink partners as they each roll out their plans for safety and wellbeing at the rink. At the very least this includes enhanced sanitizing throughout the facility, with greater attention to touch points (handles, knobs, fixtures, benches, vending machines) and high use areas (benches, lobby, restrooms). Players should expect one way traffic patterns in the rink to maintain distance between visitors. Players will be required to space out when changing and on the benches to provide appropriate distancing. No spectators will be allowed at this time. Locker rooms and showers are not be available.

On and off the ice, the state requires our game staff to wear face coverings, and direct interaction will be limited. Additionally, our referees will be wearing gloves and using electronic whistles. Per state requirements, all players are required to wear a face covering (the one we offer is in our pro shop) at all times, including on the ice and benches. Face coverings must cover both the nose and mouth.

Contact Tracing

One of the great things about the StinkySocks Hockey community is that our players respect and care for each other. Now more than ever that matters. If you find out that you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or if you become symptomatic within 10 days of playing, we ask that you help protect others by informing us by phone or email. Your identity will never be disclosed.

We work closely with the state’s Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to proactively maintain a plan and processes for responding to reports of positive COVID-19 cases. We maintain a definite list of players who were present at each game to enable effective contact tracing and notification. In the case that we are notified of such a situation, we’ll inform anyone who may have come into contact with that person if they were believed to be in their infectious period, as determined by the local board of health or the CTC. Our notifications will arrive via email. We’ve ask the CTC to assist us with phone notifications to provide more information on testing availability and follow up, as they are in the best position to provide complete information. Calls from them will have a caller ID of MA COVID TEAM and are likely to come from a phone number beginning with 833.

StinkySocks Hockey Specific COVID Infection Data

StinkySocks Hockey games operated during COVID times: 650+
Players reported infectious after having played in a StinkySocks Hockey game: 12
Possible infections in StinkySocks Hockey games: 2

Infection clusters resulting from StinkySocks Hockey games
: 0

As of 3/1/2021, StinkySocks Hockey had operated over 650 games during COVID times. In that timeframe, we had 12 players who we learned would have been infectious at their time of participation. In each of these cases, we’ve worked with the state’s Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to follow players 14 days after exposure to gather data on the results of their COVID test results and, in the absence of a test, whether they had developed any symptoms during their quarantine period. Of those followed, only 2 reported having become symptomatic or have tested positive, with those 2 statistically more likely to have been general community transmissions unrelated to hockey. 650+ games, 12 known exposures, 2 possible transmissions, ZERO clusters. These numbers highlight the result of complying with state requirements, including wearing masks at all times and distancing, and they stand in contrast to what is being seen when those precautions are not taken.

COVID FAQs

What data do you have on the risk at StinkySocks Hockey games?

All of the data that we have been given suggests that the risk for transmission during a game is extremely low. Please see the SSH-specific data above. 

Will I be notified if someone who I played a game with tests positive for COVID-19 or is suspected to be positive?

Yes, we will inform you if there was anyone in a game with you who then becomes symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours. However, the infectious period is considered to be 48 hours prior to becoming symptomatic, or 48 hours of a test being taken that is positive in the case of no symptoms.

If I participate in a hockey game and someone later tests positive or becomes symptomatic, am I considered to be a close contact?

Yes, as of December 2020, DPH now considers everyone on the ice to be a close contact. This is the guidance that you should follow.

The above was a change from the previous guidance that considered close contacts to be anyone who was within 6’ of an infected individual for a cumulative 15 minutes within a 24-hour period. Defining close contacts formerly included bench and ice time, lacing up, congregating in lobbies and parking lots pre- and post- game, carpooling to and from the rink, and any other contact that occurs during a typical practice/scrimmage/game.

Where can I get tested?

If you believe that you may have been at risk of exposure or want to be tested for peace of mind, we recommend contacting your doctor for guidance. You can also access Stop the Spread sites (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread) that are provided at no cost by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There is also a complete map of publicly available testing sites (https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13). Please keep in mind that some of these may come at a cost and may still be using rapid testing as opposed to the recommended PCR testing. If a rapid test comes back positive, a PCR test is required to confirm a diagnosis, so we recommend that you get tested using a PCR test whenever possible.

If I’ve tested positive, when can I return to play?

Those who have tested positive and were not symptomatic can return to play 14 days following the day of their testing. Those who were symptomatic can return to play 14 days following the onset of their symptoms, provided that they have not had any symptoms within the past 7 days.

Keep the Feedback Coming

If you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable or have suggestions of how we can increase the comfort and safety of everyone, please let us know. Many of the best ideas on how we can return to the ice the right way will come from our players.

State Mandated Requirements and Guidelines for Reopening

As of November 6, 2020, any person who does not reside in Massachusetts will not be allowed to travel to a Massachusetts sports facility.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts released an amended version of the Safety Standards for Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities that can be viewed on Mass.gov. Ice hockey games may be played as long as organizers and facilities can develop and implement sport-specific “minimum mandatory standards for modification of play.” Below is a summary of the state’s requirements, as they relates to risk category assigned to the sport of ice hockey.

What to Expect

Below are the government requirements that are in place until further notice, as well as recommendations. These must be adhered to by all players at all times in order for us to continue to be allowed to offer games.

  • Only attend and stay if you are feeling well.
    • By attending, you certify that you have not shown and signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • If you’re not feeling well, don't go to the rink. Relaxed cancellation policies are in place.
    • If you become unwell, leave the game immediately.
  • You must be identifiable in order to participate.
    • For Standard Games and No Commitment Hockey, you must wear a jersey registered to you to participate.
    • For skills clinics, you must have registered in advance and be on the attendance sheet.
    • For BYOT Games, you must have been rostered for the game by your captain in advance and be wearing the jersey number they have listed you under.
  • Notify StinkySocks Hockey if you become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of your game. Your notification is essential for us to put our contact tracing process in place. You will not be personally identified to others.

Requirements At ALL TIMES

  • Face coverings must be worn and must always cover both the nose and mouth.
    • This is required both inside and outside of the rink, and INCLUDES while playing on the ice.
    • Face coverings must remain in place on their own, as the state does not make an allowance for poorly fitting face coverings falling off occasionally.
    • If any player's face covering is not covering both the nose and mouth at all times then play cannot be allowed to continue.
  • 6' of distance must be kept from others, especially while dressing/undressing and while on benches.

Requirements While Playing

  • Keep distance from others beyond what is expected during play.
  • Refrain from talking on the ice and benches unless absolutely necessary. Arguing of calls will not be tolerated.
  • Spitting is not permitted on the ice or anywhere else.
  • Do not share water bottles. If you bring a water bottle, please clearly mark it with your name.
  • Postgame handshakes are not permitted.

Requirements While At the Rink

  • Spectators and guests are not permitted. Only players and staff are permitted to enter facilities.
  • Follow all posted signs at the rink, and direction from rink staff.
  • Leave the rink soon after the game ends.
  • Congregating at the rink or parking lot is not permitted.
  • Access to locker rooms and shower facilities are not permitted.
    • Changing in public areas is allowed, provided that individuals remain clothed in a "beach appropriate" manner.

Recommendations

  • Arrive only 15 minutes before your game. Many rinks do not allow entrance until 10 minutes before your game for skaters.
  • Sanitize your hands when entering and exiting the rink.
  • Anyone who is in a high risk category (as defined by CDC) should NOT come to the rink.
  • We strongly recommend being dressed and ready to go when arriving at the rink.

Modification of Play to Meet State Minimum Requirements

  • Goalie proximity rule - Skaters at no point can be stationary within 6' of a goalie. Players must also immediately move away from the net when a goalie has the puck tied up.
  • Additional physical contact rules - Players cannot make deliberate physical contact with another player in any way (e.g. leaning against another player along the boards). Players must minimize incidental contact whenever possible.
  • Congregation rule - The play will be called dead in the case that a puck is in play but tied up within a congregation of players for more than 5 seconds. This usually occurs along the boards.
  • Face covering rule - Play must be stopped if any player is not wearing a face covering that covers both their nose and mouth.

Additional Rules

  • Players must immediately distance themselves from others following a whistle.
  • Minimize talking unless absolutely necessary. Arguing of calls is not permitted.

Temporary Governmental Requirements For All Games and Skills

  • Until further notice, players must observe the temporary “Guidelines for Participation”.

Permanent Jersey Requirement

  • Our unique jersey numbering enables contactless attendance and gives us a high certainty of positively identifying players. As of August 2020, skaters are required to wear a StinkySocks Hockey jersey in order to participate in Standard Games/No Commitment Hockey. Goalies are exempt from the jersey requirement and it does not apply to BYOT games.

Season Passes

There will be no new season passes through the end of March, only individual games through No Commitment Hockey. NCH games are available for purchase now, with additional ones being released on an ongoing basis.

Temporary Policy Change: Through March we’ve relaxed our game change/cancellation policy to allow players to cancel up until 6 hours before game time for a promotional gift card in the full amount, valid for 30 days.

In the event of a closure, the following plan will apply:

    • Pause of 6 weeks or less – Season would resume again with all missed games being moved to the end of the season, thus moving the season end date back up to 6 weeks.
    • Pause of more than 6 weeks – Season would resume again with 6 weeks added to the end of the expected season end date. Any missed games that exceed 6 weeks will be cut from the schedule and a prorated refund issued.

Temporary Governmental Requirements For All Games

  • Until further notice, players must observe the temporary “Guidelines for Participation”.

Contactless Attendance

Attendance is now contactless, with the team captain certifying their team’s roster on the day of the game. Based on that roster, we are required to email each player the latest state and facility guidelines before their game. In order to allow time to do so, the league office must receive roster certifications from captains no later than 5PM on the day of the game.

Temporary Game Roster Limit

Roster sizes for any one game are temporarily limited to 13 skaters and one goalie to meet the state’s guidelines for distancing on benches. Games at Phillips Academy are further reduced to 9 skaters and 1 goalie until further notice.

Plan In The Event of a Mid-season Closure

In the event of a med-season closure, the following plan will apply:

  • Pause of 6 weeks or less – Season would resume again with all missed games being moved to the end of the season, thus moving the season end date back up to 6 weeks.
  • Pause of more than 6 weeks – Season would resume again with 6 weeks added to the end of the expected season end date. Any missed games that exceed 6 weeks will be cut from the schedule and a prorated refund issued.

Relaxed Cancellation Policy for No Commitment Hockey

  • Through March 2021, we’ve relaxed our cancellation policy to allow games to be canceled up to 6 hours prior game time in exchange for a credit in the amount of the amount paid for the game. Credits are issued as a promotional gift code that are valid for 30 days.

Relaxed Cancellation Policies for Season Passes

  • Through March 2021, a season pass player will receive a prorated game credit in the form of a gift certificate when canceling at least 6 hours before game time. Credits are issued as a promotional gift code that are valid for 30 days. This is in addition to the standard membership benefits available to Season Pass holders.

Permanent Skater Jersey Policy Change for Standard Games/NCH

StinkySocks Hockey jerseys are required for all skaters to participate in any Standard Game. Our unique jersey numbering enables contactless attendance. This does not apply to goalies or to BYOT Leagues.

Contactless Order Pickup

The ability to pick up your order at our Boston office has been reinstated and is now contactless. In order to pick up your order, please make an appointment online. Orders that are shipped can be received by most Boston area customers within two business days.

Guidelines for Participation

Below are the government requirements that are in place until further notice, as well as recommendations. These must be adhered to by all players at all times in order for us to continue to be allowed to offer games.

  • Only attend and stay if you are feeling well.
    • By attending, you certify that you have not shown and signs or symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
    • If you’re not feeling well, don't go to the rink. Relaxed cancellation policies are in place.
    • If you become unwell, leave the game immediately.
  • You must be identifiable in order to participate.
    • For Standard Games and No Commitment Hockey, you must wear a jersey registered to you to participate.
    • For skills clinics, you must have registered in advance and be on the attendance sheet.
    • For BYOT Games, you must have been rostered for the game by your captain in advance and be wearing the jersey number they have listed you under.
  • Notify StinkySocks Hockey if you become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19 within 72 hours of your game. Your notification is essential for us to put our contact tracing process in place. You will not be personally identified to others.

Requirements At ALL TIMES

  • Face coverings must be worn and must always cover both the nose and mouth.
    • This is required both inside and outside of the rink, and INCLUDES while playing on the ice.
    • Face coverings must remain in place on their own, as the state does not make an allowance for poorly fitting face coverings falling off occasionally.
    • If any player's face covering is not covering both the nose and mouth at all times then play cannot be allowed to continue.
  • 6' of distance must be kept from others, especially while dressing/undressing and while on benches.

Requirements While Playing

  • Keep distance from others beyond what is expected during play.
  • Refrain from talking on the ice and benches unless absolutely necessary. Arguing of calls will not be tolerated.
  • Spitting is not permitted on the ice or anywhere else.
  • Do not share water bottles. If you bring a water bottle, please clearly mark it with your name.
  • Postgame handshakes are not permitted.

Requirements While At the Rink

  • Spectators and guests are not permitted. Only players and staff are permitted to enter facilities.
  • Follow all posted signs at the rink, and direction from rink staff.
  • Leave the rink soon after the game ends.
  • Congregating at the rink or parking lot is not permitted.
  • Access to locker rooms and shower facilities are not permitted.
    • Changing in public areas is allowed, provided that individuals remain clothed in a "beach appropriate" manner.

Recommendations

  • Arrive only 15 minutes before your game. Many rinks do not allow entrance until 10 minutes before your game for skaters.
  • Sanitize your hands when entering and exiting the rink.
  • Anyone who is in a high risk category (as defined by CDC) should NOT come to the rink.
  • We strongly recommend being dressed and ready to go when arriving at the rink.
Rule Changes

Modification of Play to Meet State Minimum Requirements

  • Goalie proximity rule - Skaters at no point can be stationary within 6' of a goalie. Players must also immediately move away from the net when a goalie has the puck tied up.
  • Additional physical contact rules - Players cannot make deliberate physical contact with another player in any way (e.g. leaning against another player along the boards). Players must minimize incidental contact whenever possible.
  • Congregation rule - The play will be called dead in the case that a puck is in play but tied up within a congregation of players for more than 5 seconds. This usually occurs along the boards.
  • Face covering rule - Play must be stopped if any player is not wearing a face covering that covers both their nose and mouth.

Additional Rules

  • Players must immediately distance themselves from others following a whistle.
  • Minimize talking unless absolutely necessary. Arguing of calls is not permitted.
Standard Games & NCH

Temporary Governmental Requirements For All Games and Skills

  • Until further notice, players must observe the temporary “Guidelines for Participation”.

Permanent Jersey Requirement

  • Our unique jersey numbering enables contactless attendance and gives us a high certainty of positively identifying players. As of August 2020, skaters are required to wear a StinkySocks Hockey jersey in order to participate in Standard Games/No Commitment Hockey. Goalies are exempt from the jersey requirement and it does not apply to BYOT games.

Season Passes

There will be no new season passes through the end of March, only individual games through No Commitment Hockey. NCH games are available for purchase now, with additional ones being released on an ongoing basis.

Temporary Policy Change: Through March we’ve relaxed our game change/cancellation policy to allow players to cancel up until 6 hours before game time for a promotional gift card in the full amount, valid for 30 days.

In the event of a closure, the following plan will apply:

    • Pause of 6 weeks or less – Season would resume again with all missed games being moved to the end of the season, thus moving the season end date back up to 6 weeks.
    • Pause of more than 6 weeks – Season would resume again with 6 weeks added to the end of the expected season end date. Any missed games that exceed 6 weeks will be cut from the schedule and a prorated refund issued.
BYOT Leagues

Temporary Governmental Requirements For All Games

  • Until further notice, players must observe the temporary “Guidelines for Participation”.

Contactless Attendance

Attendance is now contactless, with the team captain certifying their team’s roster on the day of the game. Based on that roster, we are required to email each player the latest state and facility guidelines before their game. In order to allow time to do so, the league office must receive roster certifications from captains no later than 5PM on the day of the game.

Temporary Game Roster Limit

Roster sizes for any one game are temporarily limited to 13 skaters and one goalie to meet the state’s guidelines for distancing on benches. Games at Phillips Academy are further reduced to 9 skaters and 1 goalie until further notice.

Plan In The Event of a Mid-season Closure

In the event of a med-season closure, the following plan will apply:

  • Pause of 6 weeks or less – Season would resume again with all missed games being moved to the end of the season, thus moving the season end date back up to 6 weeks.
  • Pause of more than 6 weeks – Season would resume again with 6 weeks added to the end of the expected season end date. Any missed games that exceed 6 weeks will be cut from the schedule and a prorated refund issued.
Policy Changes

Relaxed Cancellation Policy for No Commitment Hockey

  • Through March 2021, we’ve relaxed our cancellation policy to allow games to be canceled up to 6 hours prior game time in exchange for a credit in the amount of the amount paid for the game. Credits are issued as a promotional gift code that are valid for 30 days.

Relaxed Cancellation Policies for Season Passes

  • Through March 2021, a season pass player will receive a prorated game credit in the form of a gift certificate when canceling at least 6 hours before game time. Credits are issued as a promotional gift code that are valid for 30 days. This is in addition to the standard membership benefits available to Season Pass holders.

Permanent Skater Jersey Policy Change for Standard Games/NCH

StinkySocks Hockey jerseys are required for all skaters to participate in any Standard Game. Our unique jersey numbering enables contactless attendance. This does not apply to goalies or to BYOT Leagues.

Contactless Order Pickup

The ability to pick up your order at our Boston office has been reinstated and is now contactless. In order to pick up your order, please make an appointment online. Orders that are shipped can be received by most Boston area customers within two business days.

FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT

Face coverings are required to be worn AT ALL TIMES by players and staff, on and off the ice, both inside and outside of the rink. They must NOT FALL OFF and must cover the NOSE AND MOUTH at all times. Compliance is absolute in order to be permitted to play during COVID times.

Your face covering must:

  • Be made of a solid material WITHOUT any valves.
  • Be flush against your face. Materials that block holes in a hockey cage are not acceptable.
  • Cover your NOSE AND MOUTH at ALL TIMES.
  • Stay in place on its own. There is no allowance by the state for masks to occasionally slip off… play must be stopped if this occurs.
  • At Phillips Academy ONLY – gaiters are not permitted on their campus.

Our data has been clear that the likelihood of transmission in and around hockey is extremely low provided all mandated guidance is adhered to. There is no requirement more important to the health and safety of our staff and players at this time than that of face coverings.

Performance 3-ply Face Mask

StinkySocks Hockey Gaiter in navy

StinkySocks Hockey Gaiter in red/white/navy

Breakaway

Jerseys

All skaters must own and wear a StinkySocks Hockey jersey registered to them in order to be eligible to participate in Standard Games through No Commitment Hockey or a Season Pass.

StinkySocks Hockey jerseys are designed by us with the intent for them to be the only jerseys that you'll ever need in your hockey bag. With a unique identification number on each, they are a primary source of player identification and enable contactless attendance at our games.

We offer a reversible jersey that has navy on one side and white on the other, or a set of lace-up jerseys. The reversible is the most inexpensive option and also the most convenient since you'll always have both jerseys at hand. Those who prefer a traditional jersey may be interested in a pair of lace-up jerseys, one being navy and the other white. Both options are made with the thinnest and most breathable performance materials, while also ensuring that they are durable enough for hockey. Those considering our reversible jerseys should be aware that although lightweight materials are used, they will be heavier overall in comparison our lace-up jerseys, due to the need for a 2-ply fabric. Despite that, they still are about the same weight overall as any jersey that you may have from your favorite college or pro team. Nonetheless, those who heat up easy or want a super light and breathable option will find that the lace-up jerseys are their best option. Be sure to complete your uniform with a set of SSH Hockey Socks.