2020-21 Ice Season Update


Oct. 18th 2020 UPDATE: New guidance has been issued by the state effective Friday Oct. 16th through Oct. 30th, available for review at https://governor.vermont.gov/sites/scott/files/documents/ADDENDUM%207%20TO%20AMENDED%20AND%20RESTATED%20EXECUTIVE%20ORDER%2001-20.pdf. This guidance prohibits Vermont ice facilities from scheduling any new activities during that time. Friends of Middlebury Hockey and Memorial Sports Center are monitoring the ongoing changes and will be working with our local groups to plan our 2020-21 activities in a way that follows the state guidance while also demonstrating an abundance of caution for the health of our participants and community. More details to be posted as they come available.

Memorial Sports Center Winter 2020-21 Update. Please read through for information about our upcoming season.

  • Opening day set for Sunday, November 1st
  • Season planned to run through March 2021
  • Plans pending State of Vermont updated guidelines, expected on October 15th 2020

Friends of Middlebury Hockey (FOMH) will open the 2020 ice season at Memorial Sports Center this year on Sunday, November 1st. We selected this date for two primary reasons. First, opening in November should reduce the significantly higher energy costs we typically face when starting the ice season in late September/early October. And second, the State of Vermont plans to issue updated COVID-19 guidance for indoor sporting facilities on October 15th and we do not want to begin costly ice-making activities before receiving that guidance.

We recognize that a later season start date would impact the hockey season length, particularly for our adult hockey groups, so we plan to extend the end of the ice season closer to the end of March 2021. This later end date will provide our groups with nearly a full ice season of activity.

These dates and our scheduling slots will be subject to review and potential adjustment pending the next State of Vermont pandemic guideline announcement on October 15th.

FOMH will provide the following items to meet state pandemic guidelines:

–          Sanitizing supplies, consumables, and reusables refreshed frequently

–          Physical distancing barriers to separate entry/exit foot traffic

–          Distanced dressing/skate lacing stations to support up to 24 skaters

–          Increased HVAC air handling/filtration operations to provide increased air turnover

Coordinators for major rental groups (youth hockey, high school hockey, school groups, and adult hockey) will be responsible for executing and policing state pandemic guidelines during their rental times throughout the season. This includes maintaining contact tracing paperwork and providing rules and direction for all skaters, parents, coaches, and spectators entering the facility. Contracts this year will include this requirement language.

Execution of pandemic guidelines for public sessions (public skating, stick ‘n puck) will be administered by facility attendants as part of normal staffing.

Completion of schedules and creation and distribution of contracts, given the above dates and current pandemic guidelines, will occur over the next few weeks.

The Memorial Sports Center continues to be a vital community resource due to the dedication and commitment of countless users, volunteers and donors. The strength of these efforts will help carry us through these uncertain pandemic conditions.

Stay safe everyone. We’re looking forward to a great skating season. See you on the ice soon.

Michael McAuliffe