Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Saskatchewan does not allow out-of-province travel for competitions as a way to curb the virus. A portion of Re-Open Saskatchewan, the government’s latest COVID-19 document, states, “Tournaments and interprovincial competition are not permitted.”
However, some youth hockey teams from Saskatchewan decided to breach this rule by attending a tournament in Manitoba earlier this month despite SHA general manager Kelly McClintock urging them not to go. The tournament featured teams from around Manitoba and also a few from outside provincial borders. The head of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association said five teams from two other organizations went to Winnipeg, though the event didn’t fall under its purview,
McClintock said he was unable to make contact with the other organization — the Parkland Junior Maulers based out of Yorkton, which took one of its teams. The Maulers released a statement Wednesday saying it received information from health officials the rules only applied to tournaments being held within Saskatchewan.
In a statement, the Maulers said the coaching staff and management, in coordination with the parent group, decided to attend the tournament after reviewing communications from the Province of Saskatchewan, speaking to the Province of Manitoba about their guidelines and reviewing preventative measures put in place by the North American Hockey Classic and the arenas to keep the players and families safe. On the other hand, the Regina Junior Pats pulled out of the Manitoba tournament.after getting information from Saskatchewan health officials the night before the start of the tournament.
Pallister said skirting the rules of Saskatchewan, disobeying the conduct rules in their province was not acceptable, and so they’re very disappointed in the choices that were made there and wouldn’t want to see a repeat of that type of thing.
While Manitoba places no restrictions on travellers from Saskatchewan, a provincial spokesperson said.
In response to this issue, the North American Hockey Classic said arenas in Manitoba had been open for some time and that it fully supported the health and safety protocols implemented by the Manitoba government. It further said that the facilities where the tournament was hosted at were very thorough in providing the details of their approved protocols.