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06012020Mon
Last updateSun, 31 May 2020 10pm

Minor Hockey season in limbo

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    With many COVID-19 pandemic restrictions still in place and short of having a crystal ball, the coming minor hockey season is still sitting in limbo.
     Lyle Caweizel, president of Drumheller Minor Hockey, says while they have not received any indications from Hockey Alberta, they are nonetheless putting in the groundwork for a season, should it be called.
    While gatherings of no more than 50 with social distancing have been allowed, it is not known what will be in place come the fall, and how it will look on the ice or in the stands.
    Hockey Canada has sent an open letter to Canadians. It notes “Hockey Canada and its members are diligently working on a multifaceted return-to-hockey plan that will happen when, and only when, provincial and territorial governments and health authorities deem it safe to do so.”
    This plan includes everything from health and safety regulations to communications, seasonal structure, customer engagement, and national teams.
    As the return-to-hockey plan progresses, it will do so at different speeds, and at different times, across the country, based on direction from health authorities. And the game will look different, that much we do know. We ask for patience as we continue to work towards ensuring hockey plays its role in bringing the sports community back.”
    The  Drumheller Minor Hockey Association has decided to hold its AGM on June 4 at 7 p.m. It will be hosted via a Zoom meeting.
    There are some two-year board positions that need to be filled including, vice president, special events, registrar, and CAHL rep. Descriptions of the positions are on the Drumheller Minor Hockey website. Nominations close on June 2 at 6 p.m.
    One change if and when hockey gets going this season is in Alberta the U15 level in tiers 4-6 there will be a no body checking. According to a memo, this is to highlight safety, and also give more options for participants to continue to play hockey. It has noted associations that have implemented non-checking options have generally seen an increase in participation numbers.

    Caweizel said larger centres have had the option of no checking, this change helps align the leagues in Alberta.
    Body checking will still be allowed at the tiers 1-3 levels as well as in the AA and AAA programs.
    Another change might be a little tougher to roll off the tongue. Gone are the traditional names for divisions at the minor hockey levels. For example, Initiation will now be U7 and Novice will now be U9. Within the new system, they are still able to narrow down the focus. For instance, Minor Novice could now be called U8, and Major Novice can be called U9.   
    This change aligns Hockey Canada with current practice within the IIHF and other national and provincial sports organizations.


Wind storm causes damage

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Heavy wind and rain on Sunday afternoon swept through the valley causing damage to trees and buildings.

A wind warning was in effect for most of the afternoon of May 31, and a tornado was spotted in the Beiseker area. Late in the afternoon, the winds picked up. Gusts were strong enough to knock over power poles, break trees. and blow down fences. It appears the whole valley felt its wrath, including localized power outages. 

Towards the evening the wind died down leaving a steady rain.

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Dr. Eberth crunches COVID-19 numbers

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    What does a retired scientist do during a pandemic? Keeps crunching the data.
    Dave Eberth has kept busy during the Coronavirus outbreak and has built up a following online watching and digesting his work.
    Each day,  when new numbers are released by the province regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, he takes the time to plot the most recent information and presents it in an easy to access format. Each day he posts his work on Facebook.
    “It got started because AHS was being very inconsistent with their own numbers and I was finding it very difficult to rely on their charts,” explains Eberth. “They have gotten all of that straightened out now.”
    “Once I got into doing it, I became really interested in all these questions that were floating around the internet.”
    He said, for example, the whole issue of Sweden’s lax approach and seeing how different political affiliations were reacting. He delved into the numbers and he said they show quite clearly the problems with that approach.
    “I started realizing there are a lot of people out there who are not informed about the numbers. Day after day this goes on and we are wondering when will this stop? The numbers help calm the waters a little bit and we can see why we are doing what we are doing and how things are progressing,” he said.
    He goes beyond simply the Alberta numbers, some days looking at national and international statistics, and comparing and contrasting the situations and approaches. Beyond just charts and graphs, he offers some interpretation and insight.
    “I try to put in comparisons to make it clear how well we are doing and give people some encouragement,” he said.
 In following how the pandemic has progressed, he sees the different governments are presenting the information. Some are more transparent than others and it is obvious. He says Alberta’s presentation is one of the best.
    “Alberta has done a really good job of transparency, making everything really clear and very interactive,” he said.


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