Ice hockey suspended for 2020 season

Look how they go. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Look how they go. Photo: Peter McIntosh
The sport is on ice. Joining the long list of sports not being played is the New Zealand ice hockey league which has been canned for 2020.

The league, played by five teams, including the Dunedin Thunder and the Stampede from Queenstown, was shut down yesterday.

The 2020 season was scheduled to start with pre-season games next month, with the regular season running between May and July, followed by a playoffs series.

The health and safety of all players, volunteers and fans during the current Covid-19 situation was paramount.

The decision was also made based on the financial implications of holding the season, disruptions to travel and accommodation and the Government’s instruction to cancel all public gatherings of 500 or more people (now 100 or more indoors).

New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation (NZIHF) president Andy Mills said the decision to suspend the season was a difficult one. However it was in line with current Government regulations, putting health and safety first, and took into account the financial risk of holding the season at this time.

It was the right decision, and one that was unanimously backed by the NZIHF management committee, he said.

Getting a crowd was crucial to the financial viability of the league so playing in front of no spectators was not an option.

Planning for the 2021 season was already under way prior to the decision to suspend the 2020 season and the intention was to have a full 2021 season.

Training camps and development camps are also suspended, while junior representative programmes have also been stopped.


- staff reporter



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