FAQs in on 2020-21 GTHL Season and Cancellation of 2019-20 GTHL Season

Questions About Postponement until January 4, 2021

(October 4) Q – Are rinks closed right now?
A→ The GTHL does not manage or control arena facilities.  Each operator will determine if its facility opens or closes.

(October 4) Q- What happens to the money I paid?
A→ Parents should have discussions with their organizations about its refund policy.

(October 4) Q- Why was the season paused?
A→ The sudden increase in the infection rate combined with the statement from the Toronto Medical Officer of Health made it clear that the GTHL needed to pause its activity.

(October 4) Q- Will we go into Period 1 on January 4, 2021 and will it look the same as outlined?
A→ The GTHL is constantly reviewing the Game Plan and consulting with health authorities as to what adjustments are necessary. We will continue to do so and those adjustments are posted as they are made.

(October 4) Q- I’ve been on the ice for months now, why the sudden change?
A→ GTHL on ice activity was not to start until October 7.  This pause is necessary based on the current sudden increase in infection rates and based on the recommendation from the Toronto Medical Officer of Heath that indoor sports not be permitted at this time.

(October 4) Q- Can I play in an unsanctioned League at the moment?
A→ The OHF Policy dictates that participation in an unsanctioned league after September 30 makes that participant ineligible to participate in sanctioned activities for the balance of the season.   We are seeking clarification from the OHF as to how this decision make impact the enforcement of this policy.

(October 4) Q- Does this mean that we stay in the Warm-Up stage?
A→ The warm up stage permits off ice training. The decision by the GTHL is that all sanctioned activity be paused. Therefore, off ice training is not permitted by any GTHL Club, Association or Team.

(October 4)  Q- Will registration continue?
A→ Yes. For Clubs and Association’s that want to continue registration may do so with an anticipated return to activity for January 4.

(October 4) Q- Do you have any idea what the City of Toronto, and/or Mississauga will be doing about ice availability?
A→ The GTHL and it Members will be working with ice providers as to what and how ice allocation is returned to the municipality and how the allocation will occur when sanctioned activities resume.

(October 4) Q- What happens with insurance coverage?
A→ During the pause, there are no sanctioned activities so there is no insurance covered provided to Players and/or Team Officials.

(October 4) Q- Am I released from my organization?
A→ No. The GTHL has only paused until at least January 4, 2021.  Players who are already registered will remain registered with that organization.

 Team and Player Activity

(October 2) Q – When will regular hockey resume? 
A→ Regular league play will resume December 1, 2020 at the earliest. It will be up to health authorities to determine when it is safe to resume regular play. 

(October 2) Q- Why am I paying fees if we aren’t playing League games?
The GTHL is charging participants $40.41 to cover Hockey Canada Assessment and Insurance and OHF Assessments. The GTHL Player Registration Fee will not be charged until the Overtime period of the GTHL Game Plan. Clubs may charge an extra fee to cover additional costs such as ice time, jerseys, and other items. 

(Added August 19) Q- What’s the difference between a sanctioned and unsanctioned league?
An unsanctioned league includes any amateur hockey league that operates in Canada outside the auspices/sanctioning of Hockey Canada. This includes tournaments. The GTHL is a sanctioned league. Click here for the OHF Policy on unsanctioned programming.

(Added August 13) Q-  If my child plays in an unsanctioned league or tournament and we don’t sign a GTHL card until that League ends in October, prior to the resumption of formal GTHL play, does that contravene Hockey Canada or GTHL guidelines?
A→ The unsanctioned league policy stipulates that any participant who participates in an unsanctioned league after September 30 is not eligible to participate in sanctioned hockey (GTHL, OMHA etc) for the balance of the season. This includes tournaments and any gameplay outside of GTHL programming. The GTHL will be enforcing this provision this coming year.

(Added September 30) Q- Can my child participate in skills training outside of their team?
Yes. Private skills training is permitted, but any programming resembling organized gameplay is not permitted.

(September 23) Q – Period 1 states that 20 players can scrimmage 3v3 or 4v4. Can these players be from different teams?
No, the players alll must be from the same team.

(September 9) Q- I live in Markham. What are the residency rules for Markham for the 2020-21 season?
The following chart explains options for Markham residents for the 2020-21 season.


(September 3) Q- Game Plan refers to team activity of no more than 20. Does this include coaches?
No. It is referring to 20 players plus bench staff.

(Added August 25) Q- What will the registration process be and how does it work?
A→ House Leagues will continue to register players online as in the past. “A”, “AA” and “AAA” players will first register directly with the GTHL. The Club they will be participating with will then be able to add that player to the Team.

(Added August 18) Q – When will players be released from old teams?
A→  September 7, 2020.

(Added August 17) Q- How many players can be registered to a team?
All Teams, other than U18 ‘AAA’ and Under-21 ‘AAA’ Teams, may at any time have registered a maximum of 19 players. U18 ‘AAA’ teams may at any time have registered a maximum of 20 players. Under-21 ‘AAA’ Teams may at any time have registered a maximum of 25 players.


(Added August 4) Q- What needs to happen before the GTHL allows teams to get back on the ice?
A→ The GTHL is working on a plan which will outline what steps and precautions teams will need to take when activity in the GTHL is permitted. This plan will be released within the coming weeks and will act as a roadmap for return to play.

(Added May 7) Q- Would hockey be deferred/delayed until a vaccine is available and distributed to all?
A→ This will be a determination made by Federal and Provincial Authorities along with the Hockey Canada Board, Ontario Hockey Federation Board and the GTHL Board.  These decisions will all be guided by requirements and recommendations of the health authorities.


(Added August 17) Q- How do I post in players wanted?
E-mail your Club with the information you need  posted and the Club will post it to the GTHL portal.

(Added August 15) Q- How do I find a team if there are no tryouts?
A→ Teams looking for players will have the option of posting it on the GTHL website under “players wanted”.

(Added August 15) Q- How will the coach know what kind of player they’re getting since there are no in person tryouts?
A→The coach will have to make a decision based on the players prior playing experience.

(Added August 15) Q- I don’t have a team. How can I find one?
A→Teams looking for players will have the option of posting it on the GTHL website under “players wanted”.


(Updated September 21) Q- I played in the GTHL last year as an import. Can I continue to play in the GTHL?
U10 to U13 players can stay with the organization they were with during the 2019-20 season or return to their home center. Players U14 and up can play for any GTHL organization or return to their home center. Markham residents should refer to the Markham residency rules above.

(Added August 26) Q-I have a U10 player who participated in the NYHL last season but lives in Brampton. Can he play on a GTHL U10 team?
A→ No he must return to his home center.

(Added August 18) Q- If the organization/team I was with folded and I’m an import, can I go to another GTHL team? 
A→Players U10 to U13 would have to return to their home center if the GTHL team they played for last season is now folded and there is not another opportunity for them within the same organisation.

(Added August 19) Q- Will AAA Waivers be issued for the 2020-21 season?
A→No, they will not be issued during the 2020-21 season.

(Added August 16) Q- I played in the OMHA last year and want to play in the GTHL last year as an import. Is this allowed?
No new imports are allowed in the GTHL unless their home center does not offer programming.

(Added August 24) Q- Our team from last year is full as is our home centre. What are our options?
A If you are in an OMHA centre they can contact the home center to explore your options, or you can contact the OMHA directly.

(Added August 24) Q-My child is going into U10 and we live in Brampton. We participated in the NYHL last season. Can they play on a GTHL U10 team?
A No, you must return to your home centre for 2020-21.

COVID-19 Specific Questions

(Added September 2) Q-What protocols can I expect at the rink and what may I need to do differently?
A → 
Each facility is unique so you can expect different protocols at each location.  All protocols mandated by Public Health Guidelines including the need to social distance and the requirement to wear a mask will be followed.

(Added September 2) Q- The Ontario government has mandated that 50 people can congregate indoors so why is the GTHL restricting it to 20?
A→ The facilities used by GTHL organizations often have shared entrance and exits as well as shared gathering places.  Limiting traffic in buildings will make it safer for all participants. Starting with smaller groups will also allow for participants to get used to new protocols in smaller groups.

(Added September 2) Q- What happens if there’s a case on my team?
A → The Local Public Health Authority will provide direction to the participant, team, Association and GTHL on what steps are necessary.

(Added September 2) Q- What happens if someone on my team has been in contact with a case and didn’t know?
A → They should contact the local Public Health Authority and take directions from them.

(Added September 2)Q- What’s a Team Safety Rep?
A → The Team Safety Rep is there to support the Team Officials, Players and families in complying with the GTHL Game Plan protocols.

(Added September 2) Q- Does every Team need a Safety Rep?
A →Yes.

(Added September 2)Q- Do I need to be a registered bench staff to be a Team Safety Rep?
A→No, but you need to be registered as an Off-Ice Volunteer.

(Added September 2)Q- Who is eligible to be a Team Safety Rep?
A→The Team Safety Rep will be appointed by the Association and Team. There are no prerequisites to fill this position as long as the individual completes the necessary training.

Coaching and Bench Staff 

(September 9)  Q- I took the Development 1 clinic last year and am looking to become certified this season. I need to have someone come to my practice for an evaluation, what is the process this season?
The GTHL Development 1 certification process, which includes in person practice evaluations, will be put on hold until September of 2021.

(September 3) Q- What qualifications do I need to coach this season?
Please visit the Bench Staff Requirements for 2020-21 page for more information.

(Added August 26) Q- Can I coach in an unsanctioned League as well as the GTHL?
A→ No. Coaches who are registered to a bench may not coach in an unsanctioned League.

(Added August 7) Q- What’s happening with coaching clinics for the 2020-21 season?
A→.Coaching clinics will not be held in person during the 2020-21 season. Hockey Canada and the OHF are currently working on a plan for training NEW coaches for this season. More information will be released in the coming weeks.

(Added June 30) Q- Can I go out on the ice with my players if I’m a Licensed Hockey Canada Skills Instructor?
A→ Yes. This would give you insurance under Hockey Canada.


(Added May 7) Q – Considering the financial strain placed on families by the loss of income and deferred payments, has the GTHL considered ways to make competitive hockey more affordable for the 20-21 season?
A  The GTHL has formed a working group comprised of Board, Club and staff representatives. This group will be looking at best practices that could be implemented to assist in lowering the expense to parents and families

Questions on the Cancellation of the 2019-20 GTHL Season.

Q- My daughter is on a team that has a chance at a GTHL championship.  I know that Hockey Canada has shut down hockey for the season, but I still hope that there might be a chance that hockey will go on, especially for playoff teams.  Is that possible?
A→No, hockey for this season is over.

Q- The Hockey Canada announcement also says that all “sanctioned activities” are to be shut down.  I’m new to this.  What does “sanctioned activities” mean?
A→Hockey Canada sanctioned activities include all games, playoffs, try-outs, practices, camps, team activities (that includes team parties and banquets), programs and Provincial, Regional, and National Championships.

Q- What does this mean for non-sanctioned hockey leagues?
A→Non-sanctioned leagues operate outside of Hockey Canada’s bylaws and regulations. If they continue to operate, they would be doing so of their own accord.

Q- Does this announcement impact all hockey participants in Canada?
A→No, it impacts participants who are registered through Hockey Canada and the Member Branch.  The GTHL is a member of Hockey Canada.

Q- How does this Hockey Canada announcement affect the FirstShift and other grassroots programming?
A→The Hockey Canada decision to cancel the remainder of the hockey season includes all grassroots programming.  The FirstShift program is included.

Q- If one of our players tests positive who should we report to?
A→You should report this to the GTHL Office (Scott Oakman or Michelle Fata) and advise the other players and team officials from the team.

(Updated March 18) Q-Is the GTHL office closed for the foreseeable future?
A→Right now the GTHL office is closed to the general public and staff are working from home. Please leave a voicemail or e-mail staff if you wish to reach them. 

Q-Is the Trillium grant still operational/available?

Q-How will playoff finals be addressed.  No winners no losers?
A→The season is over. The League will not be declaring any Playoff winners.

Q- My daughter was playing on a team that was in the playoffs.  The season was shut down by the league.   So I get a refund?
A→This is a decision that will be made by the organization where your daughter played. Please contact them for more information.

(Added March 16) Q-What will happen to Spring tryouts for the 2020-21 season?
A→The Ontario Hockey Federation and it’s Member Partners, including the GTHL, have decided that no tryouts for the 2020-21 season will not be conducted in the Spring. Click here to read the full statement. 


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