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IHNSW Return to Sport Update – 16 July

Since the announcement of the return of community sport competitions and the IHNSW Winter season resumed in July – IHNSW, clubs and members have been working under the IHNSW Return to Sport guidelines to guide the behaviour of participants, rinks and other attendees while at Ice Hockey activities.

Please click below to download the current IHNSW Return to Sport guidelines – which include updates around the newly implemented restrictions on spectators numbers allowed at community sport activities and information from the Liverpool Catholic Club Sports Complex.


The most important thing at the moment is anyone who had been to a COVID-19 case location (view a full list at the website) should now be in isolation for 2 weeks and seeking testing. These people should not be returning to Ice Hockey activities until they have followed all NSW Health advice and have been cleared to resume.


As a result of the recent rising case numbers in NSW, NSW Health is updating the COVID-19 Safety Plans that Community Sport Organisations and Facilities must adhere to. Of note, sport and recreation organisations will be required to ‘take all reasonable steps to minimise the number of spectators attending community sport events’ – specifically one spectator for juniors and none for seniors.

This is a recommended restriction not a public health order at this stage, but it is now part of our document and should be adhered to where practical to do so.


IHA have provided information with regards to how we can best protect our officials, including rules in play around abuse of officials, spitting etc. These recommendations are around game play and officiating only and should be implemented on top of all other COVID Safe plans, it should not replace them. 


The Liverpool Ice Rink have advised that they have not been made aware of anyone with a positive case of COVID-19 having entered their premises. They have not been a part of any contact tracing investigations done by NSW Health. Should Ice Hockey NSW be made aware of any changes to this information, we will inform all clubs as soon as possible.


Unfortunately in NSW, we are currently in the middle of a spike in positive COVID-19 cases and it is clear that there are individuals, organisations and venues not adhering to the social distancing regulations that are part of Public Health Orders. IHNSW has received feedback and observed activities of some teams and participants which go against our guidelines, and are putting the future of our sport and the health of our members at risk.

All clubs and participants are reminded of the key points of the Return to Sport guidelines:

-Physical distancing of 1.5m is to be maintained at all times when not taking part in training or games (IE getting changed in a common area, team meetings, benches, spectating)

-Physical distancing is only relaxed for:
— Participants who are training or competing on the ‘field’ of play.
— Family members from the same household.
— When medical attention is required.

-No sharing of players equipment or match equipment between sessions or games (ie new pucks)

-No group gatherings or meetings before or after activities – always with appropriate social distancing

-Clubs and rinks are to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to throughout all activities.

-Zero tolerance for abuse of officials, or arguing with rink or club staff who are enforcing social distancing or the Return to Sport Guidelines.

We thank you for your hard work and co-operation as we strive to make Ice Hockey as enjoyable and safe as possible during COVID-19.

IHNSW – Return to Sport

Following the announcement of further lifting of restrictions including rinks opening from 13 June, and community sport competitions able to resume from 1 July – IHNSW would like to confirm that there are now steps being taken to resume the 2020 Winter season. 

Please click below to download the current IHNSW Return to Sport guidelines.


IIHF Roadmap – safe return to practise

This information is designed for use by clubs to guide the behaviour of participants, rinks and other attendees – please use this document as a sport specific guide to how you can safely operate and comply with the NSW Government Public Health orders whilst returning to activities from this weekend. This document should not be treated as an exhaustive list of procedures that you can implement to protect the health and safety of participants – but as an information kit to guide you in your decision making.

Anyone participating in activities at Ice rinks should also make themselves aware of the venue’s guidelines and conditions of entry, and comply with them as well.

It is important to note that the Public Health Orders are changing all the time and when appropriate, IHNSW will make changes and updates to this information as required.

You can find sport specific resources at the Office of Sport website

IHNSW season update – 1 June 2020

For the information of Members, Clubs and Committees – IHNSW would like to provide clarification on the progress of the recommencement of the 2020 Winter Season.

We will re-start the season as soon as we are allowed and the rinks are open.

We are aware of various government and industry information such as the AIS Return to Sport Framework, and the recent announcements from Ice Hockey in other states regarding their ability to resume some activities. Ice Hockey Australia also sits on a national group of sporting organisations and government who meet weekly to provide support for both elite and grass roots sport as well as providing insights into constantly evolving government policy. IHA are providing guidance as they receive it. All this means that when given approval we will be able to re-start our sport in a way that mitigates risk to our members and reduces the risk that government forces us to shutdown in the future in response to outbreaks.

IHNSW are involved in regular Office of Sport and Ministerial updates on the progress of returning to play. Unfortunately – NSW Government COVID-19 restrictions still prohibit any indoor recreation facilities from reopening, and any local sporting competitions involving more than 10 people. (You can find more information on the current public health orders here: under the heading Sport, pools and outdoor activities). The postponement of the season will remain in place until our Ice Rinks are able to reopen.

Please be assured that the 2020 Winter Season is not cancelled – IHNSW still intends to recommence the season once restrictions are lifted to a point that our competition can function. In the process of recommencing, considerations will need be given to the whatever current restrictions will be in place, availability of ice time, changes to teams entering each grade, and what the draw will look like moving forward.

We appreciate the eagerness of members and clubs to return to competition, and we look forward to your enthusiasm on the ice as soon as we are allowed to return.

Yours Sincerely
Paul Kelly