The Grande Prairie Minor Hockey Association is looking at a near-normal launch to its season in September, but some in the organization say it will likely be a steep learning curve.

GPMHA President DJ Golden says despite Hockey Canada lifting the national ban on sanctioned activities, several unknowns remain. The plan as of now is for a regular timeline for training camps and league play, but Golden knows the sheer number of municipalities under the umbrella will pose unique and different challenges.

“We are kind of tentatively waiting to see what August 15th brings to get into the next phase of the re-launch, so we can get a better idea of what will be allowed and disallowed come hockey season,” he says.

“Wembley could be different than Sexsmith, Sexsmith can be different than La Glace, I think it’s going to be a lot of learning as you go and know the rules before you walk into the arenas so you’re not infringing on them.”

Golden says rules surrounding things like social distancing and masks are pretty similar across the board, but when it comes to parents and hockey fans, they tend to change from arena to arena. He hopes some of the details will be made clear before the first puck drop.

“Different municipalities have different rules… The City of Grande Prairie has their arena set up one way, but if you go out to the County of Grande Prairie, it’s set up in a totally different way,”

“They don’t have any spectators allowed in the arena, and you can sit back behind the glass upstairs behind designated spots, it’s up to municipalities to set the rules that we will play by.”

The full return to play report can be found on the Hockey Alberta website.