Stick and puck will now be allowed on low-board and neighbourhood outdoor rinks around Grande Prairie. The move comes after city council approved a temporary change to the current bylaw, which lifts the ban on all hockey activities on community and low-board rinks until May 31, 2021.
The debate over hockey-playing was brought to the forefront after the city says it had received several complaints from residents about hockey being played on neighbourhood rinks, allegedly causing property damage thanks to errant pucks.
Councillor Dylan Bressey says he supports the approach and hopes the lifting of the ban will make people more aware of the law being there in the first place.
“I don’t think people were even really aware they couldn’t play hockey on those low board rinks,” he says. “But I hope the difference is this will force the few people who were being completely inappropriate on those rinks in a safe manner, that also shares the ice with everyone else.”
To prevent future damages, the hockey nets used will also be regulated to a maximum size of 12 inches in height, 24 inches in depth, and 72 inches in width. Neighbourhoods will also have the chance to remain hockey free, with communities given the option to request to remain a skating-only rink.