Hockey Manitoba asking province to reconsider mask rule during practice

WINNIPEG — Hockey Manitoba is making a plea to the province to look at making changes to the current mask mandate in place for the sport.

When the province loosened restrictions on Friday, March 5, Hockey Manitoba also released an urgent update to its return to play plan that said masks would be mandatory for all players and coaches on and off the ice.

On Wednesday, the organization explained why the change was so sudden.

“Hockey Manitoba received clarification from Sport Manitoba that the requirement to wear a mask in an indoor public space includes when participating in indoor sporting activities,” the organization said on its website.

It said the order they had in place was not consistent with what they were told and an update had to be made to its plan.

However, since the return to play plan was changed, parents have been voicing frustration.

Now Hockey Manitoba wants the province to change the rule.

“Hockey Manitoba recognizes that adhering to this order may cause distress to some of our athletes as wearing a mask while participating in strenuous activity can cause difficulties breathing, which can also be made worse by wearing a mouthguard.”

While Hockey Manitoba wants to see a change, it is also advising all members to follow the current health orders.

The current health orders allow for groups of 10 players to be on the ice in practice and steps must be taken to ensure groups don’t mix.

Indoor rinks can be open at 25 per cent capacity and dressing rooms can be open at 50 per cent of the capacity limit.

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