Connect with us

Sports

OHL officially moves back target start date – SooToday

Published

 on


Ontario Hockey League officials were optimistic that starting regular season action in early-December was a possibility.

In August, the league announced plans to begin regular season play on Dec. 1 and announced in mid-September hopes that training camps would open on Nov. 15.

With a spike in COVID-19 cases across the province this fall and the closure of the border between Canada and the United States extended at least until Nov. 21, the league has pushed back its potential start date well into the new year.

In a release issued Thursday, the league has announced a start date of Feb. 4 with players reporting to training camo on Jan. 22 and camps opening the following day.

With European and American players expected to follow the two-week quarantine period, those players will be reporting by Jan. 8.

The dates were confirmed in a meeting with OHL general managers on Wednesday.

“Now you can start to think about how training camp might shape out,” Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis said. “It’s tough on everybody, but especially with players especially, they like to ramp up their training in a certain way to get to camp. It’s tough when you’re not sure. Mentally, in a regular year, are you in July right now or June just in terms of how you would pace out your training. You don’t want to burn guys out. It will help on that side of it.”

“Hopefully we can be an asset in terms of helping their development while they’re still doing their own workouts and training on the ice at home because it’s been a long time since we’ve all been on the ice together,” Raftis added. “Everybody is in the same boat, so we have to make the best of it.”

The playoff structure will also look very different as just eight teams will advance into playoff action in 2020-21 instead of the usual 16, meaning the top four teams in each conference will earn playoff spots.

As for the regular season schedule, the league is planning for 40 games and limited travel as much as possible.

In a release from the league, the plan will be for teams to play primarily against teams in their geographic region.

Details on team alignment are expected to be announced when the league releases its schedule.

The closure of the border between Canada and the United States as well as the possibility of fans attending games were not addressed in the league release and were reportedly not discussed at Thursday’s meeting of general managers.

The OHL isn’t the first Canadian Hockey League member league to push back starting until 2021.

Earlier this month, the Western Hockey League announced plans to open regular season action on Jan. 8 in what commissioner Ron Robison called a firm date.

In a Zoom meeting with reporters shortly after the announcement, Robison said the regular season would run until May 2, which would allow the league to play a schedule of up to 50 games.

“The number of games will be determined over the next number of weeks,” Robison said at the time.

Robison said the approach to calling Jan. 8 a hard date was “to create some certainty around the start of the season.”

“We had announced already two tentative target dates,” Robison added. “This is not a tentative date. This is a firm date.”

As for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, regular season action is underway, but there have been some bumps in the road along the way.

The QMJHL regular season began on Oct. 2 with teams playing only opponents within their six-team division.

On Oct. 14, the league announced that teams in the two Quebec-based divisions had their games postponed until at least Oct. 28 as a number of teams were in provincial red zones. The Maritimes Division has continued to play since then.

Some teams are returning to play this weekend after the two-week pause.

Three teams in the league have had cases since the start of the regular season, though training camps and exhibition games were played in September without issue.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

COVID-19: Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena among Ontario facilities to see major capacity limit increase – Global News

Published

 on


The Ontario government has announced a major boost of maximum COVID-19-related capacity limits at major outdoor and indoor sporting venues, such as the Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.

“With public health and health-care indicators currently stable and proof of vaccination now in effect, we are able to recommend cautiously easing capacity limits in certain settings,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said in an update Friday afternoon, noting the increases will mostly be in places where vaccine proof is required.

“Increasing capacity limits does not mean we can let our guard down. We must remain cautious and humble in the face of this Delta variant.”

Read more:
Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test will be needed to access Scotiabank Arena, BMO Field

Moore said the revised rules will take effect as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.

At indoor meeting and event spaces (convention and conference centres, banquet halls etc.), theatres, cinemas, concerts, sports events, racing venues and commercial TV and film shoots with audiences will be able to increase the number of people in attendance to up to 50 per cent of approved capacity or 10,000 people (whichever is less).

For outdoor event spaces where it is standing room only for patrons, up to 75 per cent of approved capacity or 15,000 people (whichever is less) will now be allowed.


Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Ontario expands capacity limits for some indoor, outdoor settings'



4:39
COVID-19: Ontario expands capacity limits for some indoor, outdoor settings


COVID-19: Ontario expands capacity limits for some indoor, outdoor settings

When it comes to outdoor event venues where people are seated, up to 75 per cent of approved capacity or 30,000 people (whichever is less) can now be accommodated.

Officials said seated outdoor venues can see higher numbers of people because mobility is less and therefore it reduces the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19.

The announcement came just a day after the Toronto Blue Jays announced the release of additional seats for the final six home games of the regular season, citing ongoing discussions with Premier Doug Ford’s office and Moore. The team said the increase would be in line with public health measures.

Read more:
Ontario enforcement agencies report few incidents in early days of COVID-19 vaccine certificates

In an update right after Moore’s announcement, the Jays announced the 500L section at the Rogers Centre would be reopening to visitors now that up to 30,000 fans will be permitted to attend.

The current capacity limit at the Rogers Centre under Ontario’s COVID-19 regulations is 15,000 fans. At Scotiabank Arena, the limit was capped at 1,000 fans. Both venues have vaccination policies in place.

When Moore was asked why he is recommending these changes now, he said the COVID-19 situation in Ontario has been stable for several weeks and the province needs to have a “balanced and proportionate public health response” to the pandemic.

Read more:
Ontario COVID-19 vaccine certificate program for many indoor public settings now in effect

“For the majority (of attendees), they will be protected through vaccination, they will be wearing masks, they will be screening and monitoring for any symptoms … and I do think that is a much safer environment that we can start to safely and cautiously open,” he said, calling the recent implementation of vaccine certificates a “game-changer.”

“We’ll monitor these caps over the coming weeks to make sure this process remains safe. I’m confident that we can do this safely, and slowly, and cautiously because we all need balance. We’ve made sacrifices over the last year and a half and so have these businesses, and I think this will allow them to open safely and not be sources of infection or outbreak.”

As for how long vaccine certificates will be needed to access many indoor public settings, Moore suggested the program could be in place until the winter.

He went on to say as part of the provincial government’s gradual approach to reopening, it will assess other settings where capacity limits could be eased. He also pointed to early modelling on cases that suggested there could be a sharp rise of cases after Christmas.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

NBA denies Canadian Andrew Wiggins of religious exemption to skip COVID-19 vaccine – CBC.ca

Published

 on


The NBA has denied Canadian Andrew Wiggins’s request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.

The ruling was announced Friday, hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games.

Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply.

Wiggins, from Vaughan, Ont., sought an exemption from the league for religious reasons.

“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’s request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the league said in a statement.

“Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfils the city’s vaccination requirements.”

NBA says unvaccinated players can play

Unvaccinated players are allowed to play this season, though the NBA has said that they will have to be tested daily on practice and travel days, and at least once — possibly more — on game days. Fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.

However, the Knicks, Nets and Warriors face stricter rules because of their local regulations, which the NBA has told teams do not apply to visiting clubs.

WATCH | ‘Bring It In’ panel discusses vaccine passports’ effect on sports:

Discussing mandatory vaccine passports as fans return to stadiums | Bring It In

24 days ago

With fans returning to stadiums across Canada, host Morgan Campbell discusses the enforcement of mandatory vaccination in stadiums across the country with panellists Meghan McPeak and Dave Zirin. 7:44

The Knicks are the first of those teams to say they have met the mandate.

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said earlier this week that a couple players wouldn’t yet be eligible, but he was confident everyone would be able to participate by the time the regular season begins on Oct. 19.

Local mandate not yet in effect

Wiggins still has time, as San Francisco’s mandate doesn’t take effect until the middle of next month. Training camps open Tuesday.

The NBA has struck agreements this off-season to have virtually all parties involved in games — referees, coaches, stat-crew workers and anyone else who will be in close proximity to players on or off the court in NBA arenas — vaccinated in order to participate.

The one exception: The players themselves, with the National Basketball Players Association rebuking all efforts from the NBA to mandate that they be vaccinated. About 85 per cent of players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The league-wide figure is believed to have increased since.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

2020 Ryder Cup pairings: U.S. runs it back, Rory McIlroy out for Saturday foursomes – Golf Channel

Published

 on


After his team dug itself a 6-2 hole on Friday at the Ryder Cup, European captain Padraig Harrington had some decisions to make when deciding on his pairings for Saturday morning’s foursomes session.

One pressing question was whether he’d sit Rory McIlroy for the first time in McIlroy’s cup career. McIlroy had played in every session since making his debut in 2010 (26 for 26), but he’d dropped both his team-play matches on Friday at Whistling Straits while failing to reach the 16th hole in either one.

Ultimately, Harrington decided that his visiting side’s best chance at a comeback was to sit McIlroy on Saturday morning.

“We have plenty of options on our team,” Harrington said. “Spoiled for choice in many ways, and yeah … I’m very comfortable again with the team I’ve put out tomorrow. Wait and see in each of those matches whether they can create their own momentum and then bring that to the team.”

McIlroy and Poulter, who lost in foursomes on Friday morning, will both be benched, while Harrington will mix things up slightly elsewhere, splitting Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, and pairing them with Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger, respectively. Two of Europe’s foursomes pairings are intact: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, and Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.


Match scoring for the 43rd Ryder Cup


Meanwhile, on the American side, captain Steve Stricker is going back to the well, keeping all four of his previous foursomes teams. All but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won on Friday morning, though Thomas helped lead a four-ball rally alongside Patrick Cantlay on Friday afternoon as the U.S. duo tied Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood.

Cantlay reunites with Xander Schauffele, who is 2-0. Dustin Johnson, also 2-0, reunites with Collin Morikawa.

“We had one other group that we were thinking about putting out, but it went so well this morning that I figured why mess things up and change things up at all,” Stricker said. “We changed the order a little bit is all, but we kept the same pairings.”

The U.S. leads by four points, its largest advantage after Day 1 since 1975. History is on the Americans’ side, too, as just once in five previous instances since 1979 (the year that the Great Britain and Ireland side was expanded to include continental Europe) has a team coughed up a lead of more than three points after the opening day.

Here are the matchups and starting times for Saturday morning’s foursomes session:

8:05 a.m. ET: Koepka/Berger vs. Rahm/Garcia
8:21 a.m.: Johnson/Morikawa vs. Casey/Hatton
8:37 a.m.: Thomas/Spieth vs. Hovland/Wiesberger
8:53 a.m.: Schauffele/Cantlay vs. Westwood/Fitzpatrick

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending