REGINA -- The Saskatchewan Hockey Association has introduced a number of guidelines for teams looking to train before the new season starts.

While no games are allowed at this time, the association said on Thursday that teams can still practice and be formed.

“We needed to get something out to show people that you can start playing hockey. It’s just you’re more in a training mode and a practice mode,” said Kelly McClintock, the general manager of the association.

Teams and players must follow the association’s regulations and adhere to provincial rules, but they are allowed to have a 50-person limit without the need for physical distancing.

It allows 30 players to be on the ice at a time. Parents and spectators can attend these sessions, but they have to maintain physical distancing.

The association said that when training begins, organizers must keep a record of all attendees. They should provide a sign-in form to everyone who arrives to the rink.

The records must be retained for one month. If possible, a common pen should not be used.

For minor hockey associations that don’t host AA teams, they can still have tryouts, evaluations and skill development sessions, as long as they follow the same rules. 

Kelly McClintock

Kelly McClintock is the general manager of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association. (Claire Hanna/CTV Regina)

McClintock said the association would like to have a start date for games, but the province hasn’t yet indicated when that will happen.

Sarah Hodges, a board member with the association, said there is a silver lining even though there is no start date.

She said it will provide players with more time to develop their skills.

“I think a lot of times we stunt development because we’re so concerned about winning,” she said. 

Hodges' daughter, Annie, plays U13 hockey for the Regina Rebels.

Annie said she will miss competing but she’s looking forward to learning more about the games.

“I think it would be a pretty good opportunity to learn more about the games,” she said.

The association is also looking to determine what the capacity can be for larger arenas.

As for other leagues, the WHL aims to start on Dec. 4 and the SJHL on Oct. 9.

— With files from Claire Hanna.