The Winnipeg High School Hockey League (WHSHL) has officially pulled the plug on its 2020-21 season.
The announcement was made Monday morning following discussions with the executives of the league.
“We do acknowledge how hard we tried to get a season off the ground; however, time is not on our side and we believe that this is the most responsible decision and the one that makes the most sense given the current and projected situations surrounding the pandemic,” the WHSHL said in a statement.
Speaking later Monday, WHSHL President Dana Gordon said one of the reasons they decided to cancel the season is due to the Code Red restrictions. The season would not begin until the restrictions are lifted. Currently, public health orders are set to expire on January 8, but Gordon said the league believes the health orders will be extended further into January for Winnipeg and the surrounding area.
“It puts us probably another few weeks down the road before organized sports would even come into play,” Gordon said.
The two weeks of remote learning that students are currently participating in was also a factor. Students in grades 7 to 12 are learning remotely until at least January 18.
“We do not know if that date will be extended or not and won't until further into January,” the league wrote. “If students cannot physically attend school to learn, our league will not run practices or any sort of game situations.”
The league said it will not extend beyond spring break, and there is no guarantee that even if allowed to resume, sports won’t shut down again.
Gordon added all of those items put a “ticking clock” on the season, saying it would likely begin in February and last for approximately six weeks.
“We just figured it was time to make that decision, as hard as it was and as unfortunate as it is,” Gordon said. “But the time to wait two weeks, and wait two weeks, and wait two weeks has come to an end and unfortunately, we'll be out of time."
The WHSHL, which has 12 teams, hopes to return for a full season in 2021-2022.
-With files from CTV's Carie Willson.