Category: Uncategorized

Schedule Change for 3/27

Hey everyone,

I got a call from Trent at Cap Ice with some bad news yesterday. Cap Ice has to bring down Rink A due to some ice quality concerns. It will be back for games on April 3. That means we (myself and the Board) have had to scramble to come up with a plan for this week. We realize that there is no plan that will be good for everyone so, please know, that we’re doing our best to make this as fair as possible.


Let me outline the plan below first. I’ll then outline the reasoning behind our decisions. There are some things we need from you and I’ll outline those in RED below. Please read those!


Here we go!


NEW SCHEDULE:


Sunday 3/27

3:50 PM – L2 – Yellow vs Red

5:00 PM – L1 – Green vs Black

6:10 PM – L2 – Black vs Light Blue

7:20 PM – L2 – White vs Purple

8:30 PM – L1 – Light Blue vs White


Monday 3/28

6:30 PM – L1 – Orange vs Red

7:40 PM – L1 – Purple vs Yellow


REASONS:

We only had a very short window to make these choices. Our decisions were made for the following reasons:

  • Our aim was minimal displacement even though our Sunday available ice went from 2 sheets to 1 sheet.
  • L1 games were placed on Monday night because we have more players in L1 and more sub potential to fill any slots of those who can’t make it.
  • L1 games were also placed on Monday because several of our L2 players are referees and have volunteered to officiate those games, meaning we don’t need to find refs.
  • The games that were moved to Monday were chosen because of their game times in proximity to the other games on the other sheet of ice to minimize disruption to those teams.
  • L2 Yellow vs Red was moved to 3:50 because the game was originally going to be at 4:30 and that was the smallest displacement out of all of that night’s original slots (40 minutes).
  • L2 Black vs Light Blue and L2 White vs Purple were pushed back 30 minutes, which is also a small displacement.
  • Keeping these game times allowed us to keep the referees in place that were already scheduled. We only need to solicit referees for the 3:50 PM game, now.
  • We prioritized having games over canceling games, even though that meant using ice time on a non-league day (Monday).
  • We considered scrimmages for L1 or L2, but we’ve done so many scrimmage nights so far this season that we didn’t want to do another when we had the option to avoid it. We also didn’t think it was fair to have one league play an extra game over the other.

I’m sure there were a few more. Please know that we understand that not everyone can make a Monday night game. We apologize for that. This was a really, really hard decision to make. We’re doing the best we can with the hand we’ve unfortunately been dealt. So again, we’re really sorry if you, now, cannot make your game due to these changes.


SUBBING

It’s going to be VERY IMPORTANT that we have lots of sub volunteers for this week, especially for the Monday night games. Please consider signing up to sub. The sub desk email will go out at its normal time on Sunday at noon.

  • SIGN UP TO SUB BEFORE SUNDAY AT 11 AM. DO THIS AT www.madisongayhockey.org. (Note: The teams and schedule page currently only lists Sunday’s games.)

ABSENCES
If you previously marked yourself absent for a game on Sunday, please review the schedule and adjust your absence on the website. Also, if you cannot make your game now, please mark yourself as absent. The sub desk email will go out at noon on Sunday for all games, including Monday night’s.

  • MARK YOURSELF AS ABSENT (OR NOT ABSENT) BY SUNDAY AT 11 AM. DO THIS AT www.madisongayhockey.org. (Note: The teams and schedule page currently only lists Sunday’s games.)

SCOREBOX
We will need volunteers for two scorebox shifts. Please, please help us with this. The other shifts will be assigned.

ON DUTY
Sunday’s on-duty shift will be Katy Werginz with some extra help filling in while Katy is playing her game. Monday’s on-duty shift will be covered by Gene Zadzilka. Should you have any problems while at the rink on those days, seek them out.


I think that’s it. Again, please know that this decision was a difficult one and we know that it’s not perfectly fair to everyone. Hopefully you can understand the decision we’ve made.


Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please email board@madisongayhockey.org.


Thanks!

Tim

(on behalf of myself and the Board)

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Scorebox Signup for 3/27 and 3/28

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MGHA Masking Policy Update for after March 13th 2022

TL;DR After March 13th games, mask policy update:

  • ON-ICE masks move to recommended/optional (barring a steep increase in cases or changes in CDC/PHMDC guidelines for Dane County). 
  • Keep masks on in the locker-room and in other areas of the rink.

Watching cases drop and the county take its masks off, we want to carefully consider our policies with regards to masks. We want to protect our most vulnerable players, we want to watch what happens with cases over the next two weeks, and we want to give everyone a sense of what will happen moving forward while also considering our players who find it difficult to play with a mask on. 

Starting after the March 13th games, we will update our mask requirement to masks recommended ON-ICE ONLY. This means one more game for each team with masks required on-ice (March 6th and March 13th are split due to ice availability). This is similar to the UW-Madison, MMSD, and MSCR timelines. If you need or want to keep your mask on-ice after March 13th, please do so. 

We will keep masks on in the locker room and lobby areas and in the Eagle’s Nest when not eating or drinking. Locker rooms are enclosed and have 10-15 of us in close proximity. The lobby can get crowded and people have to move through it to enter and exit the building. Our most vulnerable players do not have a choice of avoiding the lobby like they do for the Eagle’s Nest.

We are all in different places regarding risk and masks, as demonstrated by the survey results below. Please respect everyone’s comfort level and follow our policies. 

We will be carefully watching the PHMDC Covid dashboard and hopefully watching cases continue to decline. We will reconsider this policy if there is a steep increase in cases and cases go back over 100 per week (that is the line where PHMDC put the mask mandate in place last summer). 

Further info:

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Thank you to the 97 of you who responded to this question and to those who will complete the survey over the next few days https://forms.gle/5c3qsEL4hg1TpWA48. We will publish the full results next week. 

MGHA 2021-2022 Town Hall Notes

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Brief board introduction and our acting roles

  • Amanda: Secretary 
  • Bront: Bront of all trades, registrar
  • Gene: treasurer, goalie wrangler
  • Ian: VP
  • Avery: President

Overview of other various league roles

   Hops, hops on duty, captains, mentors, members

  • Captains: Two per team, usually a hockey brain and a logistics brain
  • Mentors: get assigned to new players as a connection to the league
  • Members: next level of involvement after you complete a season and apply for membership. Gives you a voting stake for things like who is on the board, and allows you to run for the board. 
  • Goalies: we know what they do! Thank you goalies!
  • Sponsorships: focused on $$$ for outside sources
  • Hops: focused on logistics to play, team building/creation, ice rentals
  • Recruiting: recruits new players, assigns mentors
  • Website committee: helps build the website so Kriona doesn’t have to do it all by herself (thanks Kriona for all you do! #KrionaIsMagic)

Logistics (Tim): https://www.madisongayhockey.org/teams-schedule/

  • Coming up in early March, the rink only will have one sheet of ice for MGHA to use. Luckily, we have 2 weeks of this, so we can split it up for one week of MGHA hockey over the course of two nights for all teams
    • March 6 – 4 games
    • March 13 – 3 games
  • After that, we’ll have 3 more games. 
    • As a reminder, April 3 is now a regular season game
  • April 10 is championship night
  • Times on April 10 will be a little different so we can make a little bit more time for folks to get together and spend time together
  • We’ll get everyone together for a group picture and then play a championship game

MGHA Classic Tournament (Parter): https://www.madisongayhockey.org/tournament/

  • MGHA Classic is our after season international hockey tournament hosted 4/29-5/1
  • It’s a great opportunity to bring folks from outside of our league and from around the country to spread the MGHA Way
  • Based on that principle, we have insisted that we mix players on teams so folks get to meet new people and exchange ideas
  • In terms of play, it is slightly more intense; you’re playing more games on one weekend and doing social events
    • Recreational division: slightly more intense than L1
    • Competitive division: slightly more elevated than L2
  • We do allow play-with requests, but not for a whole team
  • It’s the last weekend of April, registration is open
  • David H noted some issues with the registration in the cart not disappearing. If you are having issues with the cart, do let Gene and Kriona know.

Presidential Address – Avery 

  • This season has been a challenging one: lots of scheduling challenges, bumps in the road, and through it all we have been full of compassion and understanding. We’ve celebrated our first goals and spent time with our communities. We’ve not been without setbacks, but it has made the ups and downs worth it. Given the joy we see each Sunday, it makes all of the hours we put in worth it.

COVID

  • We had a brief period where there were no masks this summer, that changed as cases rose.
  • We started the season with about 125 cases per day 
  • Over time, we saw a huge huge huge spike
  • When we shifted to scrimmages, we were at around 1000 cases per day and 1400 in the second week
  • Today (2/22) we’re at about 140 per day
  • We’re still above where PHMDC had where they put it in place
  • Another piece of information is that UW is carrying their mandate until the 12th, which is the start of spring break
  • Comments:
    • Eric W: I am in favor that we can lift the requirement for masks on ice. Fine either way in lobby or in the nest so long as cases don’t escalate. Barring continuing cases, in favor of not requiring.
    • Ryan Z: Second Witte’s sentiment making them optional on the ice. Think it is reasonable in the lobby area if it was still required. Notably a lot of folks in the nest don’t really wear masks, so unsure if we should be super strict. Echo following the dates from the public health department and not making it mandatory on the ice.
    • Tim: When we started cases were around 100 or so, and surely they may go down in the next couple of weeks, but the cases are higher than when we had the mask mandate when we started in the fall. In addition, the fact we haven’t had many covid exposures is in part because of masks. Hockey is a sport where you’re breathing very heavily and really expelling those particles. If there are people in this league who are uncomfortable, and we started this season with masks in place, we should keep them in place. Sure, it’s more comfortable if we don’t wear masks, but we’ve been doing it for the whole season.
    • K8: Agree with Tim. On the personal level, we decided to play because masks were required. MGHA was treating this as we were taking every mitigation possible. Vaccines are great at keeping you out of the hospital, but it doesn’t entirely prevent you from getting it. We’ve been very lucky and very cautious, and it has been rewarded by not having teams all get covid when we’ve had an exposure. We all have a lot of feelings about this, but what it comes down to is that covid doesn’t care what feelings we have and two it’s a matter of protecting not only kit and myself but also the immunocompromised folks in the league. There are more folks in the league than people realize that are in this boat. This is the only way they can play hockey in a somewhat safe manner, and removing the masks may take away hockey from those folks.
    • Katie: I don’t think we started this year with the expectation that we were going to wear masks all season. We started the season that we were going to follow the mandates by the public health department. Where we are at now is a very different spot than when the season started. More folks have had covid, we now have required folks getting boosted, so we can’t say where we were when there were 100 cases. There are going to be more variants, and the question is where is the line? The case count is a somewhat arbitrary number, nothing changes between 100 and 98. What is it you all are waiting for without masks? The efficacy of the masks that we are wearing is very low. It goes down when they get wet. Sure we could continue to do it, but I’m not sure the benefit is there for the pain in the butt it has become.
    • Laur: I understand folks who say “why not.” The masks that we’re wearing are not that effective. I’ve seen teammates that can’t wear their masks properly, and this is especially a challenge when rinks don’t have the best ventilation. I don’t know what the line is to Katie’s point, but my biggest concern is for the players on the bench, even more than the eagle nest. As a goalie, I don’t skate as much, so I may have a different perspective. But the benches are very close and that is the reason why I am in support of wearing masks, but I don’t know where the line is.
    • Nora: Immunocompromised skater here. Yes, wearing masks sucks but I really appreciate the extra level of protection.
    • Ryan: we’re all coming from different places, and I thought Katie makes a good point. Covid is never going away, and it is never going to stop having new strains. Where do we draw the line? I also think it is important that we were very hard pressed to say we were following the health official rules, but now the requirements are decreasing, why are we not following it afterward? There are plenty of other leagues not requiring masks; there are plenty of players who are not wearing masks. Team trans tournament had no masks and there were no transmission. To k8’s point, we have seen a lot of folks who have had cases. We were very excited to follow the health official’s mandate before, but we should continue doing it now.
    • Nora: This is my first meeting. I am an immunocompromised skater, so it might be expected that my position may be more extreme. One of my biggest frustrations is this change of viewpoint from institutional care to personal responsibility. What the MGHA is saying is that if we remove masks, we’re not supporting those who are the most vulnerable. By including masks, we have the opportunity to show that we care about folks with disabilities.
    • Libs (from chat): I think *if* the mask mandate is actually lifted on March 1*** We should send a league survey to be completed by Thursday March 3rd, and the board makes a decision based on the entire league’s input. *** Data will drive the county’s decision and these things have changed a lot. I don’t think it’s worthwhile for our energy and relationships to argue about it until then.
    • Rob: Very compelling arguments on both sides. Katie and Ryan make great points, we followed Dane County health guidelines, why shouldn’t we continue to do that? There’s always going to be a new variant, when are we ever going to not wear masks? And I’m sick of wearing masks. But, the issue of protecting our most vulnerable players is very compelling. This pandemic has gone on so long because mitigation practices – masks, social distancing – have not been universally and quantitatively used by the populations. I look at it like how the NE Patriots how they deal with their aging players: they trade them a year early instead of a year late. I would rather have the masks, keep them 1-2 weeks past when we really need them as opposed to getting rid of them a week or two earlier than we should have. My proposal was to keep the masks until March 13, which is two weeks after the Dane county mandate. Then, we can look at the cases. The metric would not be a case number, but a trend; are they trending lower, flat, or are we seeing an increase? If they’re trending lower or flat, then I say we can lift ours. If they’re increasing, then we have to think about whether we want to keep them for the rest of the season.
    • Katie: If we go from 60 to 70 cases, does that mean we continue wearing masks when it’s below the arbitrary threshold of 100?
    • Rob: It’s a good point, but we would have to decide what kind of slope in a trend we’re comfortable with. Going from 50 to 75 is a 50% increase. Going from 50 to 250 is a five-fold increase. So I think the trend over time we would have to see. I don’t think it’s as gray of a broad area as you’re saying
    • Avery: We should do another survey. We shared the data, a majority said optional on ice or didn’t care. We’ve played games where we don’t wear them and there haven’t been big cases

Refs:

  • Tim: I had a chance to talk about the reffing, talking about the refereeing, throughout the season. What we landed on was sending a reminder – not being nitpicky to them, we know their job is hard – to remind them that we are a developmental league, and that we want those borderline calls called. We want to teach people, because if they’re not called people are going to have no idea what those calls are. You can probably expect a few more penalties over the next few weeks, partially for developmental reasons and partially for safety. We don’t want beer league hockey, that is not what the MGHA is.

Open topics:

  • Eric Witte: we talked about a mid-season shuffle up. I know we have had a bit of an interruption due to the pandemic, and I know we surveyed and discussed this. We talked about having a half season where you play, do a rebalance/reshuffle, and then you have a secondary season and then do a second half.
    • Amanda: It did not come up given the context of this season. Next season potentially?
    • Gene: We’ve added more players and that is the shuffle just given the makeup of this season. 
    • Chuck: we sort have had to do that, since every game has had half subs on teams
  • Chuck: Is there a way we could get the subdesk earlier than Sunday afternoon? I get that emergencies will come up – they always do – but 90% of the time you know by Thursday or Friday so the captains aren’t running around trying to figure out who is playing?
    • K8: I would also support a printed list of volunteer subs and a sheet in the lobby to support last minute “hey I’m still here and didn’t expect to be, I’d play”
    • Mason: I don’t love watching the scramble. I agree with Chuck. I see you want to avoid asking on Friday or Saturday night, but I don’t like waiting until 2pm on Sunday to have any idea what games I’m playing or what equipment I need to bring. More time would be nice on both ends.
    • Rob: you can click on your next week’s game and see who on your team has marked themselves absent. Early in the morning, the subdesk is out and you can get the information out early if you want.
    • David: people are trying to make our games better, but I would suggest the captains need to make the call if this is working 
    • Tim: I think there is a serious scramble for L2, but this year is not the norm and we actually adjusted it later at the request of the captains last season. Feel free to kick off an email if you want to discuss
  • Libs: Quick straw poll: how do people feel about the idea to pick two games toward the end of the season where we (captains) identify players that want to try playing on a different level. Reason I’m asking is because if we do want to go forward with it, we would want to pick those dates sooner rather than later. I would be willing to coordinate. With 6 games left, we have space to do it, but we don’t even know how many people are interested. [Notetaker’s note: there was a bit of back and forth on this discussion not documented here due to speed of content :)]
    • Avery: we could include the question on the survey
  • Chuck: The path to L2 prompted me to think about this; the biggest thing that I feel that we are not serving people well with is skill development. We should think hard about making the league more accessible and more safe, allowing for more cross league work. We never take the step to offer more than 1 night a week, and that is going to limit development. I know other leagues offer more time; we should do the same
    • Tim: this came up during the captains meeting. We have tried in the past to do clinics and offered other days of the week. Part of the reason why is that not everyone wants multiple days of hockey – and that’s fine! People can choose what they want to do. The challenge we’re going to run into is getting ice time during the week, and it will come at a cost, and someone is going to have to organize that. It sounds like it would be a separate sign up. If people are willing to organize and get that running, then great! We do this during the summer. During the season, we would have to have someone to run that.
    • Gene: I love the idea as a development league that we ought to do something like this, but we don’t have the budget for this. We can call it MGHA plus or something, and it doesn’t sound like a boatload of work. Once we review the organizational force from our memberships we could get started
    • Chuck: it doesn’t have to be a structured skills clinic, but it can be as simple as offering up time. It bleeds into accessibility issues from a skills perspective
    • Nora: a stop-gap solution could be to take advantage of stick and pucks that are already scheduled at cap ice or other local rinks. Could there be a sign up where we encourage skilled players to sign up in advance to be present for newer skaters?
    • David Hafner: I like the ideas in chat that are coming up and we should do something. The history lesson is that we’ve tried it in the past and it didn’t work, so I don’t think we should overcommit. We can offer it middle of the Sunday
    • Bront: We’ve got enough interest that it’s worth having a survey topic. Will also throw out the idea of having, of doing something alongside summer scrimmages. We should also focus on financials too for this decision
    • Katie: not going to stop putting together a whole other night and separate ice, but there is not a dearth of ice availability in this city for people who want to practice skating. You can do it at any number of parks that have rinks, so we don’t have to say we aren’t developing players if we aren’t offering these. From a logistical perspective, would like to avoid having games going longer from 4:30-9:30 
    • Chuck: it would be even a great start and we don’t really socialize the opportunities for stick and puck
    • Gene: First of all, usurping a singular stick and puck can work great and can evolve into us into renting the ice at that time and at that rink. Another one is there is still 8:30 ice available at the shell. If someone wanted to take something on, have responsibility, we could help with the financial part
  • Libs: We got some positive feedback from a new player on our team. Just wanted to commend this league for its continued existence to play hockey and make connections. From what I can tell, we’re doing a great job at including amidst covid and amidst hockey
  • David: Thanks for all the conversation! It was all on how to make the league better, how to be good players, and better teammates. Some of the great things the league has done: we should pat ourselves on the back and publicize more of our work.
  • David: How is our storage situation? Is that sustainable?  It’s worth it to put it into the ether to think about. What is it we’re thinking about in July/August, but it seems like everything went well with recruiting/mentors
    • Rob: We had 6 subs on our last Sunday game, and we had a very hard time finding jerseys for all of our jerseys. Is there a way we can recycle jerseys so the sub jerseys for light blue can be given to the other teams?
    • Mason: we sent out an email – if you’re still needing them, you can email us
    • Bront: for future reference there are sometimes jerseys stashed at the bottom of the box. Would be in favor a set amount of 
    • Laur: I am open to inviting myself and going through and looking at the numbers and creating a pack of sub jerseys and logging numbers, but it’s contingent on how full/empty it is and them getting back
    • Ian: Can we make a spreadsheet, loan it all out for the captains, and then collect it and the sub jerseys from the prior years?

Scrimmages (November 28, 2021)

Hey everyone! We’re having scrimmages this week due to Thanksgiving and a lot of our players being away.

We have four slots currently scheduled, but, should the need arise, we’ll add another. If that happens, it would be at 6:50 PM and will likely be an intermediate session.

If we fill a slot and that is the safest slot for a player, we may ask those who can comfortably play at another time slot to shift to make room for someone who fits better in that slot.

Thanks for your understanding!

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Scorebox Signup for 3/27 and 3/28

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