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Tryout/Evaluation Protocols

Following the approval of the Hockey Manitoba Return to Play – Phase 2 on August 12th, regions and associations are now slowly preparing to get back to hockey related activities for the 2020 – 2021 hockey season. One of the major components in Phase 2 of Return to Play (RTP) will be tryout and evaluation camps. For associations preparing to run tryout/evaluation camps the information below will help in ensuring that these camps adhere to the RTP guidelines.

Tryout Communications Officer

Due to the tryout/evaluation process taking place prior to team formation it is a requirement that all associations and organizations have an identified Communications Officer for the tryout process. This individual will handle all of the RTP and safety protocols related to COVID-19 during the tryout process. Following team formation these responsibilities will shift to the Communications Officer for each team.

Athlete Numbers

All tryout and evaluation camps that run as part of Phase 2 and Phase 3 will be limited as to the maximum number of athletes allowed on the ice. As a result no ice session can take place where the number of athletes on the ice exceeds the maximum allowable roster size for that particular level of hockey. The roster sizes for each level of hockey are listed below:

Minor Hockey/U15 AAA –19 Athletes

U18 AAA/High School – 20 Athletes

Junior/Senior Hockey – 25 Athletes

Example – maximum roster size for a U15 team is 19 athletes therefore no ice session can have more than 19 athletes on the ice.

Half-Ice Practices

In situations where teams are required to run half-ice practices in which they share the other half of the ice with another team, both teams are permitted to have their full roster participating on the ice. In this situation, both teams would be required to remain on their half of the ice and there would be no interaction between the two rosters for the duration of the practice. The two teams sharing the ice would NOT be permitted to scrimmage against each other.

Athlete Groupings

During all tryout/evaluation camps in Phase 2 of RTP associations are encouraged to group their athletes into cohorts for each round of tryouts/evaluation. Cohorts would consist of one full roster of athletes and this group of athletes would have no interaction with athletes in the other cohorts for that round of tryouts/evaluations. This will prevent unnecessary interaction between athletes throughout each round of tryouts.

Exhibition Games/Scrimmages

Phase 2 – During Phase 2 of RTP associations WILL NOT be permitted to run exhibition games as a part of the tryout/evaluation process. Associations WILL be permitted to run scrimmages as a part of practice for the purpose of evaluation. Scrimmages will be defined as:

Scrimmage – Non-contact, heavily controlled full-ice play that can be formatted as 5-v-5, 4-v-4 or 3-v-3. The number of athletes participating in the scrimmage CANNOT exceed one roster consisting of the maximum roster size for that particular level of hockey. During a scrimmage, the maximum number of individuals allowed on the bench cannot exceed 10 players, coaches, or team staff.

Phase 3 – During Phase 3 of RTP associations WILL be permitted to run exhibition games as a part of the tryout/evaluation process. Exhibition games will be defined as:

Exhibition Game – Regular game protocols while adhering to social distancing guidelines. The number of athletes participating in the exhibition games cannot exceed two rosters consisting of the maximum roster size for that particular level of hockey.

Ice Session Content

The following types of activity are permitted during tryout/evaluation ice sessions during Phase 2 and Phase 3:

Phase 2 – Individual skill development, flow drills, competitive non-contact drills, team tactics, small area games with limited numbers, scrimmages.

Phase 3 – Individual skill development, flow drills, team tactics, scrimmages, small area games, competitive/battle drills, exhibition games.


In both phases it is highly recommended that associations incorporate stations as a main aspect of the ice session structure for tryout/evaluation skates. A strong emphasis should be placed on ensuring that athletes are not spending long periods of time waiting in lines and stationary around other athletes. Associations are encouraged to use the following format for all tryout/evaluation skates during Phase 2:

0 – 6 minutes – Warm-up drill with shots for goalies

8 – 14 minutes – Flow drill with passing and shooting

16 – 36 minutes – Skills stations with athletes split into 2-3 different stations

38 – 55 minutes – Controlled scrimmage or small area game played 4-v-4 or 3-v-3

55 – 60 minutes – Staggered exit from ice.

Coaches and associations are encouraged to utilize the Hockey Canada Network App or the Hockey Canada Drill Hub for drills and station ideas.