BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The NWHL is gearing up for its 6th season and has announced a timeline of events for players and coaches.
Here are some of the highlights:
- the regular season will begin in January 2021
- each team will play a full season of 20 games
- the Isobel Cup Playoffs are expected to be completed by the end of March
While the season isn't expected to start until January, there will be optional on-ice practices and off-ice training beginning the week of September 21st. Formal practices will begin the week of October 19th.
Throughout the entire process, NWHL teams will strictly adhere to the protocols established by infectious disease experts, the NWHL medical team, and community officials.
“The NWHLPA is well-represented on the league’s COVID-19 committee. The PA has been included in all discussions in regards to player safety and league scheduling, and co-authored the overall return-to-play protocol," said Anya Packer, NWHL Players' Association executive director. "We feel our voices have been heard thus far and we will continue to ensure that the safety and well-being of the players is at the forefront of all discussions and formal protocols.”
"The Safety Committee has and will continue to prioritize NWHL player, staff, fan, and media safety above all else while adapting to the ever-changing COVID-19 situation,” said Dr. Gonzalez-Lomas, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Sports Health expert at NYU Langone Health. “We are eager to meet the challenge ahead and do our utmost to safely return the athletes to the sport they love."
Prior to the season the league will announce plans regarding in-season medical protocols, announcements regarding ticket availability, and arena capacity for fans.