Manitoba hockey association banning children whose parents try to skirt vaccine checkpoints

WINNIPEG –

Some minor hockey officials in Manitoba are cracking down on unvaccinated parents bypassing checkpoints in arenas to watch their children play hockey.

“It is certainly very discouraging that people will just flaunt the rules and expect that they are above the law and they can do whatever they want,” said Peter Woods the executive director of Hockey Manitoba in a Facebook post a month ago.

The Portage la Prairie Minor Hockey Association (PMHA) wrote people who are not fully vaccinated are sneaking in through back doors of arenas.

For that reason, the association says it has instituted a zero tolerance policy.

If caught sneaking in without proof of vaccination, or you help someone get in through a side door, there will be consequences.

“Your child will be removed from the PMHA roster for the remainder of the season with no refund … there will be no second chances,” the association said.

Woods says it supports the PMHA’s approach.

“You can’t say too bad so sad we’ll give you another try, these are the consequences. These are very serious issues, this is putting the health and safety of a number of people at risk,” said Woods.

Both Hockey Manitoba and Hockey Winnipeg say while not common, they have been made aware of parents or spectators trying to sneak into arenas without showing their vaccination status.

Ian McArton, executive director of Hockey Winnipeg, said he’s heard of people trying to circumvent the screening process.

“I’ve heard of people just walking right past the desk where people are checking, you know not making eye contact and trying to go in. I have heard of the side door,” said McArton.

Facilities have the ability to bar people not complying.

On the hockey side adults can be suspended for the season and if need be their child banned from playing.

“The reason we do that is that some people who are not willing to adhere to the guidelines could cause major problems and we risk our entire program being shut down,” said McArton.

Non-compliance could also bring a hefty fine for violating public health orders.

Hockey Manitoba says a small number of suspensions have been issued. 

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