The Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) has postponed the start of the Regular Season and will commence the 2020-21 campaign with a Development Season beginning August 31st, 2020.
Within the current boundaries of Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey Plan and Stage 2 of Alberta’s Relaunch, the AJHL is unable to enter regular season competition at this time. The League continues to have progressive discussions with the Alberta government on safety measures to protect players, staff and fans as the AJHL advances into its Development Season.
The Development Season will meet the needs of both the League and its athletes by allowing teams to actively prepare for the upcoming season while providing players an opportunity for high-calibre training and development. Training Camps will be permitted to begin as early as August 31st in all 15 AJHL communities and will run until the AJHL embarks on regular season play.
Invited players will have the option to register for a respective team’s Development Season or opt out of the camp.
“As anxious as we all are to return to competition and embrace our communities, public safety and the safety of our athletes has to be the priority,” stated AJHL Commissioner Ryan Bartoshyk. “The opportunity for an AJHL Development Season will amplify the League's ability to provide our athletes with a valuable experience through the quality instruction of our coaches and access to team training resources.”
“The Alberta Junior Hockey League will be poised to immediately resume regular season competition when Provincial regulations allow.” As part of the Development Season, and in preparation for the regular season, the AJHL will move to exhibition play within the Province’s guidelines once rosters are reduced to the allotted size.
The AJHL Development Season outline meets the current health and safety requirements of the Government of Alberta and aligns with Hockey Canada’s Return to Hockey Safety Guidelines and Hockey Alberta’s Return to Hockey Plan in focusing on the safety and wellbeing of all participants. In addition, teams will commit to using the ABTraceTogether App.
In June 2020, the AJHL announced the schedule for its 57th season, which was strategically created to remove pre-determined blocks of games as part of a contingency plan should the season be delayed. Plans for the 2021 AJHL Playoffs, 2021 Doyle Cup and 2021 Centennial Cup will be determined at a later date.