Howler-No Howler jamboree safely held during Coronavirus pandemic
Holding a hockey tournament during a pandemic is no easy task but the Ely Blue Line was up to the task.
Due to Covid restrictions youth hockey teams are already trying to squeeze in as many games as they can with district games a priority.
“If you hosted a jamboree, that would mean you would have 2-3 days less available to schedule district games, in an already shortened seasons,” explained the DeLana Forsberg of the Ely Blue Line. “Yes, the season was extended a few weeks, but time became ‘constricted’ with all the games for PeeWees, Squirts and High School games, so associations adjusted with dropping the jamborees.”
Ely has traditionally hosted a very popular “Howler” tournament and this year the scheduling had to be creative.
“The Mini and Mites teams still scheduled games with many of the teams that come to the Howler. They were able to get games with four other associations. A total of 15 teams and 14 games between the two levels, but on different days, weekends and even arenas to accommodate Covid regulations,” said Forsberg.
Those games became jamboree games to give the kids a bit of normalcy.
“So, although the arenas weren’t packed all in one weekend with raffle tables and packed stands due to spectator limits, we still tried to make the games special. The team managers had to stagger entries, game times and locations, and we were able to coordinate some fun things for the kids like the treat bags and The Hustle Awards,” said Forsberg.
With a lot of help from local businesses Hand Done T-Shirts, Zup’s and Northland Market, the jamboree was a success.
“We jokingly called it the Howler-No Howler, Covid Style Hockey Jamboree,” said Forsberg.