‘Forget February’ As Tournament Directors Move Iconic Event To The Spring
It’s a good news, bad news type of situation for the young players who thought they would be having the opportunity to participate in one of hockey’s most prestigious tournaments in February.
Organizers for the Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament announced on Thursday that their event will not be played next month.
However, the tournament will still take place — barring any future setbacks — in May.
With Canada’s provinces entering into various forms of lockdowns to combat the latest spread of COVID-19, the Quebec tournament is the latest casualty.
“It is highly unlikely that the situation will resolve itself to such an extent that the tournament can be held in February,” said Patrick Dom, general manager of the Pee-Wee Tournament, in a press release. “We believed in it until the end, but now it’s better to move forward with another solution. We have evaluated the different alternatives over the last few days and the best option for us is really to postpone early May.”
The press release went on to state that the organizers held discussions with various teams, volunteers, partners, funders and others in coming to the conclusion to reschedule the tournament.
Last year, the Quebec-based premiere youth hockey event was cancelled entirely as Canada’s youth hockey community missed an entire season due to COVID-19.
The revamped tournament will now take place May 1-15 with a new structure. From May 1-8, the AA-Elites, AA and A divisions will play their games, and from May 9-15 the AAA, BB and school divisions will play. It will be the first time that the tournament is played in the spring.
“It wasn’t a simple task to move the tournament,” Dom said. “Our biggest challenge was the availability of the Videotron Center. It is between shows and games of the Remparts de Québec that the schedule will be built. We have no choice but to hold the event over two weeks to get it all together.”
As the announcement has just been made, it’s unclear what it will mean for the teams originally slated to participate, as well as if this will offer an opportunity for more teams to participate. The announced field for the 2021 tournament had 32 teams from six countries committed; all of the players had to have two vaccination shots by a Feb. 2 cut-off date.
You can read more about what was expected for the February edition of the tournament here.
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