AHAI announced today the cancellation of the 2021 Illinois state championship hockey tournaments across all levels and divisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHAI Board of Directors voted to approve the cancellation at its meeting on Jan. 18.
The decision was made in accordance with USA Hockey’s mandate to affiliates to follow state and local health guidelines. Illinois’ COVID-19 mitigation restrictions currently do not allow the state tournaments to be held.
“The health and safety of our players, parents, coaches, officials, administrators, and volunteers remains our top priority, and following state guidelines is not optional – it is required by USA Hockey,” said AHAI President Kevin Bolger.
“We understand that this decision is disappointing to our competitive players and teams, but we look forward to safely resuming the state tournament championships in 2022,” Mr. Bolger added.
Because of the extensive planning, ice rink commitments, and other logistics that are required to stage the multi-level state tournament, it would be impractical to reverse the decision even if the pandemic situation and guidelines were to improve at some point in the future. The state tournaments were scheduled to begin next month and extend to early March.
AHAI is analyzing and exploring options for qualified Illinois teams to participate in USA Hockey Central District playoffs and national championships, if available, but there is no assurance at this time that such opportunities will exist.
AHAI Board of Directors
Sanctioned Affiliate of USA Hockey