The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has a new playoff format and Barrie will get in on the action as a host city.
The association has announced the OMHA Championships will take place over three weekends, March 25-27, April 1-3 and April 8-10 in Barrie, Kingston, Oakville, Whitby and Windsor.
According to the OMHA website, round-robin play will occur on the first two days, with semi-finals and championships being decided on Sunday. The league says the weekends will feature sponsor activations and gifts, excited crowds, official merchandise, and live-streaming of games.
The championship teams will be awarded the Red Hat.
“The ultimate prize in minor hockey remains the goal for all competing and will be distributed to the winning teams,” the OMHA says on its website.
The league said the new playoff format has been designed with the players, coaches and parents in mind.
“It extends the length of playing meaningful hockey, minimizes travel for busy hockey families and aligns with the Player Pathways optimal season structure,” said the OMHA. “It removes the elimination-style series, and keeps more teams playing during the year for a longer period of time.”
Ian Taylor, OMHA executive director, said players, parents and volunteers have endured so much during the pandemic.
“We have been planning this for months and believe this is a great way to give them something special to look forward to and to ensure all our participants can be involved in more meaningful hockey right up to March and beyond.”