The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) has announced its cohort structure and groupings for the 2020/21 regular season, which is set to begin on Friday, Nov. 13 with all teams playing a 30-game schedule.
In order to meet the guidelines set forth by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer and Phase 3 of viaSport’s “Return to Sport” framework, KIJHL clubs will be placed into one of five cohorts. There will be a pair of four-team cohorts as well as a trio of three-team cohorts.
In order to provide an equitable travel schedule and maximize the number of potential opponents, the season will be split into two phases for clubs participating in four-team cohorts and three phases for those clubs in three-team cohorts.
Phase 1 will begin on Nov. 13 and run for a total of six weeks, concluding Saturday, Dec. 19. All teams will play a total of 12 games during Phase 1, which will see cohorts comprised of the following teams:
Four cohort teams:
Columbia Valley Rockies, Creston Valley Thundercats, Fernie Ghostriders and Kimberley Dynamiters.
Castlegar Rebels, Grand Forks Border Bruins, Nelson Leafs and Osoyoos Coyotes.
Three cohort teams:
Kelowna Chiefs, Princeton Posse and Summerland Steam.
Golden Rockets, Revelstoke Grizzlies and Sicamous Eagles.
Chase Heat, Kamloops Storm and North Okanagan Knights.
On Saturday, Jan, 2, Phase 2 will begin following a 14-day Christmas break and the teams in each cohort will shift. For clubs in four-team cohorts, Phase 2 will run through the remainder of the regular season and include a total of 18 games (six against each opponent).
For the three-team cohorts, Phase 2 will last a total of four weeks through Jan. 23 and include eight regular season games (four against each opponent).
Clubs in three-team cohorts will see the season conclude with eight additional games as part of Phase 3 following an additional 14-day break. Beginning February 5th, the composition of the three-team cohorts will change again for another four week period that includes eight games (four against each opponent).
Clubs in three-team cohorts will also play two additional games against a regional opponent in order to complete a 30-game regular season schedule.
The KIJHL will announce its playoff structure at a later date, as guidelines concerning Phase 3 competition and cohorts may change before March 2021.