Love and life are deep, maybe as his skies are wide. — Rush “Tom Sawyer”
Hockey players on Oahu are smiling. Kapolei Inline Hockey Arenas will be reopening March 1.
KIHA owner Richard Pentecost, however, wants hockey players to know that this will be a cautious opening. He takes COVID-19 very seriously.
Instead of opening to 25 percent capacity like the Center for Disease Control recommends, KIHA will run at 10 percent capacity.
That, however, should make the 500 or more inline hockey players on the island very, very happy. They’ve been practicing and playing limited-player games outdoors on pavement/cement for a year. The puck slides way better on the IceCourt than it does on the road.
Royal Kekuewa carried the puck in a Kapolei Inline Hockey Arenas game.
KIHA hockey director Jami Yoder sent an email to the adult and youth players and parents at about 3 p.m. Friday with instructions on how things are going to be done in the COVID-19 era.
Pentecost noted that 808 Futsal, a facility for one form of indoor soccer located across from KIHA in the Campbell Industrial Park, will also be doing a cautious opening on March 1.
“The vaccine is here and the number of new cases is going down,” Pentecost said. “And the Governor announced we in Tier 2 (less restrictive guidelines for COVID-19) mode. We will being extremely cautious.”
Pentecost noted that public skating will not begin right away. Depending on how smoothly the hockey reopening goes, he plans to start it up with limited amounts of skaters, possibly as soon as March 15.
It is imperative that all hockey players follow protocol, said Pentecost, who said he recently did an accounting and saw that his losses from the closing of KIHA and 808 Futsal on March 11, 2020, is around $600,000.
“We here at KIHA are super excited to announce that we will be opening up March 1,” Yoder said in his email to hockey players.
Expect to see Division I player
Mitch Furukawa back in action.
It’s also important to note that the first week will be adult hockey, with youth hockey divisions starting in the second week. Youth hockey practices will resume on their (former) regularly scheduled nights with a one-hour (6-7 p.m.) practice, starting Monday, March 8.
Click here for KIHA’s COVID-19 protocol: COVID-19 protocol.
The schedule of activities for the first week follows: