Categorized | Sports

Organizers postpone Hockey Through the Ages tournament

Rob Bluther

The on-again, off-again Hockey Through the Ages tournament is off. Again.

Organizers decided last week to postpone the charity tournament planned for December until Feb. 11-13 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We didn’t want to move the dates but we all figured we needed to,” tournament founder Rob Luther said Friday.

The third Hockey Through the Ages tournament, which is open to people aged 25 years and over who either played Minor Hockey or lived in Fort Macleod, was originally set for December 2020.

With COVID-19 still active in Alberta and public health restrictions in place, the organizing committee postponed the tournament until March 2021.

With the pandemic still raging early this year, the tournament was again postponed to Dec. 17-19.

With more than 17,839 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta right now, and over 250 people in intensive care units and the health system in cris, organizers decided it was prudent to postpone until 2022.

Luther and the other committee members are hopeful interest will remain high among players and spectators despite the numerous postponements.

“Players have all been put on hold everywhere so this tournament will fill up fast,” Luther said.

The first Hockey Through the Ages tournament was held in 2017 and the second one followed in 2018.

Between them, the tournaments raised close to $100,000 that was donated to a variety of projects and organizations in Fort Macleod.

Players who are first to pay the $150 registration fee are “drafted” onto one of eight teams made up of 13 skaters and one goalie.

Each team is guaranteed four games, including one in a playoff contest.

In each of its first two years the tournament attracted a full complement of players.

An unexpected but welcome sideline were the huge crowds of parents and other family members and friends who turned out to support the tournament.

The organizers decided to take 2019 off, in order to give corporate donors a break, as well as players who travel a considerable distance.

In addition to Luther, the organizing committee includes Scott Norlin, Mike Bourassa, Ben Paskal, Wes Stockton, Gage DeGinnus, Mike Davis and Cole Archibald, as well as Stephen Vandervalk.

Vandervalk is replacing Brian Reach, who decided to retire this year after helping to organize the first two successful tournaments.

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