Due to COVID-19 guidelines, the KIJHL is abandoning the traditional four-division format this season for multiple stages of “cohort groups” made up for four or three teams.

The changes are being made to fall into place with viaSport’s Phase 3 framework approved by Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. Provincial Health Officer.

The cohort groups will change three times during the season, ensuring each team is able to complete the shortened 30-game schedule before the Teck Cup playoffs.

“There will be a pair of four-team cohorts as well as a trio of three-team cohorts,” said the KIJHL in their announcement. “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 officially begin with the start of the season on Friday, November 13th and run for six weeks, ending on Saturday, December 19th for the Christmas break. Every team will play 12 games in Phase 1 with the following cohort groups:

  • Four-team cohorts for Phase 1
    • Columbia Valley Rockies, Creston Valley Thundercats, Fernie Ghostriders, Kimberley Dynamiters
    • Castlegar Rebels, Grand Forks Border Bruins, Nelson Leafs, Osoyoos Coyotes
  • Three-team cohorts for Phase 1
    • Kelowna Chiefs, Princeton Posse, Summerland Steam
    • Golden Rockets, Revelstoke Grizzlies, Sicamous Eagles
    • Chase Heat, Kamloops Storm, North Okanagan Knights

Starting on Saturday, January 2nd, the KIJHL will them move into Phase 2. For those in the four-team cohorts Phase 2 will be the final change for the rest of the season, as those teams will play their remaining 18 games, playing each team six times. The three-team cohorts will play eight games through to Saturday, January 23rd, before moving into Phase 3 for another eight-game schedule starting Friday, February 5th.

  • Four-team cohorts for Phase 2 & 3
    • Columbia Valley Rockies, Golden Rockets, Fernie Ghostriders and Kimberley Dynamiters
    • Castlegar Rebels, Grand Forks Border Bruins, Nelson Leafs and Creston Valley Thundercats
  • Three-team cohorts for Phase 2
    • Osoyoos Coyotes, Princeton Posse, Summerland Steam
    • Kelowna Chiefs, North Okanagan Knights, Sicamous Eagles
    • Chase Heat, Kamloops Storm, Revelstoke Grizzlies
  • Three-team cohorts for Phase 3
    • Kelowna Chiefs, Osoyoos Coyotes, Princeton Posse
    • Chase Heat, North Okanagan Knights, Summerland Steam
    • Kamloops Storm, Revelstoke Grizzlies, Sicamous Eagles

“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,” said the KIJHL.

The league said the playoff structure for the 2020/21 season will be announced at a later day as the guideline for Phase 3 competition could potentially change again before March 2021.