QMJHL Announces Oct. 1 Start In Pods

The QMJHL announced that it is planning to return to play on October 1, 2020. The QMJHL will be the first CHL league to begin play, following announcements from the OHL (Dec. 1) and starting one day earlier than the WHL (Oct. 2).

The regular season will feature a 60-game schedule with the teams split into three divisions. All regular-season games will be played within divisional pods, featuring six teams each, and a playoff format will be announced in December.

“Since the 2019-2020 season and the President Cup playoffs were cancelled last March, the Commissioner’s office has been preparing a sustainable return to play protocol to ensure a safe environment for players, team staffs, fans and its communities,” the league wrote in a release. “Over the past several weeks, the league has had continued dialogue with government officials and Public Health Agencies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec to propose a plan in line with Public Health directives and guidelines.

“In order to begin the season on October 1st, with training camps and return to school deadlines coming up at end of August, the league had to decide on whether or not to start the 2020-2021 season. The League’s mission is to develop players both academically and athletically while providing the safest possible environment. In view of the urgency of the situation and in line with our mission, the members voted in favour of returning to play on October 1st.

“Following our conversations with both the Provincial Governments and Public Health Agencies, it has been determined that the 2020-2021 season will be played behind closed doors in Quebec, while details are currently still being discussed for the Maritimes.”

QMJHL training camps will open up in two weeks (August 30) and teams will be allowed 34 invitees.

The 102nd Memorial Cup presented by Kia is scheduled to be played from June 17-27, 2021, in Oshawa or Sault St. Marie.