The Maine Amateur Hockey Association has decided to cancel all of its scheduled youth hockey games this weekend, as it waits for further clarification from state agencies on whether the sport will be allowed to play indoor games this winter.

The hockey association had also canceled games last weekend after receiving a letter from the Department of Health and Human Services. The letter warned that the group was not following the intent of the state’s COVID-19 community sports guidelines by holding indoor games and allowing teams to travel outside of their own county or geographic area.

“We’re not playing any games this weekend. We made the decision to cancel again as we did last week,” Maine Amateur Hockey Association President Mike Keaney said Friday. “There will most likely be practices and stuff, but all of our leagues are not playing.”

Keaney said some rinks had already notified the association, which oversees about 20 youth and adult hockey organizations with over 5,000 participants, that they would not allow games.

Hockey has been in the spotlight as a possible source of COVID-19 transmission. In Maine, the state’s Center for Disease Control said last week that a referee who tested positive exposed up to 400 people while officiating games on Oct. 3 and 4. There are no confirmed links of transmission from the referee to another individual.

In New Hampshire, Gov. Chris Sununu announced Thursday his state was enforcing a two-week moratorium on all skating activity at indoor rinks because of six hockey-related outbreaks that had been tied to over 150 positive cases. Vermont also reported a hockey-related outbreak that has been connected to 12 COVID-19 infections.

“Some of the rinks (in Maine) had already said they weren’t going to allow games until they got some clarification, and we felt with what’s going on, some of the unfortunate instances referenced in New Hampshire and Vermont, it was probably best to not play this weekend,” Keaney said.

The hockey association has had some “dialogue via email,” with state officials but has not had an official meeting, Keaney said. He added no decision has been made on canceling games beyond this weekend.

“We want to make sure we do the right thing so we can play for the entire season, and playing games this weekend may put that in jeopardy,” Keaney said.

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