Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Goal: “Secure gaming operations”
DEL is sounding the alarm because of corona chaos
After three teams had to be quarantined, the German Ice Hockey League decided on new rules for the tests. However, these do not affect clubs with a 100 percent vaccination quota. In the past few days, the dynamics of corona infections had increased immensely.
The German Ice Hockey League (DEL) reacted to the increasing corona chaos by tightening its test strategy – and increased the vaccination pressure on the protagonists. The new measures are only due for teams that have unvaccinated players or officials in their ranks from November 1st.
People without vaccination must then be tested three times a week using the PCR method, people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered for more than two months once a week. So far, the testing of these two groups was voluntary according to the 31-page corona guideline of the DEL. According to the league, the current vaccination rate at the clubs is 93 percent.
“We have noticed in the last few days that the dynamics of the infections are increasing and the treatment by the authorities has become significantly more restrictive,” said DEL managing director Gernot Tripcke: “The top priority for us is that all of our employees feel as protected as possible and thus we also secure our gaming operations. “
Hardly any buffer in the schedule
Previously, two complete teams in Red Bull Munich and Düsseldorfer EG and at the Iserlohn Roosters 16 players had been quarantined by the health authorities after several corona cases. On Tuesday, the Roosters announced that there had been “further corona cases”. Numerous games had to be postponed, the game plan is already quite distorted. The DEL does not have a lot of buffer in its calendar, since this season, in addition to the World Cup in Finland (May 13th to 29th), the Olympic Games in Beijing (February 4th to 20th) are also on the agenda.
The DEL has no time to lose. For Red Bull Munich, the home game against the Bietigheim Steelers continues – with a rump team. Many players and head coach Don Jackson are still in quarantine. The day before, only nine field players and two goalkeepers from the professional squad were on the ice, so that some youngsters from the academy had to fill up the training.
At least the people of Munich, in whom 22 tests were positive, complained of “numerous vaccination breakthroughs” in those who had been vaccinated. According to the protocol, they can test themselves – provided they are symptom-free – after five days. This period is twice as long for unvaccinated people. This is one of the reasons why the league is hoping for vaccine stragglers. Every unvaccinated person increases “the risk for himself, his and the other teams and the entire game”, said DEL game manager Jörg von Ameln to the “ice hockey news”.
The question remains why so many people are currently infected with the virus in ice hockey, even though the vaccination rate is relatively high. Health economist Florian Kainzinger, who was also consulted for the DEL hygiene concept, suspects that the cabin that is always overcrowded in ice hockey with players, coaches and supervisors is a critical transmission point.