The BC Intercollegiate Hockey League announced Thursday that the 2020-21 regular season won't start any sooner than January 15, 2021 due to safety concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are working closely with BC Hockey, our member institutions, our home arenas and our travel partners to ensure we return to action safely when the current restrictions are lifted," said BCIHL President Chris Munshaw.
"We now know that these restrictions will prevent us from starting on time for the fall semester."
The BCIHL consists of five teams, including Selkirk College, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby; Trinity Western University in Langley; Vancouver Island College in Nanaimo and the University of Victoria.
The BCIHL said in the media release membership approved a tentative 12-game regular season schedule for the winter term along with a modified playoff structure during last week's annual general meeting.
The BCIHL said individual teams are permitted to explore exhibition game opportunities for the fall semester within the boundaries of their institution, facility, and BC Hockey and Hockey Canada Return to Play protocols.
"With concerns over the health, safety, and academic success of our student-athletes, each of our member teams agreed that January 15 is the earliest opportunity to kick off the regular season," continued Munshaw.