2020 World Hockey Forum. Day one

The first day of the 2020 World Hockey Forum ended on December 16.

The forum, supported by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), Ministry of Sport, Olympic Committee of Russia and Moscow Sport, is being held in the fifth conecutive year. This year, it is being staged in an online format as a consequence of the current pandemic, dedicated to issues concerning the digitalization of ice hockey, the impact of new technologies on ice hockey, new approaches with sponsors and fans and other matters. Chairman of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation (RIHF) board Arkady Rotenberg, RIHF president Vladislav Tretiak, IIHF president Rene Fasel, Russian sport minister Oleg Matytsin and Olympic Committee of Russia chairman Stanislav Pozdnyakov all welcomed the forum's participants with speeches.

On the first day, reports were presented by Kevin Chapman (physical fitness coach, HC Sochi), Tomas Peric (Karlov University, Prague), Nikolay Tutarinov (SenseArena), Vladislav Zankovets (Dynamo Saint Petersburg), Militsa Yasenetskaya and Dmitry Polyanchikov (RIHF).

RIHF president Vladislav Tretiak, Russian national team general manager and first RIHF vice-president Roman Rotenberg, KHL president Alexei Morozov, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and IIHF vice-president Franz Reindl all discussed the topic of staging domestic and international tournaments during the pandemic.

RIHF president Vladislav Tretiak:

- The virus has affected all aspects of our life, including ice hockey. But we have no right to cancel all competitions completely and consign ice hockey to oblivion. In these conditions, we're finding ways to keep ice hockey going. An important aspect is keeping the competition at the children's level, otherwise we could lose an entire generation of athletes. We are in full contact with the regional authorities to ensure that tournaments go ahead.

Russian national team general manager and first RIHF vice-president Roman Rotenberg:

- Today, the main thing is that we have found a way to continue playing ice hockey. All leagues have different restrictions: for athletes, fans, the media and all other groups of participants. It was from these limitations that the bubble concept emerged. We have set up a special "clean area" with restricted access. Special posters and signs with information for participants and fans are posted throughout the arena. All visitors to the arena must wear masks and gloves at all times. Every two hours, cleaning and disinfection of all premises of the arena is carried out, including the changing rooms of teams and the referees. A special plan of action has been developed in case a player tests positive for COVID-19. We have limited any interactions between players as much as possible, for example, replacing traditional post-game handshakes with a fist-on-fist greeting.

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