FRISCO, Texas —The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) announced Monday that the 2020-21 regular season will begin Oct. 2.

At this point, the league is committed to playing a full schedule of regular-season games. The 2020-21 schedule is expected to be released by Sept. 1, the league said.

“We are excited to be moving forward with a return to play date. Our number one priority remains returning to the ice this fall in the safest manner possible for everyone in our hockey community and we believe that October 2nd is a realistic date to achieve that goal,” NA3HL Commissioner Blake Macnicol said in a release. “We will be closely following and monitoring the situation with the NAHL and with our hockey partners to develop the most current return to play guidelines as possible.”

The league said it will continue to work daily with teams to monitor the situation in all 32 NA3HL communities, utilizing recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities. The NA3HL said its member clubs want to ensure that they are utilizing the latest information available to provide the safest environment possible for players, coaches, staff, billet families and fans.

The delayed start will not affect the three NA3HL events planned for the 2020-21 season. The 11th annual NA3HL Showcase will take place from Dec. 20-22 at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota. The 2021 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament will take place Feb. 8-9, 2021, at the New England Sports Village in Attleboro, Massachusetts, and the NA3HL Fraser Cup Championship will take place March 31-April 4 in Chicago.

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