Permit our kids to host their hockey opponents at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

Permit our kids to host their hockey opponents at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

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Petition to
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

Why this petition matters

Started by Todd Wernstrom

October 5, 2021

To: Mayor Bill de Blasio

Dear Mr. Mayor:

We, as parents of the players on the New York City Cyclones 18U AA travel hockey team, respectfully request that you reconsider the indoor vaccination mandate imposed on New York City indoor youth athletic facilities.  

Our players are vaccinated. They took this measured risk so that they could fully participate in league home games at our rink in the city as well as rinks in neighboring cities and states. For both parents and players, full season participation was one of the major factors in the vaccination decision, especially in light of the loss of the entire 2020-2021 season.   

Our team is a member of the Long Island Amateur Hockey League (LIAHL). Most LIAHL teams are situated outside of the five boroughs where there seems to be a lower vaccination rate for children 12-18. It appears that all of these teams have at least some players who are not vaccinated, and as such, the teams are not permitted to enter indoor rinks in the city. We have already had several home games cancelled because of this policy, and unless this policy is eased, we assume that many more of our home games will suffer the same fate. Our kids followed your office’s directive to get vaccinated in order to play sports like hockey in the city, but are caught in the middle of that policy and the absence of similar directives in neighboring jurisdictions.

We do not question the continued seriousness of this seemingly never-ending public health situation. However, your policy, despite its good intentions, harkens back to the start of the crisis. This is not March, 2020. We now know much more about the initial virus and the variant, how to function in the midst of it and how to minimize risk as we go about our daily lives. Your policy is unnecessarily drastic and over-protective. And it is resulting in another lost season for our kids, a season that for many of them will be their last opportunity to play with longtime teammates and friends. 

We propose a more rational protocol that is both supported by science and common sense. Require temperature checks of players and coaches upon entry. Require proof of vaccination (at least one shot) upon entry for parents and caregivers who wish to watch the game or remain in the building during it. This, of course, doesn’t eliminate all risk. But that should never be the goal of these protocols. The elimination of risk simply isn’t possible, and has never been the policy of well-respected organizations like the C.D.C. What our proposed policy does accomplish—easily and effectively—is minimize actual risk, and, at the same time, it permits our kids to play the sport they love and allows us to do what we love—watch our kids play that sport.

We will close by pointing out that you correctly changed an overly drastic policy regarding public school children under 12 being required to quarantine for 10 days in the event one of their classmates tests positive. You did this because you rightly concluded that science (and the C.D.C.) simply does not support the rationale that all the children in the classroom should be considered close contacts even if they were masked and remained separated from each other by three feet or more. The amount of actual time hockey players spend in close contact while on the ice is minimal because hockey is a game of near-constant motion. The kids are required to wear masks on the bench and on the ice. The chances of a game becoming a super-spreader event is virtually nil. Let’s adjust the policy to reflect the reality of the situation rather than continue with one that is a hyperbolic reaction to it. 

We request that you act immediately to allow youth hockey games to resume in New York City.


NYC Cyclones 18U AA travel hockey team parents

Mikhail Faktorovich

Todd Wernstrom

Jill Goldstein

Meredith Berkowitz

Phil Berkowitz

Gary Foodim

Kyle Lockwood (coach)

David Doft

Scott Casazza

Tom Carlin

Clare Doyle

Andrew Pontecorvo

Jessica Romano

Tony Romano

Ulrika Bengtsson

Katherine Wells

Henry Wells

Phil Zrihen

Benedetto Romano

Dan Martin

Ingalena Bengtsson

Brian McDonald

Doretha Levine

Henry Wells

David Weiner







73 have signed. Let’s get to 100!