No bodychecking will be allowed in upcoming OHL season

Erie Otters defenceman Aidan Timmermans (5) hits Windsor Spitfires Sean Day (74) during first period Memorial Cup final hockey action in Windsor, Ont., on Sunday, May 28, 2017. (Adrian Wyld / CP)

TORONTO -- The Ontario Hockey League will not have bodychecking this coming season.

Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of sport, confirmed the decision on Friday afternoon.

She said that removing purposeful physical contact from the game was a necessary step to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

The OHL announced on Thursday that it plans to start a shortened season on Feb. 4.

MacLeod said the decision was influenced by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, which had several COVID-19 outbreaks on its teams earlier this fall.

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