The Ontario Hockey Federation has amended its policy regarding non-sanctioned leagues with the new rules going into effect in September of this year.
The new policy will have a direct impact on local hockey including those that play in New Tecumseth's minor hockey system as well as junior age players.
Ontario Hockey considers nonsanctioned leagues to be those that operate outside of the Hockey Canada structure, including leagues, tournaments, and games.
The most notable local league that has caused concern for Hockey Canada is the Greater Metro Hockey League which has teams in both Tottenham and Alliston.
As the governing body of amateur hockey in Canada, Hockey Canada has committed signifi cant resources in the development of offi cials, coaches, administrators and players, across the country. It considers leagues and programs that operate outside of the Hockey Canada structure to be “unsanctioned leagues” that operate with limited, or no consideration for the impact of their programs on minor, junior, senior, or adult recreation hockey, or officiating development.
In an issued statement, the Federation said, “Because these nonsanctioned games operated outside of our structure, the Ontario Hockey Federation has no way of ensuring that those leagues implement many of the fundamental safeguards inherent in Hockey Canada programs. As a result, those leagues may not be using the same playing rules that Hockey Canada has implemented to protect player safety and may not provide adequate insurance for their participants. We also cannot ensure that the quality of play in these leagues matches the level advertised.”
The Ontario Hockey Federation respects the right of every individual to choose between participating in a Hockey Canada sanctioned game of a non-sanctioned game, however, individuals who choose to participate in non-sanctioned leagues may find ramifications that could affect their play at a later date.
The OHF says any individual who participates in a non-sanctioned game or supports a non-sanctioned league, will lose all privileges with the Ontario Hockey Federation for the remainder of that season, and may only apply for reinstatement of those privileges after the end of that season.
This includes those that participate in non-sanctioned leagues through advertising, promotion, ticket sales, volunteer activities, assigning officials, sharing resources or enabling a game.
If players, coaches or volunteers become involved in a non-sanctioned league, the policy will remain in effect if the non-sanctioned league folds or if the participant is suspended or fired from that league or team.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times