And now back to our regular column!
I was very tied up the last few weeks with things and as a result missed writing a few columns.
Thanks for those of you who called, texted or emailed me or TimminsToday asking, “Where's Waldo … er Mike?”
On Sept. 12 Hockey Canada released a new dressing room policy.
The policy is a very well-intentioned idea and continues to build upon the foundation to make hockey safer and more inclusive for kids of all ages.
Among the implementations are: The minimum attire rule, team talks, use of showers, officials’ dressing rooms, applicable laws, rule of two, trained personnel supervision, prohibition on violent activities in dressing rooms, and prohibition on recording in dressing rooms or dressing environments.
If you are involved in hockey you may have received the document or been notified about it by your association.
Once again, I reiterate, that the majority of these changes are vital in protecting our children.
The problem is:
- It was released after a large number of teams were already in their seasons, and leagues and associations were already handing out policy updates and administrative news. I spoke to numerous long-time coaches from women's hockey, and minor hockey and all had concerns or confusion about the updated policy or how it was to be implemented and overseen. Most agreed with the principle and rationale, but felt some of the changes needed to be better thought out or redesigned.
- The challenges to implementing some of the updated policies were going to be huge and difficult to follow.
- Some of the updates appeared to be new ideas when in fact they were in place years ago, hence more confusion.
- There were no clear guidelines for dealing with some of the older age brackets and the unique situations for travel teams etc.
News articles from across Canada displayed a number of the game's experts being "puzzled" by the policy.
In early October, the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) sent out a bulletin to all member partners (our area falls under that umbrella) stating that the OHF would continue for now to operate under the old policy.
They stated, "Should a future transition be made by the OHF to the Hockey Canada policy, the requirements will be addressed between the two policies with adequate notice to be announced ensuring all changes are made with due diligence.”
I expect that the tinkering needed to make for a concise, well-versed document will be in place across Canada by next season.
Congrats to Steve Mesich and his Schumacher U18 Renegades on winning the recent President’s Cup tournament held locally.
Some tight and quality hockey was played by all the teams involved.
Kudos also to the Timmins Majors U15 club on an excellent showing at last weekend’s Big Nickel Tournament. The club finished at 2-2 during the round-robin, which was good for fourth place and a spot in the semi-final. The Majors would not get the win in the semis, but it sure wasn't for a lack of effort.
Next week I'll have a story on neck guards and a local tie to finding how to make them an even better product.
Have a tip or comment for Mully? Send us an email.