10:30 p.m., April 10)
Hockey Association decides to stick with GHA, for now
Cumberland Minor Hockey Association has decided to put off splitting away from
the Gloucester Hockey Association for one year in order to permit further discussion
of the controversial move between the CMHA executive and the leagues members.
CMHA has toyed with the idea of breaking away from the GHA for the last 10 years
or so, but they never got past the point of talking about it until this past February
when the CMHA executive voted to form their own league starting next season.
years, the CMHA has been upset over how ice time is allocated by the GHA which
acts as an umbrella organization for its six member leagues which include the
Blackburn Minor Hockey Association, the Orleans Minor Hockey Association, the
Leitrim Minor Hockey Association, the Gloucester Centre Minor Hockey Association,
the Russell Minor Hockey Association and the Metcalfe Minor Hockey Association.
each league purchases ice time from the city and then hands their allotted time
over to the GHA which formulates an inter-House League schedule and then gives
the leftover ice time back to the member associations who then schedule their
of the quirks of the system is that the CMHA, which makes up 40 per cent of the
GHA in terms of the number of teams it has, ends up having to schedule practices
in areas outside its jurisdiction that have fewer teams. The practice prevents
the CMHA from block booking games and practices based on age level and skill which
would advantageous from a develop.m.ental perspective.
also means that many CMHA teams play on Saturday and practice on Sunday, which
also puts a strain on the leagues ability to properly develop young players,
especially at the B and C levels.
breaking away from the GHA, the CMHA would be able to control their ice time and
book games and practices on their own terms. Those who support the move believe
it would aid in the develop.m.ent of players immensely.
downside to the CMHA forming its own league is that the Cumberland teams would
be limited to playing one another except for the odd exhibition game or a tournament.
some situations at the A level, where there might only be four teams,
it means they would have to play each other five or six times during the course
of the season. At age levels where there are only two or three teams, the B
and C teams would have to be merged together.
decision to break away from the GHA was passed by a vote of 10-2 with three abstentions,
13 members of the executive were not present when the vote was taken.
a couple of weeks news of the vote started to circulate around the league, first
among the coaches and then among parents. The reaction was swift and vocal with
most people voicing their opposition to the move largely on the basis that they
didnt want their kids playing each other six or seven times.
debate came to a head during an information session at Fallingbrook Elementary
School on Monday night when a majority of the parents and coaches present asked
the executive to reconsider their decision.
several of the board members stated that it was basically a done deal, some people
hinted that they were prepared to try and takeover the board during the CMHAs
upcoming annual general meeting and reverse the decision. In order to stave off
a potential mutiny, the executive met on Wednesday night and voted to defer the
move for one year in order to allow for further consultation with parents and
hindsight, CMHA president Dan Guérin says the executive should have done
a better job explaining the reasons behind their decision.
dont have a communications person on the executive and its obvious
we need one, says Guérin, while pointing out that the decision to
defer the move for a year should not be interpreted as a weakening of their desire
for the league to make a go of it on their own.
still moving forward with our plans. Were just putting it off for
a year. We had an extremely high turnout at the meeting on Wednesday and
a strong majority are in favour of establishing our own league.
moving forward, Guérin says the executive plans to form a number of sub-committees
tasked with examining various aspects of the proposed new structure. One committee
might be charged with coming up with ways to mitigate the impact the move might
have on the A level teams. Another committee might explore the possibility
of playing interlocking games with other independent leagues in the city.
give us a whole year to get it right, says Guérin.
It will also
give the GHA a year to try and solve the ice allocation issue with the CMHA,
if they feel a need to.
Should the GHA
come calling, Guérin says the CMHA is willing to listen.
were to come and talk to us about doing things differently we'll have to
sit down and listen to them," said Guérin.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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