A growth spurt in Placentia
Minor hockey registration on the increase; concerns persist about lack of officials
There are only a few things on a minor hockey association’s wish list every year.
This includes an increase in registration numbers, a stress-free year and some memorable games of hockey.
With the season having just begun, Placentia Intertown minor hockey has checked off one part of the list.
This season, Placentia has registered some 98 young athletes in its program. That number is up by 12 from the same time last year when the association had 86 registered.
“I’m very excited,” said Placentia president Claudette Pittman. “I wasn’t expected them to increase this much.”
She said there is a chance the association could push into the triple digits.
“We’re hoping to hit 100,” Pittman told The Compass.
Like any minor sport association, it is important to see growth at the younger levels. Minor hockey is no different.
A spurt at the pre-novice level can mean good things for any association. It means as the older groups continue to progress through the levels, there is a support system for the association moving forward. An example of this can be found in Placentia. “The growth is on the younger end, which is great,” said Pittman. “If you don’t have that coming in, the possibility of you surviving decreases.
“That’s our building block.”
While she is encouraged by the increase in
Placentia Intertown minor president Claudette Pittman.
young athletes enrolled in the program, there is something that troubles her.
“There is a big concern with officials,” said Pittman. “Many times, we end up bringing in officials for tournaments.”
The association has a small number of senior officials at its disposal, however things are looking up.
Placentia recently recruited a new referee-inchief. Laval High School educator John Douglas is the new man at the helm for on-ice officials.
“I’m very excited. I wasn’t expected them to increase this much.”
— Claudette Pittman
“He’s going to do all of the organization,” said Pittman.
Another piece of the refereeing puzzle is installing a mentoring program.
“We need mentoring. That’s the biggest thing,” said Pittman.
This season, Hockey NL installed a mandatory respect program for parents. It requires parents to complete a course designed to curb any disrespectful behaviour that can happen in the stadium.
“We’ve had an unbelievable response,” said Pittman.
According to the president, only two parents remain to complete the course out of the 98 athletes registered. “They’re probably done now,” said Pittman. One thing Pittman is excited about is the addition of three new executive members. She said it is important to have those new faces around the table.
“Anyone who has been at this a while becomes stagnant,” said Pittman. “It’s hard not to become cynical at times, especially in small associations.
“It’s important to have fresh, new ideas moving forward.”