Bay Arena wants to increase the respect level
The Bay Arena Minor Hockey Association wants to cultivate a culture of respect for its players, coaches and parents.
That’s one of the reasons for a recent post on the association’s website. On Dec. 3, the following was sent via email to most of the 350 parents of players playing hockey at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts and attached to its website:
“The BAMHA Executive would like to inform all players and parents that appropriate behaviour on-ice and off-ice is an expectation of our association. Swearing, horseplay and any other behaviour that does not demonstrate Hockey Canada player conduct will not be tolerated. Players are expected to follow hockey rules at all times and to demonstrate integrity when representing the Bay Arena (house league or All Star),” the post reads.
It goes on to indicate that onice officials have the power to control games, while coaches have the power to suspend players for inappropriate behavior.
“Coaches will not tolerate insubordination and abusive behaviour from any player. Players will be suspended if behaviour is not deemed appropriate in house league or All Star games. Coaches will receive the full support from the Executive for player suspensions based on inappropriate behavior,” it concludes.
Bay Arena minor president Brenda Cole said the post is about getting the respect message out there to all involved in the association.
“We wanted to communicate clearly at the executive level that all of our players can expect to play hockey in a supportive environment free of harassment, bullying or any other forms of disrespect,” she said. “We feel that this message has to come from the top down.”
Every season, minor hockey associations experience struggles with player conduct on the ice, along with some parent misconduct in the stands. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase from the sport’s governing body at all levels to combat this.
A couple of years ago, HNL brought in a respect in sport program geared towards parents. It’s intended to remind them, amongst other things, to be respectful to all involved in the game.
This move by the Bay Arena can be seen as a local extension of those initiatives.
“That was three years ago and it can be hard to remember the points that were made in that course,” said Cole. “We’re putting this message out to the parents, but we also want it to go out to the players.”
Cole noted have been some minor incidents with the Bay Arena this season and the association wanted to get out in front of anything else that might come.
Minor hockey has long been hailed as a breeding ground for young men and is noted for teaching them life skills that will help as they grow.
“I think because participation in minor hockey is so high, it’s a great venue for getting them involved in the community,” said Cole. “I think all of this goes hand-in-hand with the culture of respect.”