Bay Arena wants to in­crease the re­spect level

The Compass - - SPORTS - MI­NOR HOCKEY BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cbn­com­pass.ca

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.”

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