Nov 24 – Back to work on a “balmy” Monday compared to some of the sub-zero weather we have had. The good news is that the snow is now gone and I only did a bit of a token drive by with my trusty shovel.
Xmas – The plan was to hold out until December 1 but it did not work. I was “instructed”, a much better word than ordered to start the annual schlepping process on Sunday and start lugging bins up from the basement, plus the tree so that the annual decorating could begin. I think I brought up seven bins of stuff and that did not even include the totes full of my Christmas Village cum City Houses and assorted accessories.
The way the weather was Sunday, we should probably have put up the outdoor lights as well but my “light guy” was touring wineries in Niagara all weekend which put the kibosh on any of those plans – I was too lazy and tired after lugging the totes. Not sure post Niagara he would have been much help anyway.
However, the decorating was on full force for the Family room and the hearth is bedecked with the full assortment (hopefully there are no more) of seasonal noisemakers just waiting for the GKs to descend on us and drive me nuts with the continuous and repetitive Yule time “favourites” as played by your super quality novelty plush critters.
However, I have been advised that this is still a work in process and that at least one stocking hanger is AWOL.
Minor Hockey – the not so good as promised. With the disappearance of pond hockey and our lovely litigious world, there are more and more rules entering the arena to govern kids trying to have fun playing our great game. As VP House League, I tried to strike a balance between trying to follow the rules I could in the book (OMHA Manual of Operations ), which is close to impossible for House League, while providing an environment that gave our players the best playing opportunity possible – i.e., competitive but fun. I was not perfect, did not follow every rule, but felt I knew where to draw the line.
Team composition and player participation was one of those areas. We had two tiers (Red and White) for essentially all age groups and moved to a Red, White and Blue break for those age groups where we were fortunate enough to have enough participant to setup three “balanced” divisions with participants the same age and similar skill levels. However, once you were on a team that was your team and with the exception of goalies you were not allowed to play for any other team. The concept of setting up “Affiliated Players” or APs was not practiced at the time. It was not really practical for House League and frankly was not necessary. Don’t see how that has changed.
An MOHA member has reached out to me for my opinion on what is apparently happening in Bantam White this season. It seems that a number of White teams are enlisting the support of Minor Bantam Red players to augment their benches for games. This is the so called “Call-up” program that has raised eyebrows and concerns, as there are individuals involved who know it is not right both from a rules and playing experience perspective.
The apparent rationale for these “Call-ups” is that teams are short players so that they need the extra support. This also appears to be being conducted outside of any “official” process and by that I mean compliance with OMHA rules on team composition and participation.
From what I understand is happening, this is wrong on so many fronts I have decided to post a tedious response here in case anyone cares to actually look at what is going on. Highly unlikely, as apparently this is going on with the tacit approval of the league under a “Call-up” banner.
There is no such thing as a “Call-up” program. Look it up. The only way one player can officially play on another team is if he/she is officially AP’d on the team’s official roster, meaning both the player’s primary team and AP team must be officially rostered, the player must be AP’d with the approval of the primary team’s coach and the player’s name must appear on the game sheet with an AP designation for every game that he dresses for – he does not even have to play. In any year, that player can only AP to one team and must meet the general criteria (older age group and or higher OMHA categorization). It sounds complicated, but it is not and is followed by every Rep team. If they don’t games are forfeited and players and bench staff are suspended.
Those are the rules and basically nothing other than the older age group criteria is being met in the Bantam White situation from what I have heard.
That’s the rule book side now let’s consider the “human” aspects of the current “Call-up” silliness.
Short benches – First of all, the league structure should be dependent on registration and division team count should reflect an appropriate number of players to have full teams drafted or placed. If there are (and there will be) a few players that do not show up for a game, then guess what, the players that do show up get extra ice time. Since they only get one game a week, as long as there are two lines, so what – the guys that are there get more ice time and a chance to develop. If you don’t show up, you lose out – what a concept.
Win or lose – This is or should not be, a win at all costs division. In Bantam White while the players like to win, they are also coming out to have fun and play, so more time on the ice is a good thing to them. A coach who is bringing our MB Red player to pad his stats should not be behind the bench.
Fair – If for some reason there needs to be “extra” players involved in some way, shape or form (and there should not be), then they should come from MB White not Red. Remember, Bantam is the age when the three divisions – Red / White / Blue typically collapse into two as registrations fall off a bit. You are left with – Red and White such that “Blue” players move into White. How fair is it to bring in the higher skilled MB Red players (at most a year younger and often much less) and pit them against Bantam “Blue” level players who may just be starting in the game – great way to turn them off or discourage them and possibly risk injury?
Let’s hope I am misinformed on this one as I would hate to think things are intentionally being run this way.
If anyone wants to check out what AP players and the real process is all about, here is the link to the OMHA’s Manual of Operations. Under Regulations – Section 7.
Like I said – “I’m Back!”