5:30 a.m., April 7)
breakaway from GHA stirs heated debate within Cumberland Minor Hockey Association
By Fred Sherwin
Minor Hockey Association is embroiled in a heated debate over whether or
not the organization should breakaway from the Gloucester Hockey Association
and form its own league.
At the heart
of the matter is the CMHA desire to be able to control its own ice time.
At present the CMHA receives it's alotted ice time from the city for the
Ray Friel Centre, the R.J Kennedy Arena in Cumberland Village and the Navan
Memorial Arena from the city and then hands it over to the GHA who then
puts together its schedule using the alotted ice time from all its member
organizations including Blackburn Minor Hockey, Gloucester Centre Minor
Hockey and Orleans Minor Hockey.
time the GHA doesn't make use of is then handed back to the CMHA which uses
it mostly for practices. The problem with the current arrangement is that
it creates situations whereby teams are practicing on a Sunday and then
not playing until the following Saturday. It also makes it difficult for
the CMHA to consolidate practices at one location for each division, which
would allow for a more efficient player evaluation and develop.m.ent program.
the initiative, which was approved by the CMHA executive in February, argue
that having control over their ice time will allow for better player develop.m.ent
by allowing for practices to be scheduled before games rather than afterwards,
and it will allow for practices and games to be scheduled in blocks according
to age levels and aptitude rather than willy-nilly as is generally the case
By block booking
teams practices and games according to age and skill level it will make
it easier to evaluate players and provide coach support where necessary.
the plan are upset that if the CMHA breaks away from the GHA the kids will
only be able to play against other Cumberland teams. In some circumstances
teams will have to play each other five or six times during the course of
the season. And while that may not be a huge issue with kids at the House
B and C levels, kids in House A tend to want to play against teams in other
leagues as opposed to constantly play each other.
In order to deal
with the issue of always having to play the same teams, the executive is
suggesting that more exhibition games be scheduled with teams from other
On Monday night,
both opponents and proponents of the plan filled the cafeteria at Fallingbrook
Community Elementary School for an information meeting. While various members
of the executive took turns defending their decision while trying to explain
why the move will be beneficial for player develop.m.ent, those people who
are opposed to the decision just wanted to know if the executive planned
to poll the 1400 members of the CMHA before making a final decision and
whether or not they would be given an opportunity to vote on the matter.
The answer to
both questions was no, although CMHA president Dan Guérin left a
tiny crack open by saying that the executive would be discussing the situation
at their next meeting on Wednesday.
saying we're leaving here and we're going forward. yes we're going to consider
it further because there are a lot of people who are upset," said Guérin.
of the board to put the move to a vote did not sit well with several members
of the audience, including Luc Landry who coaches an Atom A team.
done something that is a surprise to many parents. I just found out about
this a week ago and I'm a coach. This is not about changing the colour of
our uniforms, this is huge," said Landry wants the executive to at
least defer the decision for a year to allow a committee of parents and
coaches to examine the possible alternatives to simply breaking away from
the GHA. "Please
delay this for a year, because no one's going to win in this. No one's going
to win on either side."
the move have the option of replacing the current executive at the next
annual general meeting in May with a slate of the their own candidates.
Should they choose to do so, the new executive.could reverse the original
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