IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING OUTLAW LEAGUES, News (Stratford Rotary Hockey League)

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING OUTLAW LEAGUES
Submitted By Jacques Laurin on Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Over the past couple of years, the Ontario Rep Hockey League (ORHL) has been actively recruiting players in the surrounding area offering the lure of “rep” hockey.  These leagues include; Red Circle, Cobras and the Ice Dawgs in London and now Stratford.  Players are not allowed to play for both a Sanctioned Hockey Canada League (Rotary Hockey) and an Outlaw League during the same hockey season.



The ORHL is a local hockey league which Hockey Canada defines as an “outlaw” league meaning it operates outside of the auspices of both Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. We believe that it is important to educate our membership and the public about these outlaw organization and leagues.

In May, 2009, Hockey Canada issued action bulletin number A0945, the subject of which was “Outlaw Leagues – Leagues Operating Outside of the Auspices of Hockey Canada”.  In October 2015, the Ontario Minor Hockey Association issued a memorandum, the subject of which was “Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Ice Hockey and Michigan Amateur Youth Hockey League (MAYHL)”. The ORHL is affiliated with the AAU, which is US-based.

The following are some excerpts of Hockey Canada’s bulletin:

Hockey Canada offers the best development programs worldwide. It has invested significant resources in the development of officials, coaches, administrators and players countrywide. We have a committed strategy toward a cohesive long term athlete development model.

These “outlaw” organizations do not support the development of these programs. Further, they operate in a vacuum, with no consideration to the impact of their programs on minor, junior, senior, adult recreational hockey, female hockey, officiating development, coaching development or administrator development in Canada. These “outlaw” leagues instead choose to utilize the resources already developed by Hockey Canada and its member Branches. The teams that make up these “leagues” operate in this fashion because they do not agree with the existing overall vision of Hockey Canada. They profess to have a better program yet often operate without a constitution, by-laws, create their own rule book and may not provide adequate insurance for their participants. Further, they offer the lure of “Rep” or “Junior” level competition when this is clearly not the case.

Hockey Canada, its member Branches, Major Junior Leagues as well as registered Junior Hockey Leagues wish to be exceedingly clear with our response to these programs.


Sanctions

1) Any individual who participates (knowingly or otherwise) in “outlaw” programs after September 30 of the season in question (“the Cut-Off Date”) will lose all membership privileges with Hockey Canada for the remainder of that season, and may only reapply for membership with Hockey Canada after the end of that season…If a participant makes the choice to participate in these “outlaw” programs, they must understand the ramifications of that choice and that the sanctions described in this paragraph will remain in effect even if the league or team folds, or the individual is released, suspended or fired.

2) Hockey Canada and its member Branches across the country will make every effort to ensure that local minor hockey and female hockey associations in areas where “outlaw” leagues exist are not supporting these leagues in any manner whatsoever. For greater certainty, “supporting” includes, but is not limited to, assisting an “outlaw” league directly or indirectly through advertisement, promotion, ticket sales, volunteer activities, assigning Officials, sharing resources or enabling such a league to participate in Hockey Canada sanctioned activities. We will withhold tournament sanctions and will preclude such associations from benefiting from any Hockey Canada/Branch/CHL sanctioned event by whatever means necessary, including the withdrawal of any such event from any community within the geographic boundaries of that association if need be to stress this point.

This policy is aimed at those leagues that choose to operate outside the hockey structure established by Hockey Canada, its member Branches and the Canadian Hockey League.”
 
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