Dear LMHA Members:
During the holiday season, members of the LMHA executive met to review and discuss the number of infractions of both OMHA policy and the LMHA Code of Conduct in the Midget House League Division. Of particular concern was in sudden increase in the number of suspension-related infractions and the abuse of officials.
We had indicated in the seasonal message from the president that parameters would be developed to address the situation. The Midget Division coaches and Referees met the evening of January 3rd with the members of the LMHA board and the changes moving forward were reviewed. The coaches subsequently met with their teams to review the changes prior to last Thursday’s game. The following are updates and changes that were implemented beginning January 3rd.
1. Game clock – if there is a 5 or more goal differential in the 3rd period – clock will be run time – minor penalties will be 3 minutes run time.
2. If the differential drops below 5 in the 3rd period – back to stop time and 2 minute minor penalties.
3. At end of game, players on bench are not to enter the ice. Players on the ice at the conclusion of the game are to return to bench immediately.
4. Any player who is assessed suspensions of 2 or more games must attend an LMHA Policy and Discipline re-entry meeting with their parents. Upon having a positive outcome of the meeting as deemed by the LMHA, the player may return to play. If the LMHA P & D committee is not satisfied that there is cooperation and a sincere will to change behavior, the player will not resume play. If the player and/or parents decline to meet with the LMHA, the season for the player will be considered finished.
5. ROOTS philosophy – was reviewed - particularly, respect for opponents and officials.
6. NOTE that OMHA suspensions are MINIMUM length suspensions and that the LMHA, as with other hockey associations, reserves the right, as per past practice, to increase the length of suspension beyond the OMHA minimums.
As stated in the seasonal message, players engaging in these infractions of the code of conduct will be removed from games and/or have a shortened season. Naturally this is not our first choice, nor is it yours I’m sure. However, if individual players persist in creating an unsafe environment for hockey, players will be sanctioned by removing them from the game for the remainder of the season and potentially future participation in the LMHA.