The York Simcoe Minor Hockey League recently announced that
it will be conducting a pilot study for a proposed no body-checking league for
Minor Bantam, Bantam, Minor Midget and Midget representative teams starting in
the 2017-18 season.
The WSMHA Board of Directors has some significant concerns re: the proposed “Minor Development” pilot. Unlike some of the larger YSMHL centres, Stouffville would be forced to discontinue an existing program in order to accommodate entries in the new league. For example, based on our current registrations, adding Minor Development teams in Minor Bantam and Bantam would force us to drop A or AE teams for these age groups. Alternatively, we would have to reduce the number of Bantam House League teams to the point where a league is no longer viable. The first option would require consultation with the user group before we could proceed, and there is not enough time before try-outs to make this happen in a fair and objective manner. The second scenario is simply not an option in the Board’s opinion.
Given these and other concerns (unacceptably short time lines, many unanswered questions), the WSMHA will not participate in the proposed pilot study next season. We believe, however, that the concept of a competitive no body-checking league has merit so we will closely monitor the results of the pilot study. We will also attempt to develop a plan which, if the pilot proves successful, might enable the WSMHA to participate in future.