The WSMHA has recently received a number of emails inquiring
about the possibility of a no body-checking Rep team for the 2019-20
season. We welcome your interest and
want to thank you for bringing this issue forward.
For the benefit of those who may not be familiar with some
of the regulations governing Minor Hockey, body-checking is permitted in Representative
programs at Minor Bantam, Bantam, Minor Midget and Midget. Rep programs Peewee and below as well as House
League and Rostered Select of any age do not allow body-checking.
Last year the York Simcoe Minor Hockey League introduced optional “no body-checking” Representative programs for Minor Bantam, Bantam, Minor Midget and Midget. Those centres which decided to participate in most cases replaced their existing Additional Entry rep teams with what are called “Minor Development” teams in this new non body-checking league. AE teams from centres such as Stouffville which elected to keep body-checking moved to the Lakeshore Minor Hockey League.
We have recently been advised that Lakeshore is now planning to launch its own no body-checking Rep league for Minor Bantam and older age groups starting with the 2019-20 season. While it would be pre-mature to say with certainty that this will mean that AE hockey is no longer viable in our region, what occurred this past season in York Simcoe could indicate that this may be the result.
Until such time as the situation becomes clearer the WSMHA will proceed as follows in terms of our Rep program for 2019-20:
1. Minor Atom through Peewee: no changes currently anticipated ie AA and AE teams at all age groups numbers permitting.
2. Minor Bantam through Midget: AA (body-checking) plus either AE (body-checking) or MD (no body-checking).
Once the AA team in each of the Minor Bantam and older cohorts has been selected, and assuming there are sufficient players to form a second Rep team, the WSMHA will determine whether that team will be AE or MD. If there are an insufficient number of teams in York Simcoe/ Lakeshore for a viable AE league, MD will become our immediate default, and we will proceed with try-outs for an MD team. If, on the other hand, there are enough AE teams for a viable AE league in York Simcoe/ Lakeshore, the WSMHA will consult with potential players and their parents re: their preferred option.
To assist current Peewee-age players who may be considering playing Rep hockey make an informed decision about body-checking and no body-checking options, the WSMHA will again host free body-checking skill clinics prior to try-outs this Spring.