Ousted players can appeal ban from hockey league, president says
Published Sunday, January 13, 2019 7:42PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 14, 2019 12:54PM EST
At least three 7 year olds and a coach have been kicked out of the Hespeler Minor Hockey Association.
All four participated in a non-league sanctioned event.
Anthony Casamento, whose son plays with the Cambridge league, says he received a letter last week informing him of the decision.
It said, in part: “Christian Casamento was seen participating in a non-sanctioned league at ‘The Hockey Loft’ and as a result… [he] will no longer be afforded the opportunity to associate with any Hockey Canada programming for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season.”
Christian is also prohibited from attending the year-end banquet with his team.
The association says in the email that the decision is final, but according to president of Hespeler Minor Hockey John Murray, the decision can be appealed through Hockey Canada.
"Through the appeal process, players, and those who support non-sanctioned leagues in other ways, can apply for consideration for immediate reinstatement into their sanctioned league," Murray said in part in a statement.
The price of that appeal process can amount to almost $1,000 just to get a hearing.
Parents for the players said they just wanted their child to get in a little extra ice time.
The Hockey Loft offers a training program for young players, as well as men’s, women’s and co-ed hockey leagues.
Chris Walsh’s daughter was also told she’s no longer allowed to play with her team this season.
She was even asked to give back her jersey.
“She cried,” says Chris. “She didn’t want to give back her Penguins jersey. And it’s hard to explain to her why.”
Since Chris is also a coach for his son’s team, he lost his coaching privileges.
“I can no longer go on the bench, I can no longer go to the practices, but I’m here doing lineups, planning practices. I’m taking notes in the stands.”
In the email, the league says that, as an affiliate of Hockey Canada, it must adhere to its rules.
The organization has a zero tolerance policy, stating that “anyone who participates in any non-sanctioned league will lose all privileges to participate within Hockey Canada.”
“We felt helpless for us, helpless for our son,” says Casamento. “Give us some options. Tell us anything. But don’t tell us our kid can’t play.”
John Thomas works at The Hockey Loft and says Hockey Canada is just protecting its monopoly.
“At a house league level for young children who are literally just trying to get extra ice time, extra hockey… it’s unbelievable.”
In his statement, John Murray explained that players who were successful in their appeals would be welcomed back into the league.
"It is our understanding, that in order for reinstatement to be considered, the player, and those who support non-sanctioned leagues, must, at a minimum, agree to immediately cease all participation in any non-sanctioned league," he said in part.
Otherwise, he said, players who appeal would be welcomed back with open arms.
Just got a statement from the President of @HespelerHockey regarding the kicked out kids. Reaction to this story has been overwhelming, polarizing and enlightening all at once. The statement is attached. Another story is coming today @CTVKitchener pic.twitter.com/Bxk7VpXRk0— Max Wark (@MaxWarkCTV) January 14, 2019