Hagersville Withdrawls From Amalgamation, News (Hagersville Minor Hockey)

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Hagersville Withdrawls From Amalgamation
Submitted By gbacher on Tue 03 29, 22
Wanted to start this message by saying that the reasons for Hagersville not proceeding with the Haldimand amalgamation are not a reflection on the other centres.  Each centre had a number of participants who contributed a significant amount of time toward this endeavour including extra meetings, information sessions, research, etc. and we are thankful for their work.

Hagersville Minor Hockey has decided to withdraw with the amalgamation process at this time due to a number of concerns listed below.  Some of these concerns are about the timing and incomplete information that, given proper time to address, should allow HMHA to rejoin the amalgamation process in the future, be that after amalgamation is approved by the OMHA or over the summer if the amalgamation is not approved at this time.

Our concerns were:

1)     The planning and procedure to move the amalgamation forward seemed rushed from our perspective with a number of milestones that needed to be achieved on order for our committee members, executive and membership to feel comfortable with this significant change to our association structure.  At a committee meeting in October, we developed a timeframe for certain processes to occur, documents to be finalized and presentations to occur which were established by working backwards from the date that the application needed to be submitted to the OMHA.  The first milestone was a draft constitution and bylaws for the newly formed Haldimand Minor Hockey Association that needed to be approved by HMHA Executive membership and then provided to our members at least two weeks in advance of the scheduled voting days to proceed with amalgamation.  Unfortunately, these documents were not received prior to the days the votes were scheduled and therefore we were uncomfortable proceeding with a vote not knowing the fine details that we were voting on.

2)     Despite some effort to engage our membership, there was limited engagement from our members and various committee members, HMHA executive were approached with questions from members that clearly demonstrated that our membership did not understand what amalgamation means for HMHA.  This lack of engagement would have translated to a voting process that was poorly attended in which members were poorly educated.  Our by-laws indicate that the vote would have passed with a 2/3rd’s majority and our fear was that a low level of engagement would have resulted in 6-10 people deciding the fate for the entire organization.

3)     A very important question that we did not get a concrete answer on was whether or not the Haldimand association could submit a 2nd rep level team at each age.  This was concerning to us and the best way to demonstrate this is to provide an example:  Amongst the Haldimand centres there are traditionally Five Rep teams in each age group (2 in Caledonia and 1 in each of Cayuga, Dunnville and Hagersville).  Assuming 15 kids per team, that equates to 75 kids playing rep across Haldimand.  Moving to an “A” centre allowed for minor and major teams to be created, so for this example we will focus on major age kids.  Approximately 10 out of 15 kids on each of those five rep teams would be a major (or 2nd year player), so 60 2nd year kids would be playing Rep hockey across Haldimand.  If there is only the ability to field one rep team, that means 45 kids who currently play rep would not get the opportunity to play on a rep caliber team moving forward.  Allowing a 2nd rep team would mitigate that to a degree but still result in 30 out of 60 kids moving to house league which leads to another concern.

4)     The amalgamation was presented as having no impact on Local or House League players and families and while this is true in terms of where you will play, your team identity, the cost of playing, etc.  it is not true for the level of hockey.  Some players would support local league hockey being of a better caliber but that is not true of all players, especially those that are just learning or new to the game.  We feel as though a tiered local league system should also be explored prior to the formation of an amalgamated rep centre so that we do not push out those beginner players during a transition phase.

5)     And last but certainly not least, HMHA feels strongly that any local amalgamation of minor hockey associations should include Six Nations Minor Hockey.  Consultation with Six Nations should occur as they are our neighbours and if we all proceed with amalgamation without them, it leaves their minor hockey program at the rep level with no local associations to play with or against.

In summary, HMHA is not against amalgamation and fully understand that this is the trend that we are seeing across Ontario and want to be a part of it, however we want to ensure that doing so is in the best interests of all or at least the vast majority of our membership, not just our higher level rep players and we feel that at this time, there were too many questions left outstanding for us to proceed at this time.

 

HMHA Amalgamation Committee

Greg Courneyea

Mark McSorely

Chad Staats

Brad Stark

 

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