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LETTER: Players dropped seven weeks into season

I am a parent of a Pictou Midget Maripac C player in the town of Pictou. On Sunday, Dec. 3, two of our players were told that they could no longer play for the Maripacs because we had too many skaters. The most deplorable part of this decision is that it comes seven weeks into the season, where a group of 15-18 year old boys have been playing and building a team together since mid-October.

Pictou County Minor Hockey had submitted our roster in mid-November with 21 players. Hockey Nova Scotia rejected the roster and PCMH appealed it and lost. There had been a mistake in the interpretation as to how many players make up a team. When this mistake was realized, PCMH and Pictou Midget C players, coaches, and parents hoped that HNS would take some things into account:

The coaches, players, and parents were happy with the situation and willing to work with the large roster

The team had several weeks of league play under their belt

No one was trying to mislead HNS or break rules intentionally

This is a House League team where the goal is to have fun

Midget C hockey is notorious for 'part time players' where kids have other interests, part-time jobs, etc., which require them to miss games, so a large roster would rarely cause anyone to sit out a game

I understand that regulations are put in place for a reason. I also understand that sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and if Hockey Nova Scotia, while sitting around their table last weekend had chosen to allow it, could have approved our roster. It makes me very sad that this is the state of hockey in Nova Scotia.

One of the two players has moved to another team, but the younger player’s season is over as he uncomfortable moving to another team, especially mid-season. Emails were written to HNS by parents after the decision but were met with defensive retorts and even when invited to express remorse over the anguish caused to the two players and their families, all that was heard was a deafening lack of response from Hockey Nova Scotia reps. For an association that governs our children and our most famous sport, Hockey Nova Scotia lacks any kind of compassion or flexibility. Are these the people we want watching over our children as they play organized hockey AND what kind of message does this send to kids?

Joyce Talbot


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