Top News

Scotians coach says double-standard at work in high school hockey

Pictou County Scotians
Pictou County Scotians - SaltWire Network

TRENTON, N.S.

Mike Stewart calls it a double-standard.
“Why can female players play both high school and rep hockey, when boys aren’t allowed?” asked the coach for the Pictou County Scotians, of the Nova Scotia Junior Hockey League.
He said a couple of players who he feels could help his hockey club are banned from playing junior B if they want to play for the NRHS Nighthawks program.
In an emailed statement, school board spokeswoman Jennifer Rodgers said the Athletic Council at NRHS voted on a decision that male high school players have to choose either the school-based NSSAF team or an external team before the season begins. 
This decision is followed in all CCRCE’s large high schools in the region and is building upon the NSSAF’s modified rule: 25.6.1 A If a player takes part in any Hockey Canada registered male: Senior A, Major Junior, Junior A, Junior B, Junior C or Major Midget/ Minor Midget Game on Jan. 1 or later, the student shall be ineligible for NSSAF hockey for the remainder of the school year.
But Stewart said he had planned to have the players in question finish out their high school season after Jan. 1, and then re-join the junior B team.
“It’s a form of discrimination,” he said.
But Rodgers said having players on two rosters knowing that they have to quit one of the teams halfway through the season “has a significantly negative effect on the team and reduces the number of spots available to players.”
She added said it comes down to numbers: the amount of females in high school hockey is increasing, yet they still do not have the same numbers as male hockey players. “The NSSAF rule and the Athletic Council’s decision does not apply to female hockey players,” Rodgers said in the release. 
“Female athletes can play the full hockey season on both teams and therefore not negatively impacting the two teams halfway through the season. Also, due to the smaller number of female players available, often there would not be enough to have two teams if females had to choose between the two teams.”
Stewart said a player with the Dr. J.H. Gillis Royals high school team also suits up for the Antigonish Bulldogs junior B squad. 
“Why is that kid, a half-hour down the highway, allowed to play?” he said. “This should be looked at again for next year because the kids are being left out.”
 

Recent Stories