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'Most people are missing the boat on this whole situation'Posted September 4, 2012
to the editor
As a concerned parent of two young boys growing up in New Tecumseth, I have weighed the arguments from both sides of the minor hockey debate.
What I have determined is a group of about, I'll say 50 or so Beeton parents exist that desperately want the BAA to step down and let TNT Minor Hockey swallow up the Beeton hockey program so their children can have the opportunity to try out for AA and A level teams.
Let me ask those parents this question, who will you be mad at when your child doesn't make one of those teams and then is forced to play either TNT house league or Local League because the associations amalgamated and there are no other options?
See, most people are missing the boat on this whole situation. If Beeton is swallowed up by TNT, the registration numbers already being over 200 before Beeton comes in, sets off a rule that will be in effect next season in the Simcoe Region Minor Hockey League (SRMHL), which states that any organization that has a registration greater than 200 and does not offer Rep (excluding A and AA) will not be allowed to enter teams into their league.
Now instead of 50 angry families, we have 120+ families, who are more than happy playing Local League out of Beeton, or resign instead of playing the inferior TNT house league because they merged. Who is going to deal with these people so that the other 50 can be happy?
Until the OMHA is forced by Hockey Canada to put an end to the 'Old Boys Cub' and eliminate the residency rules that restrict player movements so children can move freely to whichever organization they please, we must all adhere to their sanctions and rules.
Badgering and berating the members of any organization adhering to the rules that are in place is not the answer. Nor is a larger organization offering the only option as a full amalgamation of the two centres.
My solution is this, if Beeton has the numbers at any age group and has canvassed the players as to their intentions to play Rep in the spring and there are sufficient players to support a Rep team, then by all means go ahead with it.
If the numbers are not there in the spring, then do not declare for Rep teams in that age group. Then after TNT has had its fall tryouts and made their cuts from the A teams, those players cut should be allowed to fill any spots left on Beeton Rep teams or play Local League for Beeton which is a much better product than the TNT house league.
(Ed Note: TNT house league is offered from Mite to Peewee, then fields Local League teams in Bantam and Midget age groups. Beeton plays Local League from Tyke to Midget because the association doesn't have the numbers for an in-house league).
I know of kids who have been cut from TNT A clubs that have played Rep hockey in past seasons, now forced to play TNT house league because there are no other local alternatives. Whose looking out for those kids?
If full amalgamation happens, who will be looking out for those 120 + Beeton kids forced to play TNT house league or have their parents travel to another organization in hopes that there is room for them on their Local League teams before their registration breaks 200? I don't expect it will be Terry McDermott and his band of followers keen on seeing the end of Beeton minor hockey.
And while I believe Tammy Bush's letter of last week was very well written and to the point, I take exception to her remark that suggested both sides in this debate are being slanderous. Unless she can produce proof as to any person from the BAA acting in such a manner, she should retract that statement.