A minor hockey practice session
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Opposing Lawsuits Highlight A Growing Rift in Minor Hockey

Published March 9, 2024 at 8:43

A new report from TSN's Rick Westhead really highlights an ever-growing rift between hockey parents, coaches, and league officials. In the report, Westhead outlines opposing lawsuits that have been filed in Ontario by a hockey parent against a coach, and the coach against the parent.

The minor hockey coach from the London area of Ontario has filed a defamation lawsuit against the parent of one of his players. The defamation suit was in response to a lawsuit from the parent which claimed the coach threatened and physically battered the his child during a practice. The coach, in turn, claims the parent is "out of control."

"A minor hockey coach in the London area has filed a $1.29M defamation lawsuit against a hockey parent who alleged several months ago that the coach threatened and «physically battered» his child during a practice.

'This is a case about an out-of-control hockey parent who openly bragged about ruining the career of a coach for failing to give his son sufficient ice time,' the coach's lawsuit said.

The hockey parent, who filed a $2M lawsuit in November against the coach, the hockey association and Hockey Canada, alleged the coach assaulted him in a dressing room in October and accused him of engaging in 'in obscene and/or despicable behaviour.'

The hockey parent also alleged the local hockey association retained an investigator who was 'incompetent, partial, unqualified and/or biased' and did not refer the case to police as it was obligated to do." - Rick Westhead

The whole thing just sounds like an utter mess that probably could have been avoided with cooler heads and more communication. Meanwhile, minor hockey and other kids' sports continue to struggle to get coaches and on-ice officials. That's in no way meant to put the blame completely at the feet of hockey parents. More, and better communication is needed, while everyone needs to keep in mind that the people hurt the most by this sort of thing are the young players.

March 9   |   392 answers
Opposing Lawsuits Highlight A Growing Rift in Minor Hockey

What needs to change in minor hockey to make things better?

Parents need to calm down10927.8 %
Better leadership from those in charge6516.6 %
Both21053.6 %
I'm not sure82 %
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