Hockey jersey fuss leads to resignation of entire association executive

Robin Short
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The Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association is a rudderless ship today following a mass resignation of the group’s executive.

The entire executive, from president Trish Sullivan on down, has resigned their positions as a result of a situation which got out of hand involving peewee hockey jerseys.

According to sources, a parent of one of the peewee A players offered to provide new jerseys for the team, compliments of a corporate sponsor.

The association’s executive rejected the idea, noting the team currently has sponsored jerseys, and the idea of teams purchasing their own hockey jerseys would set precedent.

Undaunted, the parents on the team purchased a new set of jerseys, at which time the Clarenville minor executive ruled the players could only wear the new duds in practice, and not in games.

That decision led to a flood of emails and telephone calls to members of the minor hockey executive, some of them bordering on harassment, one source said.

The executive approached Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador seeking support. The governing body for hockey in the province informed the association that it essentially was an in-house rule, and Clarenville minor hockey should enforce it.

At that point, the child of the parent who initiated the jersey-purchase was suspended by Clarenville minor. The association was informed by Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador the suspension was without merit, and the player should be reinstated.

The Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association agreed to do so, but a written letter of apology was required from the parent, which was delivered.

Shortly after the suspension was lifted and the apology was received, the association’s executive met as a group. It was at that point in time the executive members began receiving harassing emails on their smart phones.

That led to president Sullivan immediately submitting her resignation, followed shortly afterwards by the resignations of the entire executive.

Sources say the executive remains resolute in its decision.

As for the Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association, one source suggested the association might be disbanded if the current executive or a new executive is not put in place.

Organizations: Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association, Minor hockey

Geographic location: Clarenville

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Recent comments

  • Gerald
    March 14, 2013 - 12:21

    I coach minor hockey in a smaller center, similar in size to the Clarenville area. Never have I ever heard of a sponsored set of uniforms being turned away by a minor hockey association regardless of how many sets of uniforms they might have. More often than not it is a parent of a player in a certain division that arranges sponsorship through their various connections in the business community. Does it matter where the uniforms come from? Why not have a second or even third set of uniforms for a team? Last time I checked they don't go bad. It seems like the association, as well as the parents are more concerned about the logo on the front of the uniform than the child wearing it. What odds if they have enough uniforms to wear a different one for every game! Let the kids play!!!

  • white M.
    March 14, 2013 - 08:26

    Not sure what is happening in Clarenville. Last time I watched the news Mr. Jack Lee said it was all about the kids!! Now I speak to my relatives in Clarenville and the executive and Mr. Jack Lee have suspended the 4 coaches and the children can not attend provincials with the coaches..... I guess neither can be trusted on their word. It came right from Jack Lee that everything was put behind and now it is all brought up again.

  • Blair
    February 25, 2013 - 07:14

    You think this is bad, try dealing with the board for mount pearl minor hockey.

    • Hockey Mom
      February 28, 2013 - 09:48

      I have been a hockey mom with this association for a very long time. Knowing the particulars of both sides of this issue, my opinion is that both sides are to blame for this. Have had issues with the operation of this executive but I also have problems with a parent not obeying the policies of the association. I certainly think that this boy shouldn't have been suspended. There are bigger fish to fry besides these issues such as some coaches actions and being held accountable!

  • Townie bayman
    February 25, 2013 - 05:47

    "Small town cheap" is how many would describe this whole fiasco. Parents take the hockey seriously because the stakes are so low. Shame on the parents involved.

  • Wow....just wow
    February 23, 2013 - 10:04

    It is sad that a trivial matter has become such a controversial issue. The Packet has written some insightful articles on the economy, politics, and the environment that should have created discussion on this forum. Often important stories see little or no comment while this topic has generated he most comments I've seen in a long time. Too bad this energy isn't directed at lobbying for a long term care facility that is big enough to meet the needs of our seniors, remedying the traffic problem on the TCH, or attracting more family physicians. If hockey jerseys are so important you really need to take a hard look at your priorities.

  • shelly
    February 22, 2013 - 11:22

    You know something I think you should all just grow up. So what if only one team got the Jerseys. You are all acting like spoiled brats because you didn't get your own way. And as for the e-mails take them to the cops. It's not right and never will be to take things that far.maybe the Accosiation should lower the cost of some things so parents can afford it. Thank God my son is not mixed up in this. It seems like if your not from Clarenville you shouldn't have an opinion.

  • Are all the facts out?
    February 22, 2013 - 07:24

    Having asked people in the area about this there are a couple of facts missing. 1. This group had not been wearing these Jerseys - they were only being worn at practices. The Association Jerseys were in short supply for the team resulting in Kids having to change numbers by placing tape on them to adjust numbers but the donated Jerseys were still not being worn. 2. The group was under the understanding that the Jersey Issue was put to bed and that a discussion at the AGM would serve to adjust or reaffirm the position of the Executive. 3. The only issue that caused the "blow up" was the suspension of an 11 year old child for what the father did. If the child had not been suspended then no concerns would have been raised. I am not from Clarenville nor am I connected to the minor hockey system. I asked a friend of mine in the area what was up and this is what I was told. Shame that the groups couldn't resolve what appears to be a minor issue without dragging a kid into it and creating a big mess!!

    February 21, 2013 - 23:27

    GROW UP!! Learn what RESPECT is and start showing it! There is absolutely no respect here. First off parents, your child is NOT in the NHL its minor hockey its for FUN, its where we play FAIR and make friends and memories to last a lifetime! Parents you are not in charge of your child's team the minor hockey executive is they are there for a reason. These people are the ones who are brave enough to take on a leadership role! They are always the best suited for the job but at least they are trying. PARENTS SHOULD RESPECT THE EXECUTIVE THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING........ MOST OF THE TIME Now Minor Hockey Executive, you are all doing a good job BUT I AM DISGUSTED WITH YOUR RULING TO TAKE AN INNOCENT CHILD AWAY FROM HAVING FUN! There has to be another way to deal with CHILDISH and DISRESPECTFUL parents. I am so very upset about the decision to remove a child from minor hockey for something a parent or parents did. This should NEVER HAVE HAPPENED SHAME ON YOU FOR THIS THE MEMBERS INVOLVED NEED MORE RESPECT FOR THE CHILD Now what really turns my stomach is that people such as the parents of these kids would be so IDIOTIC DISRESPECTFUL AND CHILDISH as to HARASSING AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSING the members of the executive! THESE PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE ANY SUCH ABUSE once again where is your respect???? As a referee I too receive harassment and abuse such as this from many BUT NOT ALL parents and coaches because these parents and coaches think that they can do MY JOB better than me and they think that I am not doing my job right! YET they do not have the courage enough to take my place and do what I do! This is the same situation here! PARENTS LET THE EXECUTIVE DO THEIR JOB FOLLOW THEIR RULES! You do your job as a parent and cheer for your child, DO NOT TRY TO DO THE EXECUTIVE'S JOB OR THE REFEREE'S JOB if you want to then go ahead and join the executive or be a referee see how it feels. I too often feel like just quitting as a referee just like the executive did because it is simply just not worth the harassment and abuse. DO YOUR OWN JOB NOT SOMEBODY ELSE'S FOLLOW RULES DO NOT PUNISH A CHILD FOR A PARENT'S MISTAKE HAVE RESPECT WE NEED MORE RESPECT

  • Listen...
    February 21, 2013 - 21:37

    I find that this article is slightly biased, most likely based on the source of the info. However, this whole situation has become a political minefield. There are an series of events that have occurred that can be viewed several different ways by different people. Some, could say the exec had its biases to Certain groups. maybe, maybe not. I would ask the merit of the decisions made on the jersey issue, as i never did discover the specifics of why they were taking such a hard line with personalized jerseys. in the past they were allowed to sew on the sponsors patch. Now, maybe this could seem silly, but as an outside observer, i did feel that this executive was more heavy handed then previous ones in their resolve for everything ("if you do/do not do "this" you get suspended" approach applied to pretty much everything... ). Evidenced by the suspension of the child to "punish" or pressure the parent for an apology. On that basis alone, maybe the executive should have been either warned or removed for allowing one of the cardinal rules of minor hockey (in the minds of many) to be violated by the suspension of the child. I however, do not support those who sent nasty and/or threatening emails, as someone who believes in law and order i can not sanction that approach. Does this mean the exec was right to resign? maybe, maybe not... its all a point of view after all.. how harassing were these emails? is there merit for criminal charges? or were simple questions or opinions being interpreted worse then they were? i don't know, nor will i ever know, so i can not judge. i do believe that a large part of the minor hockey community disagreed with several policies of this executive. but still thats what the AGM is for.. a diplomatic solution. Regardless of what is right and what is wrong, it now is what it is. hopefully they can salvage whats left, and move on to a newer and brighter era.

  • dumb move
    February 21, 2013 - 21:20

    Corporate folks support many organizations and we should be thankful for that. Why would a parent think they have the right to replace a sponsor with another. They made a mistake and have no business doing that. Assume no parents had ties to the original sponsor that supplied jerseys the team was wearing..

  • Control Freak
    February 21, 2013 - 20:48

    I think the Hockey Moms should start organizing street hockey too; that way they can control fun and ruin that too like they spoiled ice hockey.

    • Hockey Mom
      February 22, 2013 - 11:28

      Where do you get off blaming this on Hockey Moms? no where in the article was gender specified.

  • Joe
    February 21, 2013 - 20:11

    From the sounds of everything suspending the child was a very poor decision. Just the same, the exec made a decision that right or wrong should have been respected and obviously was not. If I were anyone on the exec, I would have a facebook page listing out each and every harassing e-mail I received along with every name attached. The parents that sent these harassing e-mails should be called out and held to shame for their actions here.

  • Virginia Waters
    February 21, 2013 - 19:30

    Having coached at the minor level some years back, it never ceased to amaze me how much small time politics - indeed small mindedness - dominates amateur sport. You get to see the mean, nasty, intemperate and intolerant side of ordinary people. Small things become big, unintended slights become the basis for intense animosity, and competition on the ice or the field pales in comparison with the jealousy and competition in the stands. Is it any wonder that so many kids show signs of social and psychological maladjustment in adulthood. Just look what they are learning from their parents. I don't need to know the grimy details to know that a lot of people behaved badly here, including the executive. Rather than sit down and resolve the issue in a quiet, non-confrontational, reasoned manner, they all went for the jugular. But the most odious of all was the decision to hold the child hostage by barring him from play until the parents issued a written apology. Why not turn the association over to the children themselves - they couldn't do any worse.

  • Estelle Williamson
    February 21, 2013 - 18:55

    Clearly the only one to blame in all of this is the child. Children should know better. It's only right that he barred from playing hockey with the other kids. He's lucky they didn't make it a lifetime ban. Just another kid gone bad in my mind.

    • Angry parent
      February 22, 2013 - 16:13

      Are you nuts blaming the child?????????????

  • Ed. Anstey
    February 21, 2013 - 17:33

    maybe his/her parents would not let him/her wear the proper jersey therefore the assoc. would have to suspend him/her for not following the rules. you cannot have every player make and play by their own rules. DUMB PARENTS.

  • W
    February 21, 2013 - 17:01

    Lord save us from the modern day parent.

  • Ger
    February 21, 2013 - 16:49

    There is an executive in place here. Because of this, you just can't have others making decisions which could affect any association, As foolish as this incident may seem, the association of any sports have to have control. Once decisions are made outside the various associations, all hell will break lose. This association is in charge--parents voted them in--so, if they want change, vote for a new association, but ,remember, you vote for these volunteers to make decisions. Changing a simple rule WILL cause future problems.

  • Newfie Girl
    February 21, 2013 - 15:49

    Really a whole executive walked out because of a dispute on jerseys????? This seems a little strange.....I personally think that there is way more to the story then is written here....It seems like a child was punished for nothing and a group tried to support this child and also the same group of parents purchased jerseys in a wrong manner but still not the child.....Seems things have gotten a little out of hand I would love to hear the rest. I'm not so quick to side with the source of this article.

  • skipper
    February 21, 2013 - 14:58

    I left Clarenville many years ago but i see things have not changed much the self chosen few still run the town .Good for the executive now let the know it alls do it yeah right.

    • Epat
      February 24, 2013 - 21:57

      Skipper, I am also a former resident of Clarenville and I couldn't agree with you more. Even back in my day, there were a select few whose kids seemed to always get named MVP and team captain, and their parents were town councillors and teachers. They weren't always the best players, but because they were "popular" and their parents were so heavily involved, they seemed to floate through all the sports teams on top, when they weren't the best players. We all know that Clarenville is cliquish. Thank god I chose to leave and raise my children elsewhere. I see that things haven't changed.

  • Dwayne Cull
    February 21, 2013 - 14:00

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. Childishness ruining a game for'd think it would be the kids who are childish not the parents.. if you locked the parents out of the arena, the kids would have one hell of a fun time!!!

  • Why do adult disputes affect kids?
    February 21, 2013 - 13:44

    There is always at least 3 sides to every story. If a parent committed an offense that contravenes an established rule that is one thing. If the child was not part of it why was the child suspended? That is the equivalent of a parent going out and robbing a store and the child being sent to a Boys home as a result. What is concerning here is that a child was suspended despite having (at least as reported) not committed any offense. If the Executive received derogatory emails then that is a separate issue. That certainly wasn't appropriate either. They are volunteers. They can be questioned and certainly people can have differences of opnions. These differences need to be about the issue and not the person. I hope that at some point they are able to get together and put petty adult disputes to one side and remember that the sport is a kids sport and it should be about them.

  • Mom to one
    February 21, 2013 - 13:04

    Who is responsible for suspending a child for his/her parents actions? That is SAD....pretty bad when you can't get along...What does it matter what they wear....Sheesh....Another reason my child is not in hockey in this town!

  • iwasthere
    February 21, 2013 - 12:56

    To A Mom: no where in the article does it say a Mother had done this! It states a parent only. Also, these people are volunteers.....why can't the parents on the hockey team respect that? I've been to many minor games in my life where the volunteer coaches and staff are harrassed by's just disgusting. I say "Good job for the entire executive staff sticking together and quitting. Who needs that kind of harrassment!

  • a reader
    February 21, 2013 - 12:54

    I agree with some of the other comments. This is suppose to teach the kids team work, where are the adult expamples of how to effectively resolve conflict? I say let the kids where they want, Take the politics out of the mix and suspend the parents! The kids should not suffer the sins of the idiot adults!

  • Jack
    February 21, 2013 - 12:46

    Since we keep hearing more and more about sports organizations and associations suspending juvenile athletes due to a problem with his/her parents, I think the Newfoundland and Labrador Government and Sport Newfoundland and Labrador should ban clubs and associations from punishing athletes due to a parent or guardians actions. Suspensions or expulsions are only supposed to be issued to a particular athlete when he/she commits a serious infraction, not because of parental/guardian complaints. Keep in mind that athletes can't choose their parents, only the creator can, meaning that Clarenville Minor Hockey Association and other athletic clubs should have no rights whatsoever to suspend or expel a child athlete due to a parent or guardian's actions. Hockey NL and Clarenville Minor Hockey Association, from now on, if you have a problem with parent or guardian complaints, don't make children suffer due and punish them, deal with their caregivers. Besides, suspensions are designed to deal with disciplinary matters of the athlete, NOT the parent.

  • Seriously?
    February 21, 2013 - 12:31

    As an outsider, this is how I see it: 1. A decision made by the executive should be respected. That's what a board is there for, to make decisions and ensure that rules are being followed. 2. A compromise was made to allow the jerseys to be worn during practice. Win-win situation. 3. Threats should NEVER have been made to ANYONE You're adults. Deal with it. 4. No child should have ever been involved in this issue. Ever. It is disgraceful to see adults threatening others over something so trivial. Seriously, no one here is 12...except for the poor kids who want nothing more than to enjoy a game of hockey. Shame on you all.

  • Jerome
    February 21, 2013 - 12:06

    Why not call your local police (RCMP) and show the threatening emails/voie mails and have them charged.Just saying people.

  • the politik
    February 21, 2013 - 12:02

    This makes me laugh. I agree with the decision of the exec to resign. Once again, the unfortunate actions of the few has resulted in the loss of hockey to many.

  • Parent
    February 21, 2013 - 12:01

    Its too bad for the association. I understand how they feel. Rules are in place so that people including the executives are not running all over the place doing whatever they like. It sounds like the parent has a big issue here. I guess this is what some people are teaching the kids. No matter what the law says you can go out and break it. Harassing phone calls!! Grow up parents.

  • wavy
    February 21, 2013 - 12:00

    A fuss kicked up over hockey parents getting out of hand? Say it isn't so! This is exactly the type of scenario that has parents like me dissuading their children from taking up the game in the first place. I remember well the environment from my own minor hockey days; not much has changed from the sound of things. So much small-minded bickering, negativity and hot-headed ego trips it's not even funny. In the end, it's the kids who pay the price for the childish egos and temper tantrums of the supposed adults; imagine the lessons they'll take away from this. Shameful and pathetic.

  • A Parent
    February 21, 2013 - 11:55

    Not everyone knows the whole story here. This is not about Jerseys. A child was held ransome by the executive to make a parent apoligize. The child was removed by no fault of his based on accusations towards the parent.

  • Hockey Parent
    February 21, 2013 - 11:52

    Seems that suspending the child might be a little much but was likely the only way to get rid of the Dad / parents. If an organization has rules it has rules and no one man is beyond them. He got what was coming to him / her. These people are volunteers and they have lives and children and jobs like everyone else. They do not need some parent who thinks they are above the rules ruining the experience for them as volunteers. Church and religion may have started wars but sports and parents have ruined many great friendships.

  • Wow
    February 21, 2013 - 11:33

    So now with no Executive... Your whole association may not get to attend their All Nl tournaments... Now u have affected every player....

    • Clarenville Hockey parent
      February 21, 2013 - 13:08

      Shame on the few parents that had to ruin it for each and every kid involved in Clarenville Minor Hockey!!!

  • Political Watcher
    February 21, 2013 - 11:32

    First we had parents risking life and limb by taking kids on the road in the height of a storm and being stranded on the side of the road overnight and now this. What is minor hockey coming too? People, it is only a game and at the end of it all these kids will ALL be playing in the same beer leagues. First rule of minor hockey should be NO PARENTS ALLOWED.............

    • Disgusted
      February 21, 2013 - 14:53

      Parents are the problem......I have seen it many times. I have no children in hockey; however, the school system is just as is being ruled by parents and teaching the kids what??????...... how to be a bully!!!

  • Michael D.
    February 21, 2013 - 11:25

    The parent who decided unilaterally that the entire team should have new uniforms is the problem here. There is a Minor Hockey Association for a reason - to make decisions like this. But you will always have some parent, working on behalf of a some self-centred business, causing crap for the rest of the team. What a selfish person this parent is. The Clarenville Area Minor Hockey Association was correct to resign. Their job is to run the league. But if all it takes is one selfish parent to come in and cause chaos, then why bother wasting your time as a volunteer - knowing you are only going to get grief from selfish parents. Ms. Sullivan and her board deserve support. Not harassment.

  • ashamed to be a hockey parent
    February 21, 2013 - 11:17

    Forgive me if I am wrong but it seems that this is another one of those "I am entitled" moments. How do we expect a young person to respect the rules when the parents cannot? Seriously? Harrassing phone calls? Come on parents, grown up! It is only a game that you aren't playing, your child is. Show them how to be a good sportsman and not a bully

  • Unreal
    February 21, 2013 - 10:50

    Wow....this is suppose to be about the kids, playing a game, learning teamwork and HAVING FUN!!! Who cares what they wear....nice to see parents and executive and politics ruining something that not even for them. Way to go!

  • bobby
    February 21, 2013 - 10:36

    gotta love first world problems

  • A mom
    February 21, 2013 - 10:29

    By the sound of it there were a lot of wrong doings here,but the biggest wrong doing was suspending that child for what his mother had done,talk about what a bully to do that to a child.How can we teach our kids to do the right thing when the adults act so childish.For the record I am not a mom of any of these children nor do I live in that area.?

    • Some Parents need to know the Facts
      February 21, 2013 - 20:31

      I am NOT a hockey mom but I am familiar with the Clarenville Minor Hockey Association and know the countless hours this executive have spent working for the good of ALL minor hockey players. It is really disgusting to see how one parent who is only concerned with his own son's team and who has no regard for the other players, the association rules or the executive can cause so much havoc by his ruthless actions. The fact that other parents who did NOT know what they were talking about jumped on the bandwagon and joined in the intimidation/harassment of the executive with their Facebook comments, using peer pressure to keep a team off the ice etc. just shows the appreciation that they have for the people who donate their time and skills for ALL the kids, including theirs. Realistically, the father had his son suspended from hockey because he was asked for a letter of apology for his inappropriate behaviour and he refused to provide it knowing that the consequences of his refusal was the suspension of his son. The association tries to treat all kids equally and NOT have one team(?? A Team) in a division with new jerseys with their names on them while the other team on the ice just has old jerseys. It amazed me to see that one of the most vocal parents against the executive on this matter was a parent who just a year or so ago was complaining about this type of favouritism but now finds it acceptable because her son is now on that A Team. Wow, how some parents ethics/morals change!! The Kids are fine, some parents are the REAL PROBLEM!!