Junior A Leagues Launch Unprecedented Pilot Project to Reduce Violence and Bullying

August 19th, 2010 – A group of five Member Leagues within the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) are proud to announce an unprecedented joint effort to eliminate violence and bullying from Junior A hockey.

This initiative has developed from a partnership between the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL), Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League (SJHL), Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL), and Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL), who have formed together to create the Junior A Supplement, which will be launched as a pilot project in the 2010-2011 CJHL Season.

The Junior A Supplement has been created to protect junior-aged hockey players by addressing actions such as Blows to the Head, Dangerous Hits, Accumulated Major Penalties, Accumulated Misconducts, Instigating and Unnecessary Fighting. The supplement increases team, coach and player accountability through the tracking of repeat offenders, increased suspensions and significant financial penalties. It builds on the progressive regulations undertaken over the past decade by the participating Leagues and Branches to reduce bullying and violence from Junior A Hockey in Canada.

The pilot project was developed as a response to the implementation of Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which calls for an automatic game misconduct whenever a major penalty for fighting is assessed. The participating Member Leagues have gone one step further by targeting the types of dangerous plays that often result in fights and other types of violence. The Leagues within the pilot project will not be subject to Hockey Canada Regulation 6.7, which will be implemented across the remainder of the Leagues in CJHL.

“The five Member Leagues involved in the creation of the Junior A Supplement have taken a tremendous step in the effort to reduce and eliminate violence and bullying in Junior A hockey,” said AJHL President Craig T. Cripps. “Our League and its teams, coaches and players are committed to providing a safe environment for every player while also maintaining an exciting, physical brand of hockey on the ice.”

The Junior A Supplement has been developed in cooperation with the provincial branches of BC Hockey, Hockey Alberta, the Saskatchewan Hockey Association, Hockey Manitoba, Hockey North, Hockey Nova Scotia, Hockey P.E.I. and Hockey New Brunswick.

The two-year pilot project will compare data from the participating leagues using the Junior A Supplement and a control group using Hockey Canada Playing Rule 6.7. The data will determine whether fighting is reduced in the Junior A game by ejecting a player for his first fighting major and the effect on other aggressive and violent behaviour.