Friday, October 25, 2013

Canadian Junior Hockey League to examine new stance on fighting, discipline

Press Release

CALGARY, Alberta (October 24, 2013) – The Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Board of Directors has overwhelmingly voted to support an automatic game misconduct for fighting (the one-fight rule) and new national minimum discipline guidelines.

"The co-operation among our leagues and partners for standardized fighting rules and consistent discipline guidelines across all Junior A leagues is a significant step in the continuing development and evolution of the CJHL and Junior A hockey in Canada," said CJHL President Kirk Lamb.  "We will work closely with our stakeholders and key partners, such as Hockey Canada and provincial branches, on bringing these endorsements forward for consideration."

One-Fight Rule Endorsed as National Standard

The CJHL supports the automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.   The automatic game misconduct penalty, commonly known as the 'one-fight rule', results in a 5-minute major as well as the immediate ejection of the player from the game.   Five CJHL leagues – SIJHL, NOJHL, OJHL, CCHL and LHJAAAQ – are currently using this rule.  In five other CJHL leagues – BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and MHL – a player's first fighting penalty results in the same 5-minute major penalty, but does not carry with it in an automatic ejection from the game.  In those leagues, the automatic game ejection occurs after a player's second fight in the same game.   A move to a national rule for fighting would see all 10 CJHL leagues operate under the same automatic game misconduct penalty for fighting.

Junior A Supplement Supported as National Supplemental Discipline Guidelines

In addition to supporting a game misconduct penalty for fighting, the CJHL has overwhelming endorsed in principle a comprehensive set of minimum discipline guidelines based on a 4-year pilot project called the Junior A Supplement.  The Junior A Supplement was designed and implemented by the BCHL, AJHL, SJHL, MJHL and MHL, in partnership with Hockey Canada.

“The Junior A Supplement has been an invaluable game management tool,” said BCHL Commissioner John Grisdale.  “We have experienced a significant change in the culture of our game and player behavior and are enjoying the benefits of enhanced communication and education among players, coaches and officials."

The Junior A Supplement is an innovative set of regulations involving both existing playing rules that have been strengthened or expanded, as well as the creation of new penalties for certain actions and player behavior. The key principles of the Junior A Supplement are:

    establishing common values relating to player, coach and team behavior
    suspension thresholds for multiple offenders of various infractions
    increasing suspensions for subsequent infractions beyond the suspension threshold
    coach and team accountability, such as fines and suspensions, for the actions of their players
    education of players, coaches and officials about the rules and values of the Junior A Supplement

 “The Junior A Supplement provides a consistent supplemental discipline guidelines across the country and arms Junior A leagues with additional tools to help manage many aspects of our game,” said CCHL Commissioner Kevin Abrams.  “As a league dedicated to the development of student-athletes, we continuously evaluate new rules and regulations to make the game more enjoyable and safer for our players and more exciting and entertaining for our fans.” 

(Nathan can be reached at

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