STATEMENT REGARDING THE FUNDY-HIGHLAND FEMALE HOCKEY ZONE
Aug. 2, 2017
Hockey Nova Scotia recognizes that there is a debate regarding the Fundy-Highland Female Hockey Hockey Zone currently taking place in the community of Antigonish. We would like to clarify some points of discussion.
First off, it is important to note that there will be no changes this season to the way players from the Fundy-Highland Female Hockey Zone register for Female Hockey.
Since 2015, players wishing to play Female Hockey in Nova Scotia have been mandated to sign up through the Hockey Nova Scotia Female Hockey Central Registry. The process is free. Players from Antigonish (and everywhere else in the province) who are playing Female Hockey have had to do that each year since the 2015-16 season. This is not a new change.
These modifications to the Female Hockey framework and governance model were approved by the Hockey Nova Scotia board after consultations and meetings at the grassroots level around the province in 2014 and early 2015. They were adopted at the 2015 Hockey Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting.
The reason for these changes involving regionalization is fairly simple:
Female Council identified that the framework that was used by Minor Hockey (and its 15,000 players) was not working as well as it could for Female Hockey (and its 2,000 players). The 33 Minor Hockey Associations that Minor Hockey uses were streamlined to six Female Hockey regional zone committees to help improve this administration.
Since 2015, when girls sign up to play Female Hockey through the Hockey Nova Scotia Female Hockey Central Registry, those players are given to their local regional zone committee (like Fundy-Highland) who in turn, assigns them to a team and places that team with a local Minor Hockey Association.
There are two main factors that these committees take into consideration when assigning players and teams:
The committee makes every effort to get players playing close to home and with, and against, girls of a similar skill set.
Again, this process is not new. The 2017-18 season will be the third season in a row in which this model will be used.
At some point down the road, Female Council would like to see these Female Hockey Zone committees become fully functional Female Hockey Associations (like the one in Metro West). They would have the same rights and privileges as a Minor Hockey Association but their sole focus would be on the promotion, administration and development of Female Hockey.
Hockey Nova Scotia has not mandated that any of the five remaining zones that administer Female Hockey must become Female Hockey Associations. This decision has been left up to the Female Hockey zone committees in those regions to determine when they are ready. Once these zone committees determine they are ready, there is a process in place that must be followed to satisfy Hockey Nova Scotia prior to any final approval.
In the meantime, the process that players have followed for the past two seasons will be followed again this season. The Fundy-Highland Zone committee has full autonomy over Female Hockey in that region. They have worked with and will continue to try to work with the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association and other Minor Hockey Associations (within that catchment area) to address the concerns of parents in the region.