OHA Board Rules on GOJHL Reclassification Request
thursday april 17, 2014
Cambridge, ON – The Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), the governing body for junior and senior hockey within the southern, western and eastern areas of the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), determined at its Board of Directors Meeting on April 16th not to approve the request of the teams in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League (GOJHL) to grant to teams reclassification as a Junior A League.
The GOJHL is comprised of 26 member teams of the OHA, plus one entry from Buffalo, NY, as approved by USA Hockey and Hockey Canada to compete in the League.
Accordingly, the teams will continue to compete in the Junior B Category within the OHA for the OHA’s James T. Sutherland Cup, emblematic of the OHA Junior B Championship, which was first awarded in 1934.
In reaching its decision, the OHA Board considered several factors, including:
· There was little to no rationale, or supporting information provided in the application for reclassification, nor in any subsequent information provided;
· The practical effect of approving the applications would be the elimination of all participants in the Junior B category within the OHA at this time without due consideration on the impact on other levels of play under the auspices of the OHA;
· There was no rationale provided as to the reasoning to have the Junior A category move from the current 22 teams to a proposed 49 teams;
· The position, as presented by the “GOJHL Transition Team” to have all 27 current Junior B members being reclassified to Junior A, was decided not to be in the best interest of hockey;
· The OHA Board takes a strong position that there can and should be only one league at the Junior A category and that such league will enter and compete for the Junior A National Championship and operate under one set of rules, regulations, policies, and standards as established and approved. To have “rival” leagues at the same category, operating under different rules, regulations and operating procedures and requirements, is not conducive to the orderly conduct of competition.
“The Junior B category is a huge part of what the OHA is, has been, and what it can be moving forward. Our Junior B programs offer tremendous opportunities for players and coaches to advance to higher levels within the game,” said Scott Farley, OHA Chief Executive Officer. “The GOJHL is arguably the best Junior B league in Canada and they have provided amazing opportunities to players and coaches in the communities they represent. The OHA welcomes change, but it must be done in a thoughtful and forward-thinking manner and work within the OHA’s Tomorrow’s Game initiative and in the best interest of all OHA teams and categories as well as other affected programs.”
The OHA continuously consults with its members and other stakeholders in an ongoing effort to improve hockey programming, and wishes to continue that dialogue with the member teams in the Junior B category and the GOJHL.