Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Drunken hotel melee at youth hockey tournament

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I borrowed the term “drunken hotel melee” from The Globe and Mail of Toronto, which used it to describe a situation in which coaches and parents dropped the gloves in a bar after tournament hours. From the Globe and Mail:

Early Saturday, the head coach, assistant coach and a hockey dad with the Cobourg Minor Hockey League’s bantam team were arrested at a Holiday Inn in Grand Island, N.Y., after deputies with the Erie County sheriff’s department encountered what they described as a “bar full of belligerent, obnoxious, intoxicated Ontario men visiting the hotel while in the area for a kids’ hockey tournament.”

773160242_623bd5c1c1Belligerent, obnoxious, intoxicated Ontario men. Kooooo-loo-koo-koo-koo-koo-koo-koooooooo!

Late Sunday night [Dec. 6], a judge set bail for the men ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 each. It’s unclear if they were able to post the bond and return to Ontario with their 13- and 14-year-old charges.

“It’s a rotten shame,” said Bob Harrington, director of the 38th Annual December Shootout, a three-day hockey tournament in Niagara Falls, N.Y., for young players from the United States and Canada. It was the Cobourg team’s first appearance at the tournament, he said.

“These tournaments are about the boys, they’re about the kids having fun and learning from example how to be good gentlemen, how to work hard for their teams, how to be professional and how to be respectful. What happened here kind of flies in the face of what we’re all trying to accomplish.”

Just for kicks, it would be funny to see some tournament director or coach, after some scuffle involving parents, to say, “Oh yeah, this is totally what we wanted to do. This is the exact message we want to send to the kids: get pissed and fight.”

Apparently in Ontario they’re a bit sensitive about unusually strange or violent hockey brawls surrounding the youth level:

Minor hockey’s reputation has suffered a number of body blows in recent years.

League violations in the Greater Toronto Hockey League last season reveal a pattern of racism, hits to the head and referee abuse, a Toronto newspaper reported yesterday. Several GTHL players were suspended last year for posting discriminatory and threatening messages on Facebook.

A 17-year-old hockey player was charged with assault after an opponent’s spleen was ruptured in a stick-swinging incident during an Ontario Minor Hockey Association game in 2008. Two years ago, the GTHL, Canada’s largest minor hockey league, suspended two team officials after a brawl involving eight-year-old players.

Eight-year-olds cementheads? Man, kids are specializing wayyyy too early. At least let the bones in their hands develop a little more before breaking them.

Hey, all this reminds me, it’s been a little while since I popped in my DVD of “The Tournament.”