The Estevan Minor Hockey Association (EMHA) tackled issues related to rising fees and the 2013-14 season during its annual fall meeting August 28.
President Kelly Kjersem said the organization is facing a significant increase in player fees for this year, after the City of Estevan approved a jump in ice time rates for minor sports organizations, from $70 per hour to $85 per hour.
“We had to increase registration fees by … $75 to $90 a kid, depending on the division,” said Kjersem.
Those who attended the fall meeting understood minor hockey’s reasoning for the rate increase, he said.
EMHA has also approved a new policy regarding jerseys for house league players. Parents will give the EMHA a post-dated cheque for $100 before the start of the season; it won’t be cashed if the jersey is returned at the end of the campaign.
If the jersey isn’t returned, then the EMHA will cash the cheque.
“This past year was one of the worst years for getting jerseys back,” said Kjersem. “We had to get jerseys all the way from Calgary and Saskatoon. It wasn’t a good situation.”
Kjersem is encouraging parents to register their children for the upcoming season before city-wide registration on September 10. Their office, which is located in the upstairs area of the Icon Centre, is open in the afternoon on weekdays.
It will be a busy year in minor hockey, Kjersem said. Not only will they have the house league teams, but there will be nearly a dozen rep teams. There will be boys’ AA teams at the peewee, bantam and midget levels, as well as an atom Tier 1 team, a bantam A team and a junior midget team. Girls’ rep teams will be entered at the A-level in the atom, peewee, bantam and midget age groups, and at the midget AA level.
Kjersem said he is pleased to see that there will be a midget girls’ AA team in Estevan for the first time.
The plans to have a boys’ novice representative team and a boys’ peewee A team were quashed after the Saskatchewan Hockey Association opted to pull the plug on the proposed resurrection of the South Central Minor Hockey League, Kjersem said.
There has been discussion to increase the number of out-of-town players on the AA teams, but that won’t be decided until after city-wide registration, when the EMHA will know its player numbers.