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Hockey Canada changing age-division names

Last Updated Nov 21, 2019 at 3:41 pm MDT

Quinton Byfield, left, the OHL’s rookie of the year, skates during an intersquad game at Hockey Canada’s men’s under-18 hockey camp in Calgary, Alta., Monday, July 29, 2019. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — In the hopes of making hockey more inclusive and creating a more straightforward reference for parents registering their children, Hockey Canada is doing away with division names like novice, midget and bantam.

The governing body says starting in 2020 – 2021, divisions will become U7, U9, U11 through to U21.

“We believe everyone should feel welcome in the game and in our on-going effort to make hockey more inclusive, the Members at the Hockey Canada Annual Meeting determined that the names of our age divisions will change,” Michael Brind’Amour, chair of the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, explained in a release Monday.

RELATED: Hockey may shift from ‘midget’ and other traditional names to age descriptors

Areas with major and minor designations within divisions will continue to do so under the new naming format.

The decision was ratified at the Winter Congress this past weekend in Montreal.

Local Reaction

Fort McMurray Minor Hockey Association (FMMHA) President Travis Galenzoski said he agrees with the decision.

He also said changing the names mid-season could pose logistic and sponsorship problems.

“For our association, we do a lot of sponsorships, advertisings, [so] there’s a big outlay of time and money into divisions and naming.”

Galenzoksi likened such a move like changing the format of a radio station without accounting for announcers, sales, or promotions.

He added the FMMHA remains strives to work with Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta towards their goal of inclusivity.

For information on schedules, arena availability, and tournaments, go to the FMMHA website.