BCHL governors got a lot of business done at the league’s annual general meeting last week, including the approval of several player-safety measures.
The junior A league continues to wage war on fighting in hockey, moving another step towards eliminating it altogether. Next season the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) will be able to review fights and add instigator of aggressor penalties after the fact, where previously it was up to on-ice officials to make that call in the moment.
Combined with a motion passed at last year’s AGM — where a player receives a suspension for his second fighting major of the season and discipline increases with any scraps after that — the league believes it now has the stiffest anti-fighting rules in North America.
The BCHL is also striving to have the most accurate stat-tracking on the continent with the introduction of ‘Live Scoring.’
Beginning next season, each team will have staff member assigned to double check scoring plays, and make changes to the online box score when a goal has been incorrectly scored. In-game scoring changes will be announced by the arena’s PA announcer and will be noted on the broadcast.
The league office will review all scoring changes after the fact to ensure they are accurate.
The board of governors voted at the AGM to bring back the league’s decision makers with contract extensions for Chris Hebb (Commissioner), Steven Cocker (Deputy Commissioner), Dave Cannon (Executive Director, Business Development), Brad Lazarowich (Director of Officiating and Player Safety), Jesse Adamson (Manager, Communications and Events) and Jake Baker (Manager, Finance and Events).
Members of the BCHL’s Executive Committee were also extended and the committee added one member. Graham Fraser (Penticton) continues to serve as Chairman of the Board with David White (Wenatchee) and newly-added Rich Murphy (Trail) serving as vice-chairs. Also on the committee is Brooks Christensen (Salmon Arm), David Michaud (Alberni Valley), and Ron Walchuk (Victoria).