Hockey club members

We hope you are enjoying your summer. At the 2023 VFDHC AGM you asked us to consider 3 things for the upcoming seasons :
a) spares for Monday Morning Hockey
b) a minimum games played to participate in the Gump Cup, and
c) moving the location of MMH from Delta to Planet Ice Coquitlam. Your executive board has been busy in the off season investigating and looking into options that best suit the needs of the members and the club operations.

First of all, we will not consider spares for MMH. We are looking for more commitment from our membership for this league, and assigning spares goes against this principle. Plus the time and effort required to assign players, collect money etc is a path we have no desire to go down. There are other non-committal options for members to play, such as Wednesday and Friday drop-in hockey.

Secondly, we have examined the option of imposing a minimum games played rule where members who don’t make the minimum amount of games (8, for example) would not be allowed to participate in Gump Cup day. This is common in recreational leagues in the Lower Mainland. However, you can imagine the colossal amount of work that would be required to track players who attended and who didn’t. Plus, given the complex nature of our work, we cannot dice up different categories of what would be an “excused absence” (such as working, book off or injury) or unexcused (simply not showing or travelling) or what falls under what category. In the view of the exec board, you would either be playing, or absent, period. We are going to table this request for now, but we will be making strong recommendations to team managers about players who do not show and fail to communicate to their respective managers. We will also add language to the Code of Conduct that will hold players more accountable for their attendance and communication to their team. Our poll showed that an overwhelming majority of members are frustrated with those that don’t commit to MMH and want a minimum games played, thus we will take steps to educate members as well as look into better options for tracking attendance (ie : electronic, apps, QR codes). This may be imposed if there are still issues of too many non-committed players.

We’ll take this opportunity to remind players that this is not a drop-in league. We base our team numbers off total player registrations, with the expectation of all players fully committing. We do hope for wiggle room for balance for players absent from working, injured, travelling, unexpected personal issues etc. Ideally, on a team of 17 players, 10-12 will attend a game on any given Monday.

Lastly, location of the league. This is a huge decision and we need to make it work. Members who participated in the poll indicate a slight lean towards playing out of Planet Ice Coquitlam. There are many positives to this move and PI Coq is a good fit for our league. However, the more we looked into this, we realized it is not as simple as packing up the moving van, arriving at the new rink and its business as usual.

There are two major issues with this proposal: referees and storage costs.
1. Referees : Our referee assignor also assigns referees for the rest of the FF hockey in the Lower Mainland, which plays out of ScotiaBarn (aka 8 rinks). He advises that league is already struggling for officials, plus with the addition of 2 more teams from Surrey in said league, there’s no doubt he will be struggling to fill those spots. PI Coq is not much farther east from 8 rinks. Until we can get a solid core of officials by networking or even training up our own members to officiate, we will not get enough referees to work our league . Also, if we were to expand to 12 teams as well as make this move, it would make filling referee spots extremely difficult. Not having assurance of ample referees is our main reason for not moving this season. Thus, we will play the 2023/24 season out of Planet Ice Delta.
2. Storage: the storage would be off site and we don’t consider it a deal breaker as it’s only 7 mins away. However, it does add considerable cost (almost triple what we are paying at PI Delta) for which our budget isn’t quite prepared to take on this season.
The exec board could work towards this move in the coming season or two to fully prepare and make this move seamless. Strategies, preparations and goals would be:
A) actively network & recruit referees and possibly even train any members who would be interested in officiating MMH games a slight raise in pay to entice officials to work our games
B) raise more funds by way of asking for more money from athletic committee, 314 and raising of players fees to offset costs of officials and storage.

We’d like to thank everyone for their patience as we did our investigating. We know many of you are anxious and excited about this proposed move and of course the 2023/24 season. We are obligated to make the best decision for the members and the league ops as a whole. We can confidently say the board has discussed all pros and cons thoroughly from our poll and numerous meetings. A shout out to board member Adam Bordignon who created a very detailed poll which allowed us to collect data and opinions in order to help our decision making.

In closing, we look forward to hosting members for another great season of VFDHC hockey. We always welcome ideas and help from the floor to achieve our goals, and do our best to answer your questions. Be sure to contact us or post here with any inquiries or questions about our decisions. Keep your eyes open for registration which will be coming soon.

Regards ,
Your VFDHC executive board
Darren Ferris , president
Joel Feitsma , VP
Mark Whincup, sec/tres
Travis Hooper, director
Craig Archibald, director
Jordan Liang, director
Jay Zoney, director
Adam Bordignon, director