Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 10, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
District The Lcthbridge Herald Local news Second Section The Lethbridge Herald, Tuesday, December 10, 1974 Pages 17-32 Community centre, campground will have to wait Capital Minor hockey coaches 'need more coaching9 By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer First of two stories Two Lethbridge parents haul their 12-year-old sen from the players' box during a minor hockey game because he has spent more time watching "games than playing. The youngster, feelings crushed because he rarely plays, leaves hockey forever. In another game, a coach attempting to beat a new ruling that all Pee Wee league players must have equal ice time during games, gets his slower skater to fake an injury so the better player can replace him. In the middle of the season a minor hockey coach, irate over the goal- scoring skill of an opposing player, tells his team to "get that guy out of the game, anyway you can." These are some of the problems that have arisen in Lethbridge minor hockey and have irked minor and professional coaches and trainers. The overemphasis on winning at the minor level, a level of sport where en- joyment should take top priority, is ruining the game for those who par- ticipate, they say. Volunteers Although minor hockey survives on the goodwill of its volunteer coaches, a deep concern about the "winning syndrome" in minor hockey is evident among hockey representatives con- tacted by The Herald. Anthony Pomahac, a Lethbridge physician and former minor hockey coach, says there is a handful of coaches whose only objective is to win. This can damage a youngster's potential ability and cause harm physically and emotionally. Dr. Pomahac, an outspoken ad- vocate of minor hockey and medical organizer for the Winter Games, says some coaches forget to even teach the basics before trying to win. Dr. Pomahac is backed in this claim by coach of the Taber Golden Suns Junior A hockey team, Gary Hull. Mr. Hull says an overemphasis on winning at the minor level is causing some coaches to constantly play the more proficient players and neglect others. "It is sad but Mr. Hull says. "Some coaches only play their best players, who are always on the ice. "This is not only bad for the rest of the players but for the star he adds. When a player who is on the ice most of the time in minor hockey reaches the junior level he finds he has to adjust his play to be part of the whole team. "Some find they can't do it he says "We have some examples here where guys were stars in midget hockey and when they came here they had to adjust to positional he explains. Mr Hull's answer to the problem is more coaches' clinics for minor hockey coaches and a set of objec- tives for minor hockey that all coaches would follow. "I think if there were more coaches' clinics where coaches would learn (to teach) basic hockey it would help the youngsters when they come up to junior hockey." he says. Certification Before they begin, all coaches should have a certificate that they have been to these clinics and learned more about hockey and training, he adds. "But you can't knock the coaches too Mr. Hull quickly points out. "They give their time to the game as volunteers." Dr. Pomahac is also quick to men- tion the volunteer aspect and even though he says he feels all coaches should at least obtain a first aid cer- tificate, he adds, it should not be com- pulsory. The parent of two minor hockey players, Dr. Pomahac says he is in favor of clinics for both referees and coaches. Coach of the Lethbridge Broncos, Earl Ingarfield, and Bronco trainer, Dick Abel, are both behind the concept of clinics, to eliminate a focus on winning and improve hockey skills at an early age. Mr. Abel is concerned that coaches learn more about conditioning, equip- ment and the treating of hockey in- juries. Mr. Ingarfield is concerned that the "winning syndrome" is eliminating participation in sport and affecting character building and attitude. "1 am sure it affects a youngster who never gets to he says. "The player gets discouraged and drops out." Mr. Ingarfield, a former National Hockey League piayer and parent of a minor hockey player, says coaches should have objectives that point to making the game enjoyable for youngsters "and not for the winning aspect." 'Fake injury' Dr. Pomahac, who strictly believes in playing all youngsters the same amount of time, helped spearhead the implementation of a new rule in pee wee level hockey Hesigned to give all players the sarne amount of ice time. The ruling, put in this year for the 10- to 12-year-olds, calls for coaches to change "lines' (all players on the ice but the goalie) every three minutes. Each player on the team must be on IS IT WORTH CRUSHING A THIRD-STRING PLAYER FOR A VICTORY? RICK ERVIN photo a line and each team must change at the same time. Dr. Pomahac says even this ruling, however, has not stopped some coaches from telling a less-proficient player to pretend he is tired or "fake an injury" and return to the bench. He is then replaced by a "better" player. "I think this is a good rule Dr. Pomahac says. "But I think it should be carried into Bantam B (an age group from 12 to Dr. Pomahac says the best players in the higher age groups, where the rule is not in effect, are being "run off their feet." This, along with coaches who arrange more than enough exhibition games, puts a lot of stress and strain on youngsters. The structure of Lethbridge and area minor hockey provides that all youngsters who wish to play will be placed on either a house league team or a "rep" team. The rep team (an all-star team) in each level plays Rep teams from other areas, whereas the house league teams play each other within each town. Coaches of house league teams may arrange as many games with other towns as they can fit into a single season. One house league pee wee coach in Lethbridge packed 68 of these exhibition games into last winter's season. "This would seem to be for the sole purpose of Dr. Pomahac says. "The kids are overworked, they must have been skating on their kneecaps by the end of the season." This overwork can bring on a greater danger of a player getting in- jured, Dr. Pomahac says. He adds he is also irked that "prime ice time" goes to the rep teams and some pee wee players have to prac- tise at 5 or 6 a.m. The youngsters have to go through the stress of practice then go to school and face more pressure then go home and again face stress, he says. "We as parents are he says. "I think this type of day is too hard on the young players from a medical point of view." Conditioning Mr Abel, who was all-star trainer with the Western Canada Junior League, says injuries in minor sport could be avoided by better condition- ing and proper equipment for players Mr. Abel says, as other officials contacted by The Herald, he feels there is not enough ice time for minor league practice but adds there need not be ice to carry on hockey training. For example a team could do some running or exercises without ice, he explains. Much of the training at Hulls' Hockey School in Taber last summer was done in the field beside the Taber arena. Dr. Pomahac says another medical aspect of minor sport is playing a youngster when he is injured. He says it is sometimes done because of the "immense pressure put on a coach from the player and his parents." The model for minor hockey, the National Hockey League, has given young players various impressions including "playing while hurt." "Even the little squirts come in with an injury and ask, 'Can't you just freeze it for Dr. Pomahac says. Mr. Abel and Dr. Pomahac say a coach should make sure his player checks with a doctor if he has had an injury on the ice. "The Bronco's don't guess about in- juries, we send the player straight to a Mr. Abel says. None of the coaches say they feel violence in the NHL or World Hockey Association has had any effect on minor hockey. Violence Mr Hull says: "There is no problem with violence, there have always been the Dave Schultz's (the "policeman" with the Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers) in the NHL and minor hockey players are still modelling themselves after the Bobby Hull and Bobby Orrs." Mr. Hull adds the new ruling by the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association calling for disqualification from the game of anyone fighting has not changed amateur hockey. The ruling affects the Golden Suns and minor hockey but not the Bron- cos. Dr. Pomahac says there is little violence in minor hockey. By George Stephenson Herald Staff Writer Million-dollar surplus may appear in budget The city could easily end up with an operating budget sur- plus greater than million for the third year in a row, City Manager Allister Findlay said Monday. A prime reason for the sur- plus, he told city council's special meeting on the 1975 capital budget, is a higher- than-estimated return on city investments'. Revenue of was projected, but the city will earn about from its investments, the city manager said. Increased provincial aid and a policy of keeping departments within their budgets could account for the rest of the surplus, he said. Income from investments was higher than anticipated because of such windfalls as the investment of the from the sale of the city power plant at 11.65 per cent, Mr. Findlay said. Council Monday took steps ATA official enters talks Separate school teacher negotiations for a 1975 contract with their board will be handled by an Edmonton based Alberta Teacher Association official. Charles Hynman is expected to seek a continuation of contract negotiations with the separate school board next week. Local negotiations between board and teachers broke down Nov. 18 when teachers rejected the board's offer. The board refused to continue negotiations with the teachers and the teachers had to find a bargaining agent. to allocate the surplus, voting to consider meeting the city's share of a Neighborhood Improvement Program pro- ject from the surplus and to consider making a payment on industrial land purchased this year from the same source. Aid. Vaughan Hembroff promised, however, that he'll argue "long and loud" when the year-end financial state- ment is presented in late January or early February, that a substantial amount of the surplus really belongs to the citizens and should go to relief of taxation. Last year council allocated J450.000 of a surplus to tax relief. Some went to finance West Lethbridge development and went for relocation of electrical services from the downtown area. Budget at a glance Borrowing by the city in 1975 of a record million includes the following: Industrial park development. It's an- ticipated that land sales to industries will cover this loan and none of it will be charged to taxes. Canada Winter Games Sportsplex. 6th Avenue S. bridge. Highways design and construction. This includes work on 5th Avenue N. through the industrial park, provision of left turn bays at the 3rd Avenue S and Mayor Magrath Drive intersection, a portion of 43rd Street S., and 28th Street N. Construction of the 1st Avenue S. east west through route will start in 1976. local improvements including lane paving, sidewalk, curb and gutter work, street paving and replacement of sidewalks around the Lethbridge Centre complex. Local improvements are paid for entirely by the property owners that benefit from them. Annual street upgrading program, including repaying of a number of streets. Sidewalk renewal, a continuing program to replace deteriorating sidewalks. required to convert the river valley water pump from stream to electricity, necessitated by sale of the city power plant to Calgary Power. Acquisition of fluoridation equipment. approval likely About million could be poured into the city's West- minster area in the next three years under the Neighborhood Improvement Program, Aid. Tony Tobin told city council Monday. The Alberta Housing Cor- poration has indicated there is a 99 per cent chance the northside neighborhood will get a funding allocation in ear- ly February, Aid, Tobin said. The million figure was suggested by the housing cor- poration for a three-year renovation of the area, he told council's special meeting on the city capital budget. City Manager Allister Findlay told council funus un- der the program could be used for such things as rebuilding the Lions Swimming Pool, ac- quiring land for an ice arena or playgrounds and for other local improvements. Community Services Direc- tor Bob Bartlett was to be in Calgary and Edmonton today to study the administration of NIP projects. If the Westminster area is designated a neighborhood improvement area, residents will also be eligible for grants and loans for home im- provements under the accom- panying Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program. City council passed a resolu- tion Monday calling for the city's one-quarter share of the cost of the program to be funded from an expected year-end surplus, if the program does get AHC approval. The Westminster neighborhood lies between 1st and 5th Avenues N. and 13th Street and North Mayor Magrath Drive. budget trimmed By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer A Churchill Park community centre with day care facilities and a river valley campground were two capital budget items that got the axe Monday. Council voted 6-3 against a resolution by Aid. Tony Tobin that the Churchill community centre project be moved up to next year from 1976, while the vote to defer development of a river valley campground for another year was unanimous. Aid. Tobin called for construction of the communi- ty centre next year after Bob Bartlett, community services director, said negotiations were under way to cost share the project with the province through preventive social ser- vices funding over 10 years. CITY'S SHARE The city's share would be 20 per cent, or Mr Bartlett said. Aid Tobin said the need for the facility is acute. "Child car facilities in this city have not developed at all and the major reason is the lack of he said. Mr Bartlett said the centre couid be developed as a multi use building used for day care during the day and for com- munity groups during the evening Although she voted for the proposal. Deputy Mayor Vera Ferguson said she had doubts about putting up buildings that, like some schools, may be under utilized at some point in the future because of population shifts. She asked if some sort of portable structure could be used. Mr. Bartlett said the Municipal Planning Act ruled against the use of such struc- tures for permanent buildings in a city COMMERCIAL SPACE Aid. Bob Tarleck, who also voted in favor of the centre, suggested day care facilities could be provided in commer- cial centres, so that if demand for the facility dropped it could simply be rented as commercial space Aid Vaughan Hembroff said he favors day care centres, but felt was too much. "I'm not prepared to accept the reasoning that a day care centre can become a com- munity he added The proposal to develop a river valley campground was put forward by Mr. Bartlett. who said development of campsites are no longer a very viable proposition for private developers. A department of lands and forests study estimates it would cost not including land acquisition to develop a campground with 100 spaces, he said. To recover those costs a campground operator would have to fill all 100 spaces every night during four summer months and charge to each, said Mr Bartlett. According to Mayor Andy Anderson, one developer, associated with the American KOA chain of campgrounds, is still negotiating with the city on the river valley campground. CHEC FM licence renewed CHEC Radio in Lethbridge is one of eight Western Canada FM broadcasters receiving one year licence renewals Monday from the Canadian Radio Television Commission Fourteen AM stations in Western Canada received renewals for up to four years. Licences for eight FM stations were extended for one year, from March to March while CRTC reviews FM broadcasting policy. FM renewals were also granted to CFRN and CJCA, Edmonton. CKRD, Red Deer and CHFM, Calgary.