The Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association is investigating a fight that occurred during a recent Midget Tier 2 game in Sicamous.
On Saturday, Jan. 17, Sicamous RCMP responded to a report of an altercation at the Sicamous and District Recreation Centre, where a game was being played between Salmon Arm and Penticton. The skirmish wasn’t on the ice, however, but in the stands.
“Two people in the stands had a disagreement over a penalty call by a referee,” reported Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Scott West. “This verbal dispute led to a physical confrontation in which some punches were thrown.”
West said the parties involved claimed it had become a consensual fight.
“Whether or not it’s a consensual fight, you can stand to be charged with causing a disturbance and activities such as that won’t be tolerated in our public venues,” West commented.
Salmon Arm Minor Hockey Association (SAMHA) president Tim Giandomenico said the incident in the stands followed one on the ice where a Salmon Arm player was knocked down, and the Penticton player responsible was thrown out of the game. He said the Salmon Arm player has since been to the doctor and is OK.
“It’s not like he can’t play any more or anything, but it was a questionable hit – enough of a hit that the official chose to toss the offending player from Penticton,” said Giandomenico, who empathizes with hockey parents and family members whose passions flare up when their worst fears unravel on the ice. But neither he nor SAMHA condone what’s being reported to have happened in the stands. He said it is SAMHA’s practice to meet with parents at the beginning of the season to explain what behaviour is acceptable and what is not.
“It is important to know we do take this very seriously,” said Giandomenico. “As president, that’s something that’s really important to me, our association’s reputation. And that’s why we’re probably the only association in B.C., if not Canada, that actually sits down with every parent at the beginning of the season and explains what our philosophy is on that.”
SAMHA’s investigation is ongoing and Giandomenico didn’t wish to comment too much on the matter, adding he had yet to contact the police. But he stressed he and SAMHA, like police have zero tolerance for what reportedly occurred in the stands.