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No disciplinary action taken

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Yellowknife Minor Hockey Association was not responsible for how far an accusation against the Rankin Inlet Rock bantam team was taken at a tournament earlier this month, said its president.

Doug Rankin said when a claim of inappropriate touching was brought forward, organizing committee head Kathy Yurris let Rock coach Darrin Nichol know about it.

He said that's where the matter should have ended.

"The intent was to let the coach know what we'd heard and make him aware of the situation," said Rankin.

"I don't know that an official complaint was ever brought forward.

"The organizing committee never got together to discuss it, but we had three disciplinary committees for the peewees, bantams and midgets.

"If somebody was looking for discipline, that's where it would have went."

The coach of the Coldwell Banker team asked a referee at the end of a game against the Rock how to take a complaint forward.

The coach then took the matter to bantam division governor Heather Riviere, who accompanied Yurris when she talked with Nichol.

Rankin said it's unfortunate a few people decided to repeat rumours.

But, he said, organizers can't control what everyone says or does.

"None of the Yellowknife minor hockey people, from my understanding, took it any further than Kathy speaking to the coach.

"We need to be tolerant of boys and girls playing hockey together in small markets.

"But we don't spend a lot of time educating each other on what's appropriate, and that could happen."

Rankin said girls register the same as boys in Yellowknife, and coaches talk to their male players about not bodychecking them, but there's nothing in writing.

He said if a male player does bodycheck a girl, he hears it from his own bench more than anyone else.

"If we have 48 bantams in Yellowknife, and we exclude 10 girls, they have nowhere to go and the boys don't have enough players.

"They're co-dependant on each other to have games and the unwritten rule is you don't hit girls."

Rankin said the organizers hope the Rock comes back in 2013, but, if the team is just as strong, it may be placed with the midgets.

"It's regrettable some people took what happened further than we intended.

"The conversation with the coach was appropriate, but it wasn't appropriate for others to have taken it further."

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