NWMHA Fair Play Policy



May 30, 2018 

Fair Play Policy 

The following document outlines NWMHA’s Fair Play Policy so that all membership understand the mandate set out by NWMHA’s Board of Directors and Executive Members in relation to communicating The Association’s vision of fair playing time for all members of New Waterford Minor Hockey.  

Key Factors/ Principles Leading to the Creation and Implementation of the Fair Play Policy 

1. NWMHA identified a need to inspire and support coaches to continue to develop all players’ strengths and weaknesses. 

2. NWMHA follows the Hockey Canada Development Model as well as endorses the Hockey Canada Fair Play Code for Players and Coaches. Line three of the Hockey Canada Fair Play Code for Coaches states: “I will ensure that all players get equal instruction, support and playing time.” 

3. NWMHA believes that development comes from experiencing all situations. 

4. NWMHA is dedicated to creating an environment that has a strong focus on the player and what they are taking away from the game at any given time. If the player’s experiences are negative, they are less likely to continue on in the sport and will be more likely to seek other recreational activities.  

5. NWMHA values player development over game results.  

NWMHA’s Vision for Fair Play Policy All Players-All Lines-Every Opportunity  

Fair Play Policy 

New Waterford Minor Hockey believes that all players within our association regardless of skill level deserve the opportunity to play in all situations in order to maximize their development.  

Within any division it is not acceptable for a coach or assistant coach to remove a player from a regular rotation on the bench in order to gain an advantage over their opponent, unless a team is a representative team playing a meaningful game ( ie. Playdowns/playoff, cross-over, medal game or provincial game and the game is within the last 5 minutes of the third period, including man advantage situations). We ask that all coaches embrace the spirit of the Fair Play Policy and encourage the development of all players to succeed in all game situations. This includes,  

• Forward lines and defense pairings should be rotated. 

• Goaltenders will start and play every second game. Younger divisions may choose to split games or other arrangements (goalies playing out when not in net).  




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Interpretation of the Fair Play Policy New Waterford Minor Hockey recognizes there will be instances when a player will not receive equal ice. We realize that minute for minute playing time is not a reality due to the complex nature of the game of hockey. Situations will arise where it may be necessary for a coach to make difficult decisions involving their players. The following points are included to assist coaches and help them determine if action is required. 

1. Safety of a player is being compromised (possible injury, player has become a target on the Play by opponent(s) etc.)    

2. Disciplinary reasons as identified by the head coach. If a player intentionally displays poor conduct towards his teammates or opponents or is in breech of New Waterford Minor Hockey’s Rules and Regulations the coach has the authority to use playing time as a discipline tool. If a player is being kept off the Play for a disciplinary reason the coach must discuss the action with the player. Based on the severity of the incident coaches should use their best judgment as to the amount of shifts a player should miss. We recommend no more than 1-2 shifts per period. 

3. A player is not feeling confident in certain game situations   - Player feels uneasy about being played in certain games situations - Player is not confident about a certain play the coach/s request - Player feels not prepared mentally or physically 

When the above instances take place it is imperative that the player be communicated to directly and coached through the issues so the reasons can become clear to the player who can then alter their behavior and communicate to the parent. New Waterford Minor Hockey does not expect any of these instances to become chronic. We believe that most issues can be solved through open lines of communication and the display of mutual respect. 

Accountability and Management of the Fair Play Policy New Waterford Minor Hockey will continue to rely on our coaches and coaching staff to use their best judgment relative to the Fair Play Policy. Based on the complexity of the game of hockey and the countless scenarios that arise we trust our coaches, players and spectators to work together and communicate as often and openly as possible. 


As a parent or guardian, if after the 24 -hour rule and you believe your child has not experienced Fair Play you are asked to follow this process (NWMHA Communication Protocol) 

1. Discuss your concern with your team manager 

2. Try and bring resolution on a team level, if resolution is not achieved at the team level 

3. Team manager will contact your coaching coordinator  





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4. Division coach coordinator will communicate concern to the NWMHA Executive as per Communication Protocol. The committee and director will investigate concern and coordinate a resolution 

5. Resolution will be communicated back to parent, player and coach within 72 hours. 


After an investigation, if a coach is found to have shortened his/her bench, short shifted their players or played one goaltender over the other the coach will receive.  

1st offence-A verbal warning 

2nd offence-A written warning 

3rd offence-Released from their position as head coach with New Waterford Minor Hockey 

If a parent confronts or harasses a coach about playing time and does not follow the steps outlined above, that parent will be subject to discipline under the discretion of NWMHA Executive using New Waterford Minor Hockey’s Rules and Regulations.   

Responsibilities and Promises As a coach, you have the responsibility to encourage all players to be the best they can be, and provide equal opportunities for them to develop self-esteem and sport skills. When you play your talented athletes more often, you make other players feel less important and deny them the chance to improve their skills. As a parent, you have the responsibility to understand the challenges of Fair Playing time and speak up if you feel it is abused. Give our coaches some latitude and consider your position over at least 24 hours. Please don’t bring your stopwatch to the game. We respectfully ask parents to realize that it is impossible for all players to receive the exact same number of shifts or minutes of play time in a single game. Many times the shift length depends on whistles or what end the puck is in. We should strive to have equal and Fair Play time over 2-3 games. 

As an Association, we promise to put a greater emphasis on the spectator, player and coach’s code of conduct as outlined by Hockey Canada, making our expectations clear and concise. We will continue to ensure our teams are as competitive as possible, our coaches are equipped and informed and our players are thriving in a positive environment.