Adult shinny and the ‘disconnect’ to competitive weekend play

To the Expositor:

On Manitoulin Island you can go to any local arena and watch a minor hockey game almost any night of the week, including weekends. These games are governed and regulated by the Northern Ontario Hockey Association, Manitoulin Minor Hockey Association and the Manitoulin Panthers.

Adult hockey, or “shinny” as we call it, has no league, no governing body or regulations. It consists primarily of 1.5-hour ice rental with no on-or-off ice officials, no coaches, no rules and no whistles. When local communities decide to host an adult tournament, they tend to request on-and-off ice officials to assist with the weekend. These officials work in the minor hockey system where there is an expectation of hockey sanctioned events being alcohol free, rules of play and rule emphasis, coaches to help with discipline and assist officials in managing the game.

There is a huge disconnect between a minor hockey sanctioned game and being asked to assist with adult hockey on weekends. For many, they understand what is acceptable and what is not; they truly enjoy the game and are very sportsmanlike to all participants. For others, they have a difficult time making the transition from “shinny” to a game with officials, whistles, rule emphasis and application.

Perhaps a suggestion for weekend adult hockey is that they “police” their own games and report to the conveners’ the outcome of their games based on the rules they establish themselves before, during and after the game.

Jason Thibault
Level 4 Hockey Canada Official
Little Current