AGM Minutes (Western Ontario Girls Hockey League)

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2023 AGM Meeting Minutes

Meeting held via Google Meet platform July 31, 2023 @7:30pm

1. In Atendance: Aaron Brooks - WOGHL President, Adriana Allair- West Oxford , Andrew Miller, Brendan Kennedy - Mooretown Lady FLags, Natasha Baxter- Central Perth, Bryan Minten Bluewater, Jason Arnot WOGHL scheduduler, Jeff Adam- Wilmot, Jenny Smale, Jill Fraser- Kincardine, Jenn Skevington- Woodstock Wildcats, Jodi Edwards, Kelly MacFarlane, Kevin Dickins- South Huron, Kyle Lake, Marcia Stinson Lambton Attack, Pat Reid- Tillsonburg, Cindy Foster- Lucan Irish, Scot Parker Ilderton Jets, Scot Snider, Shane Taylor, Steve Vandenheuvel, Stephen McLinchey North Middlesex

2. Call to Order: At 730pm Jenn Skevington of Woodstock Wildcats made a motion to begin the meeting. Kevin Dickins of South Huron second the motion.

3. Approval of the 2022 AGM Minutes: Motion was put forward to accept the minutes by Kevin Dickens. Motion Seconded by Cindy Foster of Lucan Irish.

4. 2022/23 Season Feedback: Aaron Brooks had requested feedback from everyone regarding the U9 ½ ice to full ice transition, and the U9 Year End Tournament. Bryan Minten had stated that it went very well. Aaron reiterated that all the feedback he has heard from coaches, was that it was a great success, and the girls had an absolute blast. St. Mary’s was a great host and hope to do it again there. It was noted that we did not pay for the ice at St. Marys for this event. Cindy Foster asked for feedback for where teams fall short for scheduling. There was no feedback on this at this time.

5. U11-U18 Feedback: Coaches enjoyed the lay out for the one game championship with the Day of Champions. Brenden from Mooretown noted that there were some concerns about the Day of Champions finishing some of the games in a shoot out instead of letting them play. Aaron replied that it had to be ended in that mater due to the icetime constraints they had. The banner instead of medals were an exciting new change and felt it represented all teams in the divisions. The All-Star Game: Central Perth did an awesome job running the event. The feedback of the personalized jerseys and their design was fantastic Natasha from Central Perth did note that the only complaint she heard back from anyone was the small dressing rooms.

6. Presentation of the Financial Report: Jodi Foster reviewed the financial report with the members. Our revenue for the year was $22883.40. Our expenses for the season were for the All-Stars Game and Day of Champions for the jerseys, ice time, refs, banners, etc. that were needed. We did have a loss of the season of $1,976.58 but that was expected as we did not have those events the year prior. We still have bonds in trust from 27 centers. The final financial report is atached for reference. Financial Report was Accepted by Jenn Skevington. Seconded by Cindy Foster.

7. Upcoming Season 2023/2024: Intent to Register Update: Aaron created an ITR form that now comes with the ability to pay by credit card, cheque, or e-transfer. It has been asked that the Preliminary ITRs be completed and submited by August 15, 2023 so preliminary loops can be sent out August 31. Final ITRs are to be submited by September 25th so finalized loops can be released. The ITR forms are already on the WOGHL website for reps to access. It was noted that the ITR is in fact your invoice. If anyone needs an invoice for their center, please contact Jodi Edwards directly for that. The online form gives you a feedback email of what you entered in your ITR. When it is submited it is dated and time stamped on our end. You can upload a new one to confirm all your teams later. It will be the newest submission that will be kept and supersede any previous submissions. Aaron will email the form directly to all the reps to limit who has access to it to prevent any issues/ scams. Aaron called for a vote to have the rate increased to $150/ team registered due to the increased costs of the ice, refs, awards, etc. There was an online vote with a show of hands. 19 out of 22 hands were raised to approve the increase. There was a note that there will be a possible increase up to $200/ team that will be up for discussion in the 2024 AGM Meeting. There was note that our WOGHL Facebook page is up and running. Jenn Skevington will be overseeing it. If anyone has any information to share on it, please send it in to have it posted. It was asked to have all the reps share and like the Facebook page to their own Center and coaches to help disperse important information.

8. Executive Board: There was an Executive meeting a few weeks prior to this AGM Meeting. All Board positions will remain status quo. Cindy Foster will do U9 league for one more year, but will most likely be her last year. It was also discussed that Chris Kennedy has asked to join the WOGHL Board to help support us with events, etc. He already runs a softball league in South Huron and he will be a great addition to the League. His role at this time is not clear. Aaron asked if anyone on the call was opposed to him joining. There was none opposed. Your Executive Board President- Aaron Brooks Treasurer- Jodi Edwards Secretary- Jenn Skevington Scheduling- Jason Arnot Supporting Role- Chris Kennedy

9. Offering B-Loop: There has been some interest expressed over this past season of teams wanting to join WOGHL if we offered a B-loop in U11-U18. WOGHL is in full support of offering the B-loop option if we can get enough teams to commit. We will need to have a minimum of 10 teams in total for each division to run successfully. Please put B teams on your Preliminary ITRs so we can get a good grasp of where we are and if we can make it successful this season. There was a lot of discussion and concern about the length of periods at this level and age. Jodi suggested that we offer a ‘Coaching Q&A Open House Session” to allow the coaches interested in joining WOGHL with a B team to ask questions about period lengths, geographics, and the benefits of joining WOGHL. Aaron welcomed the idea and willing to do it. Jill Fraser from Kincardine (also representing Walkerton and Saugeen Shores as the reps could not attend, but had discussions with them prior to the meeting) would love to see their centers join WOGHL in a B-loop. There is a lot of interest in her area and would love to see the Open House so the coaches can make a well informed decision. Jeff Adam from Wilmot said there was interest in his center also. There was more discussion about what changing the period lengths could look like in terms of referee costs, possibility of less games, or less ice time based on what the municipalities are willing to give the girls. Everyone on the call was in support of advocating to get equal ice time for our girls in each of our centers as it is not offered equally in each municipality. Aaron is willing to put together an official statement to start this process and to use the “Bauer stand” on girls hockey as part of our advocacy statement. Each municipality seems to do it a bit different depending on their preferences. These ice time allocations seem to happen around February, so aiming to have an official statement from WOGHL sent out in November/ December time frame to start the conversation and pressure for the equal ice time for girls hockey. Keving South put forward a motion to have the U11-U18 C and B Rep team game period lengths to be 10-10-15 with the recommendation of no curfew when possible. House league period lengths will remain at 10-10-12 with curfew allowed for the same age group. All U9 period lengths are 10-10-12. Pat Reid from Tillsonburg seconded the motion. Unanimously in favour.

10. Save the Dates! Regular Season begins September 30- January 14 (14-16 games). Playoffs will run from January 15- March 10 (8-12 games). Semi Finals March 10-31 (1 game). Day of Champions (1 game) Due to there being an early Easter this year, we have scheduled the AllStar game, Day of Champions, and U9 Year End Tournament on the Weekend of April 6-7, 2024. Day of Champions -April 6, 2024- Hosted by Huron Heat All-Star Game - April 7, 2024- Hosted by North Middlesex Jr Stars U9 Year End Tournament – April 5-7 Natasha from Central Perth offered some feedback from last year, get the teams ready sooner and use a different photographer. There seemed to be a bit of a time crunch and felt rushed to stay on time.

11. U9 Year End Tournament- Interested centers were discussed. There was feedback that it ran great last year. It was smooth, fun, exciting and a lot of the parents were able to get their volunteer hours in helping at the event. Looking for interested centers. Natasha will see about Central Perth’s interest. There was possible interest that St. Mary’s may host it again. Aaron will reach out to confirm if they are going to do it for a second year. He did recommend that the host have access to two pads of ice to help it run successfully.

12. Scheduling- Jason Arnot from Woodstock went over the lay out of the schedule. It will run very much like last year. We confirmed the dates and deadlines for the ITRs so he can have the scheduling loops set up accordingly on time to start regular season games. There were some concerns about how someone would know if their team is a HL or C or B team and when or if there was reseeding to support this, and that exhibition games may not be enough to determine their level. He did explain that the regular season is more based on regional loops, and then there is reseeding for the Playoffs in mid- January for those that may need to move up or down. They got away from reseeding in the regular season due to unexpected traveling and upsets. Aaron shared his feedback that their regular season was not all that great, but they went through the motions and ended up having a more competitive playoff season after the reseeding. Pat Reid from Tillsonburg shared her feedback that it was a much more successful and fun second half of the season. Stephen McLinchey shared the U9 scheduling has previously started mid-October with half ice games with reseeding and full ice around January 15th. Last year, U9 and U11 season did start a litle later last season due to pathways. Cindy was able to later confirm with OWHA that the U9 season cannot start any earlier that October 22, 2023 while U11 can be added into the same season schedule as U13-U18 this year.

13. U22 Loop: There is some interest in some centers about having a U22 loop. Aaron is in full support if we can get 6 or 8 teams that are willing to come on board.

14. Finance/Admin Motion: Jodi has proposed a change to the signature policy for more efficient payments to vendors, etc. The change would be to the bank account to allow that a single signature be required to send e-transfers as there is documentation for record tracking and reference purposes. We would keep the current two-signature requirement in place for any, and all cheques that need to be issued. This would help the league run more efficient and effective moving forward. Jodi Edwards put forward a motion to make this admin change to the policy. Shane Taylor of Huron Heat seconded the motion. Unanimously all in favour.

15. Open Discussion: There was not much for any open discussion or constructive feedback about how things are going. Natasha did ask if there were not enough players to make a U22 team, can they have U18 players on the roster? This is a OWHA question and was respectfully directed to ask them as we did not know at this time. Aaron reviewed the April dates and host centers. 16. Meeting Adjourned. Jenn Skevington motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:09pm on July 31, 2023. Cindy Foster seconded the motion. Wishing everyone a great summer and a successful 2023/24 season. See you all next year.