The Hockey Canada Scandal: Rethinking How Sports Are Governed

The current crisis in Hockey Canada has cast a bleak light on all of Canada’s national sports governing bodies, their lack of accountability and, in that regard, their usefulness. to the vast majority of people participating in the sports they govern.

MacIntosh Ross, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Western University in London, Ontario, told me: “I can’t imagine any scenario where the Canadian Hockey board members having to resign would be have any effect on ground hockey. “The lights won’t go out. It is mainly driven by volunteers. It will be fine.”

In Canada, national governing bodies are mostly in charge of setting rules, organizing national teams, and running major national or international events. The day-to-day business of actually running hockey, or nearly any sport, belongs to provincial and, most importantly, local and regional teams.

Professor Ross told me that the federal government has little or no power over national sports governing bodies, except for financial pressure. Government money can have a dramatic effect on many smaller sports. But the federal government’s influence on Canadian Hockey is minimal, as it provides only about 6% of the organization’s budget.

Professor Ross said that if it seems increasingly likely that Hockey Canada is replaced by a new organization, it is important to rethink the structure of that organization, not simply replace the site. current recovery. Any new governing body, he said, would have to be led by a board with at least half of its members being women and would have to include Indigenous people, people of color and athletes of color and attracted from the entire country.

As it is now constituted, “50% of the board is from Ontario, and Quebec has none, which is worrisome,” he told me. “The table should reflect what hockey is now, not what hockey used to be.”


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