Reports presented by the various board members of the South Dundas Minor Hockey Association at the annual general meeting last Wednesday, April 27 at Morrisburg Public School indicate the 2015/16 hockey season was a good one both on and off the ice.
“We had a good season again,’ said past president Jeff van Moorsel who chaired the meeting in the absence of president David Lapier. “We had one [UCMHL] championship team at the Novice C House level, and we had a peewee B Rep team [partnered with North Dundas] that had lots of South Dundas kids on it and they won it all. We also had three or four teams that went two or three rounds into the playoffs.”
“We had very few problems,” said van Moorsel. “It went as smooth as any minor hockey association can go when you have so many different people involved.”
Backing up the successful season on the ice, was a solid season off the ice, thanks mainly to an increase of about 15 players for the season.
Increases and decreases in membership numbers figure dramatically into the finances of a minor hockey association. A 15 player increase for a season, when spread over all age categories, does not mean the need to increase the number of teams iced, which would increase ice rental costs (which is the single largest cost to all minor hockey associations).
The result is a financial boost to the year. Unfortunately, though this can also happen in reverse when an association loses a number of players, but still has to maintain the same number of teams and ice rental hours.
2015/16 was a membership increase year which benefits everyone in the association.
This year, South Dundas Minor Hockey received $6,950 in donations, up from $2,650 in 2014/15. They raised $3,399 at Lions Day up from $1,209 the previous year, and brought in $44,200 (up from $38,400) through the Lottery Draw.
Registrations from all levels were $87,928.53 up from $74,884.87. Total revenue was $143, 272.19.
The total biggest cost was for ice at $74,447.23 which was almost bang on with the previous year at $74,661.94.
Referee costs were up slightly from $16,092.10 to $18,972.75 mainly because, explained referee and chief, Lisa Schwerdtfeger, “We didn’t have a lot of level 3 referees to do the higher level games. So I had to go out and bring some in, which meant we had to pay some mileage.”
With all costs factored in, total expenses for the season were $127,819.35 leaving the association looking at a surplus of $15,452.84 going into the next season.
“We were up about 20 players which made a big difference,” said Jason Broad. “We had the jump up from the girls hockey, when they didn’t run their program.”
“Our expenses were up, but not as much as our revenue,” said Broad. “This is good news to have money in the bank to go forward.”
Retiring first vice president and head coach Mike Domanko, indicated in a written report that the season, “remained a challenge to host tournaments. Recruiting teams to come to smaller towns is difficult, and it is hard to find dates that don’t conflict with other established tournaments.”
Ice scheduler, Jason Broad indicated that the target was 700 hours of ice time, and “we ended up using 690 hours. We kept our regular schedule right up until March 1st.”
Broad suggested the association try to increase the ice, “especially early in the season for clinics.”
“We had a good year, with really no problems. Everyone worked well together.” Broad said it was interesting with 30 percent of home games and 25 percent of away games being cancelled. “There were a lot of changes.”
Looking forward, “we should be looking at about 13 teams again next year, and I recommend we keep the same amount of ice time. I was also looking at the calendar, and figure the ice may be in 4-5 days earlier this fall because of the way Labour Day falls. So, we may be able to pick up a few extra hours at the start of the season.”
Chair of Rules and Discipline Cassandra Barry reported, “a fairly quiet year. We had only a couple of incidents which were taken care of quickly.”
Gurnhill clarified also to parents attending the meeting that the position of Rules and Discipline is there for “all problems. It is not just to deal with players and coaches.”
During her report on registration she was questioned from the floor on the need for the mandatory fundraising lottery attached to registration.
Answering the question was van Moorsel who explained, “that we could do away with the fundraiser”, but it wouldn’t really change the registration costs. If the cost is $600 with the lottery option it would have to stay at about $600 without.
“Some people do sell their lottery tickets which helps them to reduce their registration costs.”
2nd vice-president Jamie Smith, said getting everyone up to date on their police checks continues to be a work in progress, and he is looking at a one-day event to get everyone on board. “There is no charge, but people don’t want to be bothered. They [O.P.P] used to do it here, but now you have to go to Long Sault.”
Referee-in-Chief Lisa Schwerdtfeger reported a good season. She is now recruiting for next year and reported “I have about three kids coming in next year. We also have three more who have their level 3s. I will send out letters to see who is coming back and who is going off to school.” Equipment manager, John Connors reported “the jerseys are coming in now, some washed some not. As you know this is my favourite time of the year.”
“Our peewees need a set of sweaters badly, and we are working on getting a set through the 100 Women Who Care About South Dundas.”
The cost of a set [home and away] sweaters if $3,000 and a successful appeal to the 100 Women would benefit now just the peewee team, but all of the players in the South Dundas system, as all donations help to keep the overall costs to every player down.