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Australian Hockey's civil war

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Today the Ice Hockey Association (IHA) will be debating whether to cancel the MOA with the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). This could go a few ways, depending on how the parties decide to go. 


They could cancel the MOA and then negotiate a new one (or stay with the current one). Honestly this is to me the best way to go. 


The AIHL is separated from the IHA and things continue as normal. This would mean AIHL players can't play for the national team as it would no longer have IIHF sanctioning


IHA tries to set up its own competition (This is an option put forward in the motion). This will be really difficult for the IHA. AIHL teams have brand recognition and community support, and players have a 3 year no competition clause in their contracts, so they won't be able to entice the top players to go over to their new league. 


Honestly this is absolutely moronic. Niche sports die when administrations do this sort of thing- and this is happening as hockey is growing in terms of crowds. Best base scenario is either it doesn't pass and nothing changes or the MOA is renegotiated. I hate this sort of thing, as it's another example of the people at the top allowing their egos to ruin something that works. 


Note: apologies if in wrong subforum, I wasn't sure which one I'd put it in

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Here is the motion itself:


IHA Notice to Terminate MOU between IHA & AIHL


Motion: That the following communication to be sent to the AIHL Commission and Member Teams to terminate the current MOU between IHA and AIHL

Proposed by: Ken Lambert, The Treasurer

Seconded by: Andy McDowell, Vice President


***Communication follows herein ***


To: The Commissioner(s) and Member Teams of the Australian Ice Hockey League Limited.


Please be advised that Ice Hockey Australia intends to terminate our current MOU with AIHL, effective 28 February 2019.


Decisions made by the AIHL Commission during the course of the current season and the number of administrative resignations from the AIHL in recent times have created a fundamental lack of confidence in the ability of the AIHL Commission to manage the league in a manner acceptable to the Australian Ice Hockey Federation.


We are greatly concerned about the AIHL Commission's disregard for our members safety, their cost of participation, the lack of clarity as to the structure of the Commission, the lack of financial transparency, the absence of willingness to liaise directly with our Office on many matters of common interest, and some very bold & public denigration of our organisation.  These concerns have resulted in what is now considered to be an irreconcilable set of differences with the current AIHL Commission.


We are committed to a strong, vibrant competitive and commercially sustainable national league for our members, to the extent that we have no intention of being without one.  Our clear preference is to establish a close working relationship with the current AIHL Teams via a newly constituted Commission.  We reject the notion that the current commission has been strongly beneficial to the teams via the growth of commercial sponsorship of the league and believe that much more could have been achieved by a more inclusive and unified approach.


To this end, we invite those AIHL Teams interested in a more positive and cooperative future relationship with the mainstream sport as a valued and integral part of the Federation's National Team Programme, to provide us with their expressions of interest at their earliest convenience.  We are prepared to commence discussions immediately following the 2018 Finals.


Alternatively, should our views not be shared, or not be acceptable to the current AIHL Teams then we stand ready to respectfully wish them well for their chosen future and immediately commence proceedings to replace the AIHL as a Member of our Federation with a view to transferring our sanctioning & officiating resources to a new National League Commission, with the necessary management resources, sponsorships and funding to achieve what we have failed to achieve with the AIHL Commission.


We trust that the above communication will prompt a positive and constructive response from AIHL Teams, such that we can work together to build a more constructive, cohesive and sustainable future for our National Senior Men's Flagship Competition and our sport in its entirety,



General Secretary

Australian Ice Hockey Federation Inc.

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Hidden Content

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is the AIHL response


AIHL Response to IHA Motion to Terminate MOU
August 7, 2018

The Australian Ice Hockey League Limited (AIHL) is deeply concerned and disappointed to learn that members of Ice Hockey Australia’s (IHA) executive committee have attempted to orchestrate the removal of the AIHL Commission and ultimately the AIHL as a member of IHA.


The AIHL Commission considers this course of action to be contrary to the best interests of IHA’s Members and the game of ice hockey in Australia.  The AIHL has expressed this view to the Members of IHA and requested the IHA executive remove the motion from voting by the Members. 


In doing so, the AIHL Commission has rejected several serious allegations made against it by the IHA executive, including specifically that the AIHL Commission has ‘disregard for [IHA’s] members safety’ and there is a ‘the lack of financial transparency’ regarding the AIHL’s finances.


The AIHL Commission recognises more can be done to continue to grow and develop the sport in Australia and it remains committed to working with all stakeholders of the game, including IHA and its Members, to do so.

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