A Nova Scotia man says hockey coaches called young players "stupid" and offered cash for the most violent hit delivered in a game.
Ken Barrett said his youngest son's confidence was eroded last season by three peewee coaches.
"For example, one of the kids' nicknames was Stupid. I'm not sure in any other environment, an 11, 12-year-old kid is allowed to be nicknamed Stupid," he said Friday.
Cash for hits
He was shocked when coaches offered a bounty for hard body checks.
"One of the coaches would tape the five dollar bill to the wall, and that was supposed to represent [whoever delivered] the biggest hit would receive this money," he said. "I'm shocked that the message they're trying to send is that we pay kids to be excessively violent."
The deal ended after parents complained.
'I'm shocked the message they're trying to send is that we pay kids to be excessively violent.' - Ken Barrett
Barrett, who lives in Port Williams, said his son dreaded going to the rink and would say, "Will you please come to practice because I'm afraid they'll single me out or say something nasty to me?' That's in the world of a small kid."
He said coaches also used foul language on a regular basis.
Hockey Canada and Hockey Nova Scotia banned body checking in all levels of peewee hockey in May.
The coaches were with the Acadia Minor Hockey Association. The association told CBC the coaches’ relationship with them ended two days ago.
It referred reporters to Hockey Nova Scotia for further comments about the $5 bill.
"Certainly I've never heard of anything like this in the past, and it would be considered a very serious offence,” said Darren Cossar of Hockey Nova Scotia.
Jill Moore’s son quit the team because he felt bullied by the coaching staff.
"He said, just things like, ‘Do you even know how to play the game?’ Things like coming into the dressing room and calling out specific players on what they might have done wrong," she said.
Barrett wants to stop it from happening to another child.
"The association needs to put better practices in place to make sure that this doesn't happen again,” he said.
Hockey Nova Scotia said it received a complaint from parents and it's investigating. It expects that investigation will take two to three weeks.