A videotape of a minor hockey league brawl between two teams of eight-year-olds shows the players throwing punches at each other.
Officials from the Duffield Devils and Niagara Falls Thunder, two novice AAA teams, downplayed what happened on the ice earlier in the week in separate interviews with the CBC, but the videotape shows the players exchanging punches in a brawl.
The video also shows an altercation on the players' bench that appears to involve parents and coaches.
The controversy stems from a game between the Devils and the Thunder at a Guelph, Ont., arena last Friday during a tournament, when things got out of hand in the third period. Local police had to be called in to help break up the fracas.
Police in Guelph, Ont., also have a copy of the tape and allege that one of the Niagara coaches spat on a Duffield coach, and that both coaches sent most of their players from the bench onto the ice.
The police investigated but decided Thursday that no criminal charges would be laid. The Ontario Minor Hockey Association is still investigating the incident.
Bob Chamberlain, coach of the Thunder, and Frank Carbone, president of the Devils, both downplayed the incident in separate interviews earlier this week, with Chamberlaindenying reports that what happened on the ice could be classified as a brawl.
"A brawl was not what these kids were doing. They were just pushing and shoving … it didn't last 30 seconds," Chamberlain told CBC News.
Richard Ropchan, an official with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association, had not seen the video when he spoke with CBC Newsworld Thursday morning, but said "this is not appropriate behaviour for eight-year-olds."
"We immediately suspended the coaching staff, the trainers and the two coaches indefinitely until the investigation is completed. They are not allowed to participate with the team until that time," Ropchan said.