PEI

Hockey P.E.I. changing age group names, dropping offensive term

Hockey Canada announced Monday the term midget would no longer be used to describe age groups as it has been in several sports, particularly for those under 18.

The term midget, has long been used as youth age category, but is offensive for some

Novice, peewee, atom and bantam will also be replaced with categories that describe the ages of the players, from under-7 up to under-21. (Lorraine Swanson/Shutterstock )

Hockey P.E.I. is following the national lead in dropping a term that may be offensive to some from its leagues.

Hockey Canada announced Monday the term midget would no longer be used to describe age groups as it has been in several sports, particularly for those under 18.

"Hockey P.E.I. is supportive of the change. As a member of Hockey Canada these types of decisions, we are included on," said Geoff Kowalski, Hockey P.E.I.'s executive director.

Kowalski said the reason for the change comes from a "measure of inclusiveness."

Other organizations, including BC Hockey and Athletics Canada, changed classification names in November 2018. The changes happened after Regina Scott, who has a two-year-old son with dwarfism, noticed how common the term was in sports, not just hockey.

"It was found that we can actually make this change to ensure inclusiveness," Kowalski said.

"It also clarifies our age categories to begin with. So, when it comes time to register your kid you at least have a hint of where your kid needs to be playing."

He said his office hasn't received any push back on the change, but he has seen some on social media.

The term will officially be dropped at the start of the 2020-21 hockey season.

Getting ready for next season

Kowalski said that means changing marketing material and removing the term from the Hockey P.E.I. website.

"There is a little bit of work to do between now and the start of next year, but you know, we have time to get all that straightened out," he said.

Kowalski said in his discussions with people in the hockey community, there is an understanding of why the change is happening.

"Again, of course, there is always the people who are, you know, rooted in tradition — rightfully so. And they feel it might be a change that is unnecessary, but positivity is going to outweigh the negatives for sure," he said.

With the term being dropped, novice, peewee, atom and bantam will also be replaced with the ages of the players, from under-7 up to under-21.

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With files from CBC News: Compass

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