Guye Vondette has his fingers crossed that the season will fly this year.
After holding out as long as possible, he finally had to cancel the season last year, but forty percent of his registered players chose to roll over their registration for the upcoming season.
This is the fifth year for this local league, which is operated by Guye Vondette, who is a one-man show when it comes to ball hockey in the area. He not only manages the local league, but is on the floor every night, refereeing every game. In the fall of 2019, his dedication to the sport was recognized provincially when he was named the Ontario Ball Hockey Association Executive of the year. The provincial association noted that the Peterborough club is the fastest growing and best organized of the 47 clubs in the league due to the dedication of this committed volunteer.
Before the season was cancelled last year, they had registered players for 24 teams. Vondette hopes this year they have more. By the end of December, forty players had already registered, along with a handful of coaches.
The league is fully insured and certified by the Ontario Ball Hockey Association. This year it is introducing tow new divisions for 2021. A new Squirt division will open for youngsters born in 2015 through 2017. It will be a ten week instructional program with no games. Six year olds will have the choice of moving up to the Tyke division if they have the skills required. Also new is a Bantam Division for 15 and 16-year olds. This will allow players from previous years to continue to play in the league.
Most divisions operate out of the Cavan Monaghan Community Centre, but because this space is fully booked during the evenings, these two new divisions will operate at the Bewdley arena.
Last spring a Toronto league launched, using the name this league had been using for years but had not registered, which caused confusion in the marketplace. Vondette has now registered the name Peterborough Minor Ball Hockey League OBHA.
All action occurs in the evenings in one hour slots from 6 to 9pm. Games are supervised by two certified referees, one of whom is usually Vondette. The league encourages fair play, respect and sportsmanship, ensuring all players participate fully in the action, regardless of skill level.
To learn more about the league or to register, visit their upgraded website at www.peterboroughballhockey.com. The season is set to start the first week of April. KG