With both sides in last weekend’s hockey brawl in Osoyoos blaming each other for the fracas, RCMP there have decided not to pursue the matter.
“That’s the problem with this is that it is so difficult for us to say what actually happened because they’re saying different things.,” said Cpl. Jason Bayda of the Oliver RCMP on Thursday. “Accusations from both sides suggested both sides were yelling insults at one another prior to the fight breaking out. However, alcohol is believed to have played a large factor in the very poor choices made by these parents.”
The physical altercation between supporters of opposing teams came at the end of the semi-final game between the 10 and 11-year-old B.C. Interior Stars (BCIS) and the Langley-based New Western Bruins (NWB) at the Sun Bowl Arena during the Desert Classic tournament, April 2.
The Stars consist of players from the Central and South Okanagan.
While officials of the two teams declined interview requests, both have since issued statements from their perspective about the events of that day.
The most contentious issue involved the injury to the wife of one of the Bruins’ fathers involved in the fisticuffs.
The woman was apparently punched in the nose “inadvertently” by her husband while attempting to intervene, according to Bayda.
However ,the Bruins’ statement said that was not the case.
“One of the BCIS fathers purposely punched one of the NWB mothers in the face twice resulting in a broken nose, facial fracture, and a concussion,” it read.
There were several other minor injuries as a result of the fight which involved about six people directly. Along with accusing each other as instigators, each team is saying their supporters were not drinking. However, Bayda noted attending officers had evidence to the contrary.
“First of all our members found them to be intoxicated (at the arena) and we attended to the resort they were staying at and were told by the resort staff they had been drinking all day and that they (staff) had to call in extra security because of the drinking and the noise.
“Of course the teams are going to downplay it because it’s kind of an embarrassing situation but really doesn’t matter what level it’s at, it’s totally unacceptable, even if it’s just two parents.”
The one thing the two sides did agree on was the fact the incident was inexcusable and measures will be taken to make sure it does not happen again. Stars head coach Shea Sanche was quoted by CBC Radio as saying the incident leaves a “black mark” on hockey.
In a follow-up statement, BCIS said a weekend coaches meeting is planned to “discuss repercussions.”
As well, this weekend there will be also a mandatory parents meeting to address the issue and introduce a zero tolerance spectator policy that will apply to “anyone supporting our team.”
A players’ meeting is planned to use the incident to educate kids on “the value of discipline and self control.”
Finally the BCIS issued a formal apology to tournament organizers, Osoyoos RCMP, the community and “anyone associated with our team.”