Winnipeg minor hockey officials are investigating a violent incident at a Fargo tournament Sunday, when adults from two Winnipeg teams traded punches in front of 14 eight-year-old boys.
Mike Prochnow, an executive member of the West Fargo Hockey Association, said punches were thrown in the Selkirk Steelers' dressing room after a game with the River East Royals ‘white’ team.
A River East mother upset with on-ice incidents invaded the Selkirk dressing room to confront coaches, followed by her husband, who threw the first punch, Prochnow said. The coaches fought back, and the father got the worst of it, he said.
Fargo police investigated but did not lay any charges.
The West Fargo Hockey Association immediately sent the River East team home. It did not sanction the Selkirk team, because the coaches were protecting their players, Prochnow said.
Hockey Winnipeg executive director Monte Miller said Tuesday afternoon the organization is aware of the altercation.
Miller said information is still being gathered from the two local associations, and he hasn’t yet received a report from the West Fargo association.
"We’ll touch base with the (River East and Selkirk) presidents to see how we want to proceed," he said. "We have dealt with something of this kind of thing before, so there are different ways to handle it."
Hockey Winnipeg is contemplating a proposal to establish the Respect in Sport Parent Program, essentially an online tutorial designed to prevent parents from screaming at each other, the referees (most often minors themselves) or coaches.
When mandatory, at least one caregiver in the family must get a credit for taking the course before his or her son or daughter is allowed to play.
Hockey Winnipeg will announce at a press conference Wednesday morning whether or not it is rubber-stamping the program.