Sent to the box: Parents banned after youth hockey fight


A Canadian couple has been sent to the penalty box after a fight at their 8-year-old son's hockey game in North Dakota in February.

The Canadian youth hockey program Hockey Winnipeg has banned the couple from participating in any "rink activity" at any arena involving the organization for the next three years because of the couple's involvement in a February altercation at a West Fargo Mites hockey tournament, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

The ban does not affect the couple's child, who is still allowed to play with Hockey Winnipeg, CTV News says.

The punishment came after the mother, who was upset about a call on the ice, barged into the other team's locker room and started screaming at the other team's coaches after a Feb. 8 game, reports say. The woman was warned multiple times to leave the locker room before coaches attempted to escort her out. That's when her husband jumped over the top of her and started punching the other team's coaches, WCCO reported.

The terms of the suspension are specific, saying the couple can't attend any practices, games, playoffs, tournaments or related activity, including medal ceremonies, that involves Hockey Winnipeg, reports say.

"We felt (the incident) was way beyond – way over the top – to go into the dressing room of another team, and we felt that we had to take a strong position," Hockey Winnipeg president Don McIntosh told the Winnipeg Free Press.

It's the stiffest punishment the organization has ever handed out.

McIntosh told CTV News the incident was especially concerning because 8-year-old children witnessed the entire incident.

The suspension went into effect on Feb. 18. However, the couple told the organization on March 27 that it intends to appeal the suspension. No date has been set for the appeal, CBC News says.

If Hockey Winnipeg's decision stands, the couple's son, who was 8 years old at the time of the incident, will be 12 years old and in his second year of peewee hockey before his parents will see him play again in person, the Winnipeg Free Press says.

The couple and their son have not been identified. They face no criminal charges.

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