QMJHL Launches 55th Season: A New Era of Enhanced Player Well-Being
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League inaugurated its 55th season today in Montreal, Quebec, setting the stage for an exciting 2023-2024 campaign as the regular season commences on Friday with seven home openers.
Commissioner Mario Cecchini kicked-off the traditional season opener’s press conference this morning, unveiling a series of new measures designed to enhance the safety and well-being of players and staff in preparation for the upcoming season.
Cecchini showcased the extensive work which the Commissioner’s Office did over the course of the summer in response to recommendations made following the Parliamentary Committee’s hearings held earlier this year.
A dedicated fund has been established to secure the financing of several pivotal initiatives. Among them, precise workshops for head coaches, general managers, and athletic therapists were held last week, emphasizing the league’s commitment to continuous awareness and education for its players and staff. The QMJHL’s policies have also undergone a thorough review with an emphasis on prevention and education.
Through strategic alliances with the National Hockey League, the Respect Group, the Canadian Centre for Mental Health and Sport, as well as Sport’Aide, the QMJHL will be able to provide additional resources and tools throughout the season for both players and staff members.
Furthermore, the league has formalized an agreement with the Complaint Officer whose role is to analyze complaints related to abuse, harassment and violence. This new partnership establishes an independent avenue for players and staff to report any concerning situations, which was a critical recommendation of the Parliamentary Committee. However, the League is hard at work to develop additional measures and tools, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Code of Conduct and Dressing Room Code
In a significant move announced in March in front of elected officials, the League introduced a Dressing Room Code and a Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct articulates the core values of the League and the behaviour and values that it expects from its stakeholders. These values include respect for oneself and others, as well as integrity, safety, dignity, sportsmanship, self-improvement, commitment, perseverance, honesty, and benevolence.
Moreover, the Dressing Room Code represents a formal commitment to the behaviour which is expected by the League from players and staff. Every QMJHL player and staff member will be required to sign this document as a commitment to respecting the League’s Code of Conduct, its policies and regulations while abiding by society’s laws. These initiatives highlight the league’s dedication to cultivating role models within their communities and encouraging a better culture within our sport.
New Playing Rules for the 2023-2024 Season
Beyond the new fighting rules and the introduction of iPads at the penalty benches for video reviews by on-ice officials, the QMJHL has implemented several other rule modifications for the upcoming season.
These adjustments include new mouthguard regulations (Rule 9 – The Uniform), additions to the duties of the video goal judge (Rule 39 – Video Goal Judge), situations subject to video review (Rule 39 – Video Goal Judge), fighting, aggressor, instigator, and altercation definitions (Rule 47 – Fighting) as well as face-off procedures (Rule 76 – Face-off).
For a comprehensive overview of the new playing rules, please click on the link below: https://media.chl.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2023/09/20135131/18.1.0_ENG_QMJHL-New-playing-rules-2023-2024.pdf