ROCK SPRINGS – Due to administrative errors, the Wyoming Amateur Hockey Association’s Pinedale Glaciers were forced to forfeit their first game of the season, despite going undefeated.
The Glaciers tout many players from Rock Springs because the Rock Springs Amateur Hockey Association failed to put together a midget team for the 2019-2020 season. There weren’t enough players who signed up, the team didn’t have a goalie and no one was set up to coach the Rock Springs team, according to players’ parents. However, since the proper paperwork wasn’t filed when local players switched to the Pinedale team, a complaint was filed with the state hockey organizing body.
Originally, the Glaciers were asked to forfeit the first six games of the season, but it was reduced to one after WAHA and RSAHA received serious backlash from parents and players.
Mike and Evonne Crum, parents of Micah Crum, who is currently on the Glaciers roster, moved to Sweetwater County from Colorado for work. But now, they are forced to lead the charge to get the Pinedale victory back, as well as their money.
FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
From the beginning, the Crums said there was hardly any communication from RSAHA President Larry Macy or the RSAHA board.
In early September, they registered with RSAHA for Micah to play hockey. The registration fee was $600 after Sept. 1 and $500 before Sept. 1, which did not include equipment and a monthly $27 recreation fee.
In Pinedale, the cost to register was $140, and there is no recreation fee. The players provide their own equipment, which is standard in most leagues.
On Sept. 26, the Crums received an email, notifying them that practices begin at 5:15 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, but there wasn’t a start date.
Meanwhile the Crums were in Colorado for a tournament with the Wyoming Cutthroats, the de facto state team this year. Mike called Larry to find out when the practices start and learned they started the following Monday.
The Crums couldn’t make it back in time for the first practice, so they decided that Micah would attend the Oct. 2 practice instead.
According to the Crums, Micah and Evonne arrived at the ice arena at the Rock Springs Family Recreation Center around 5 a.m. They were told that they had to a pay monthly recreation center fees, which was a surprise to them and something that was not communicated when they had registered.
As the morning went on, Micah and Evonne waited for practice to begin and were told that there would be no midget team because there weren’t enough players or a goalie to form a team for the 2019-2020 season.
They said they were never notified about this before they showed up to practice.
The Rock Springs bantams team was practicing, and they said the coach invited Micah to practice with them.
According to the Crums, Micah was a proven hockey player in Colorado with aspirations to play in college. He started out playing in Craig, Colorado, as a second-year squirt and then moved on to play peewees before he quickly outgrew the program and was moved to Steamboat Springs, where he made the bantam ‘A’ team his first year there. He also played on varsity as a freshman for his high school team.
During his first practice in Rock Springs, Micah was there doing peewee-bantam drills with other kids, who could hardly skate, according to Evonne. She said it was the biggest disappointment of Micah’s hockey career.
At that time, Mike sent a letter to Larry to notify him that they would be moving Micah to the Pinedale league to join the Glaciers, asking the RSAHA president to let him know what he needs to do to get a refund for the registration process.
A week later, the Crums receive a check for 60 percent of the $600 registration fee they had paid in early September because the deadline for a full reimbursement is Sept. 15, but once again, they said they were never notified of this when they registered.
Melissa Marroquin, another upset parent who moved her child from the Rock Springs team to Pinedale, said there was no information along those lines available in the bylaws online at the RSAHA website.
Larry told the Rocket Miner on Dec. 11 that “one item that was not updated was our bylaws this year.” He said the bylaws needed to be modified due to an embezzlement case committed by the previous treasurer two years ago.
“Bylaws were passed and enacted prior to players pulling registration,” he said.
However, according to the Crums and Melissa, that information was never mentioned to them during the registration process.
By Nov. 24, several Rock Springs hockey players had gone on to play in Pinedale and create a team loaded with talent. The Glaciers were 6-0 three weeks into the season.
That’s when they were notified that those games would be forfeited because Larry and Pinedale head coach Sam White had never put the transfer of Rock Springs players in writing.
According to the Wyoming Amateur Hockey League rules, “before transferring, either prior to season start or during the current season, a letter/email clearly stating the player is in good standing with the most recently registered or currently registered local program must be obtained by the president of the local program to which the player wishes to transfer from the president of the player’s current local program.
“A copy of the letter must also be forwarded to the appropriate WAHL Age Director before participation in any game with a new team or local program. The player will be considered ineligible until the confirmation of good standing is received. It is the responsibility of the player/player’s family to inform the President of the local program the player is interested in transferring to, which local program he/she was registered with most recently or is currently registered.
“Failure to disclose previous/current registration will result in the player being ineligible to register with any local program within Wyoming for the current season.”
However, in an email that was obtained by the Rocket Miner, coach Sam stated he believed that the Rock Springs players were in good standing based on in his conversations with Larry.
The six games were originally forfeited. However, the penalties and suspensions from the games remained, which means everything from the games still counted, but the forfeited losses would affect the Glaciers’ ability to contend for a state title or national championship. Since there is no official state team this year, the winner of the WAHA playoffs will receive the national bid.
The Crums, Melissa and other parents questioned why Larry waited until six games into the season to bring this issue to the state league’s attention.
“Larry must’ve known the rule, but it doesn’t sound like he was offering any letters for these young men,” Mike said in an email.
Larry has not answered any questions Rocket Miner sent him on Dec. 18.