Town admonishes tournament organizers after Sun Bowl brawl

After a Sun Bowl brawl last weekend involving a small group of unruly parents resulted in a black eye for the community, the Town of Osoyoos has taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Gerald Davis, Director of Community Services with the Town of Osoyoos, says his department has spoken with organizers of the Osoyoos Desert Classic, an enterprise that leases the Sun Bowl for a series of private minor hockey tournaments.

“We’ve had a conversation with them,” said Mr. Davis. “I asked them to make sure something got fanned out to the rest of the tournament people and teams about what happened and just give them a heads up and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Osoyoos RCMP reported earlier this week they were summoned to the Sun Bowl last Sunday to deal with a brawl involving parents after a hockey game involving their 10-year-old children.

“The game involving kids 10 years old from the New Western Bruins out of Langley and the BC Interior Stars out Vernon, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland and Penticton had just ended when the brawl between the parents started,” RCMP reported.

“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.”

Mr. Davis said alcohol is not sold at the Sun Bowl facility and it appeared the parents were drinking prior to attending the evening contest.

“During Coyotes games, the mezzanine upstairs gets converted, but they have their own license to do that,” he said. “My understanding is the parents were consuming alcohol in the hotel and who knows what they were doing in between.

“Like any of our other public buildings, we don’t allow public drinking and I don’t think that was the case.”

The unfortunate event, which has resulted in substantial press coverage across North America, is a first for the facility, Mr. Davis said.

“I’ve been here 11 years and we’ve never ever had anything happen like this — especially for a group of kids that young.”

He expected the organizing body — and perhaps provincial and national bodies — would be dealing with the incident.

“[The tournament] is governed by somebody, a spring league committee or whatever the case is, and ultimately Hockey Canada,” he said.

The tournament organizers are required to provide their own insurance for the event and that would cover any damages or injuries that resulted from the episode.

“When they rent the ice, they fulfill everything and more in what in terms of what we require in terms of their insurance,” Mr. Davis said.

“That’s all taken care of and in place and this was just an unfortunate set of circumstances based on a few parents.”

The Desert Classic continues this weekend, with games held Friday evening and continuing through Sunday.


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