Hockey Canada to stop using 'midget' as age category to make sport 'more inclusive'

Canada’s hockey governing body announced Monday it will do away with the term “midget” and other traditional-age categories in its boys and girls hockey ranks.

Hockey Canada said the term midget, novice, peewee, atom and bantam would be replaced by age descriptive names from under-7 to U21. The changes were approved by the board of directors at the Winter Congress in Montreal.

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“We believe everyone should feel welcome in the game and in our on-going effort to make hockey more inclusive, the Members at the Hockey Canada Annual Meeting determined that the names of our age Divisions will change,” Michael Brind’Amour, the chair of Hockey Canada Board of Directors, said in a news release.

“Following a comprehensive review, we believe this change will simplify the system for families who may be new to the game. The new age Division names will be implemented for next season.”

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BC Hockey and Athletics Canada had already made a change in their classification names in November 2018 after Regina Scott, a mother whose young son has dwarfism, reached out to a local Ontario youth basketball association after noticing the term “midget” on a banner at the mall, according to CBC.

The term “midget” is considered derogatory to some, but has long been used as a classification rank in youth sports.

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Hockey Canada said the change will take place nationally for the 2020-21 season.