Hockey Enthusiast Starts 10th Year as Zone Chairman
Provost's Herman McMann is beginning his 10th hockey season as Zone 7 minor chairman with Alberta Hockey.
That means he's the boss when it comes to organizing and running hockey in an area from Sherwood Park, south to Stettler and to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border.
He monitors 200 teams and deals with disputes which may arise across the zone.
McMann told The News in an interview that he deals with a variety of issues such as recently when a coach "grabbed a referee by the arm." He tells the referee how to deal with the issue which often means an appeal board for a hearing. If for example the coach does not abide by that ruling body, "he's out." It carries a lot of weight, adds McMann.
Although league presidents control their own leagues as far as discipline goes, if someone does not like their local decision that has been made, they can appeal to McMann. He points out however, that he works closely with all the leagues. All league rules and suspensions are uniform across Alberta. When hockey players get into suspension situations, McMann is also the one handing them out.
Another duty that the Provost man looks after is making sure all player cards are properly filled out for provincials (up to 100 teams) and are registered properly.
"The biggest problem probably in hockey is player movement." Every parent thinks that "their kid is ready for a league (top of the line such as double or triple A) hockey." McMann says the first problem with that is insurance because of all the paperwork it causes and to "make sure the insurance follows the kid."
McMann has also been referee-in-chief for about 10 or 11 seasons—served as president of the Provost Minor Hockey system . . . and coached and refereed over the years (often the same game). One game he recalls is that the players had to open their own gate when he both coached and refereed. It was a game against Hughenden and other coaches said that was fine. "They knew who I was."
In the winter he attends as many league and minor hockey meetings as he can, which could be one or two every week.
Even in the summer three meetings are held for two to three days long. when he usually travels to Red Deer.
Also during the last 30 summertimes he also kept busy umping both baseball and fastball—and still did some this past summer.
Asked about the best thing hockey, McMann says: "I can walk down the street and some kid will say there's Herman. Or some kid will come back and talk to you about when you were coach and says "remember when . . . ?" that's as good as it gets."
"The toughest job ever as a coach was to cut a kid from my hockey team. He was giving 100 percent and I had to cut him strictly because of too many players on the team."
McMann spends on average four to five hours every day during the winter on zone 7 hockey affairs.
And it's all volunteer work with no pay.