2013 World Ball Hockey Championships
In St. John’s, NL – A Resounding Success
June 11, 2013 -The 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships wrapped up on Sunday at the Jack Byrne Arena and Glacier in metro St. John’s, Newfoundland as Team Slovakia defeated Team Czech Republic in the Men’s A Pool final 2-1, Team Canada defeated Team Slovakia in the Women’s Final 2-0 and Team Bermuda defeated Team Italy in a shootout in the B Pool Final. Team Canada claimed bronze in the Men’s A Pool while Team Czech Republic claimed bronze in the Women’s division and Team Israel were B Pool bronze medallists. In all, 78 games were held over 8 days in three divisions. Athletes, coaches, management, and fans all had a fantastic time during their stay in the St. John’s area because of the friendliness of the local population. The first thing out of everyone’s mouth when asked about the time they were having was “the people in St. John’s have all been so warm and welcoming”
In a week filled with numerous good news stories, it is hard to touch on them all, but here is a snapshot:
- Newfoundland’s own Dawn Tulk scored both goals for Team Canada in the Women’s Gold medal final
- Team Israel, competing at the World Championships for the first time EVER, take a bronze medal in the Men’s B Pool and also take a momentous picture with Team Pakistan at Opening Ceremonies
- Great Britain’s men’s and women’s teams demonstrated the quintessential definition of sportsmanship, dedication, passion, and team work.
- Armenia and Israel debuted and put forth amazing efforts each and every game on the Men’s side while Italy debuted in Women’s play.
- USA goaltender Adele King stopped 207 shots in 6 games, including 56 against Team Canada – Dedicating her play to her niece who was rushed for emergency brain surgery during the tournament. Adele says her niece is recovering well!
- The coach for Men's Team Germany proposed, in German, to his long-time girlfriend and trainer for the team on the slab prior to their game against Switzerland. She said “ja” (yes)
This is just a small example of all the wonderful things that happened on and off the floor here at the 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships. Of course we also had an unfortunate incident occur during one men’s game in which a player did not control his emotions and showed aggressive and excessive force toward another player. The Canadian Ball Hockey Association(CBHA) in conjunction with the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation (ISBHF) had the following to say with respect to the incident:
“On behalf of the ISBHF and the CBHA we do not condone the actions of Justin Pender in the semi-final game Canada vs Czech Republic in the 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships. The Slovak referee, Marek Kralovic, who was injured during the altercation, suffered a knee injury. He was examined on site and transported to hospital for further evaluation. Mr. Kralovic was back at the rink on Sunday to take in the Championship games and was in good spirits. Fortunately the Czech Republic goal keeper Lukas Hezcko was not seriously injured and returned to play very well in the gold medal game.
Justin Pender was immediately suspended from the tournament and was unable to play for Canada in the bronze medal game against Portugal. Further disciplinary action according to ISBHF regulations must and will be taken by the ISBHF disciplinary committee. He will also face a disciplinary hearing from the CBHA.
The ISBHF and the CBHA have worked hard to make our sport safer and to improve sportsmanship between the players and our family of nations; therefore we need to take all necessary measures to prevent this from happening in the future.
The CBHA will issue apologies to the Czech team as well as the president and board of the Czech Association. The CBHA is confident, that this situation will not affect their strong and positive relationship with the Czech Republic Ball Hockey Association.”
Further to this, Mr. Pender himself has issued this apology via his Twitter account (@jpender24): I would like to take this moment to apologize for my actions on Saturday, June 8th. After the hockey game was over I let the behavior of a member on the opposing team anger me. My response to the taunting was misguided and someone was injured because of it. I would like to apologize to the Czech team members for handling the situation poorly and truly hope that my actions will not be reflected in their opinion of my fellow team members. What I did is not representative of my team or how ball hockey is played in Canada. I would also like to send a heartfelt apology to the referee who was hurt when I and another player fell on him during the fight. Had I stayed calm and simply walked away this accident would have not occurred. Finally I would like to apologize to my team. As a member of a team hosting an international event I should have set a higher standard of sportsmanship for myself but I did not and it reflected poorly upon my team who worked so hard for this competition. Going forward I will make every effort to prevent this from happening again by remembering how my actions
have impacted myself and those around me. I will be setting a higher standard for myself and my actions In order to develop better sportsmanship. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope it can give a sense of how truly sorry I am.”
The Host Committee in conjunction with the Newfoundland & Labrador Ball Hockey Association and the Canadian Ball Hockey Association would like to thank the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation as well as its member countries for providing a first class event for the fans. Players enjoyed themselves around town, whether it was a day trip to Cape Spear or Signal Hill or eating a meal at one of our fine local establishments. Many business owners commented on the amount of business they received from the tournament and this is yet another example of the benefits of hosting international events.
Our online streaming of the games through Bell Aliant’s Community One channel was the talk of the tournament. Over 100,000 viewers worldwide tuned in to hear the call of the games and watch on seamlessly streaming high definition video. The tournament website was updated immediately after games and was a landing point for fans worldwide to get tournament information. The local and national media in print, radio, and television covered the event from start to finish and we thank each and every one of them for their continuing effort to bring the good news stories of this event to the homes of everybody in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and around the world.
Finally, we would like to thank our countless volunteers who did everything from drive referees to their assigned games, pick up bottled water, arrange meals and outings, organize the opening ceremonies, and countless other duties.
Replays of all games are available through the tournament website www.stjohns2013wc.com.
The 2015 World Ball Hockey Championship will take place in Zug, Switzerland. See you there!