If you happen to be one of those who is expressing outrage at Robert Mazzuca for the reduction in suspension to Rayside Balfour Canadians forward James White, don’t take your hostilities out on the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League commissioner.
It was Mazzuca, as commissioner, who originally suspended White for 10 games for what was determined to be a blind side hit on Soo Thunderbirds centre Camaryn Baber in the opening game of the current NOJHL championship series.
Baber subsequently suffered his second concussion in less than a month at the hands of a Rayside Balfour player and will not play again this season.
At any rate, Rayside Balfour subsequently appealed the suspension to White and the NOJHL appeal board reduced it from 10 games to three.
Mazzuca is not part of the NOJHL appeal board.
Following is a word-for-word, unedited copy of the NOJHL appeal process.
“Hockey Operation decision by the Commissioner can be Appealed to the Appeal Board.
The Appeal Board will consist of 3 independent persons, not associated with any
Member Club, have no previous affiliation with any member club in the previous 3
years. The Board of Directors will approve the members of the Appeal Board.
If a member wants to Appeal the decision of the Commissioner, it must do so in writing
within 12 hours of the Notice of Suspension/Fine notifying the Executive Director and
the League Office they will be Appealing the decision.
The League Office will automatically invoice the member the $500-dollar Fee. Until an Appeal can be heard, the Decision of the Commissioner remains in force.
The Chair of the Appeal Panel, will convene a Hearing between the Member and the Commissioner at the earliest convenience.
The Panel shall: permit the parties to present their cases in accordance with due process and the rules of natural justice; and i) inquire of all parties as to the possible impact of any decision or ruling for consideration as it sees fit. The Panel, they may take any, some or all of the following actions:
i) Uphold the decision of the Commissioner
ii) Reverse the Decision of the Commissioner
iii) Increase the fine or suspension by the Commissioner
iv) Decrease the fine or suspension by the Commissioner
v) Amend the decision of the Commissioner
vi) grant a refund of up to 50% of the Appeal Application fee in cases where the
appellant has been substantially successful in his/her Appeal;
vii) Adjourn the disposition of the Appeal Application provided that written
notification of the decision is delivered to all parties within 10 days of the
viii) A decision of the Panel shall be final and binding on all Parties.”