“So, You’re Saying There’s a Chance …”

Understanding the Competitive Balance of Youth “Rep” Hockey in Ontario


  • Chris Chard Brock University
  • Daniel Wigfield University of Guelph




competitive balance, chi-square, youth hockey


Competitive balance in sport is a desirable state for leagues to aspire to attain. Indeed, uncertainty of outcomes (Kringstad & Girginov, 2018) have been noted to be desirous. At the highest levels of professional sport, measures to promote competitive balance (e.g., amateur drafts, revenue sharing) are commonplace. It has been noted before (i.e., Wigfield & Chard, 2018) that competitive balance is similarly sought after in competitive youth sport settings. Here, the current study was completed to assess the competitive balance in various associations competing in Ontario’s boys’ representative minor hockey system. Results from the provincial championships since the 2005-06 season were analyzed for age groups ranging from U11 to U20 and across all competition levels (i.e., A, AA, AAA) by conducting a chi-square test of independence. Findings indicate that the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL) dominates Ontario rep hockey across all age groups and competition levels—with few exceptions. This article offers an innovative solution to roster construction that Ontario minor hockey associations can implement to combat the GTHL’s dominance.

Author Biographies

Chris Chard, Brock University

Chris Chard, PhD, MBA, is an associate professor in the Department of Sport Management at Brock University. His research interests are on the management of small to mid-size enterprises in the sport sector.

Daniel Wigfield, University of Guelph

Daniel Wigfield, PhD, is a postdoctoral research associate within the International Institute of Sport Business and Leadership at the University of Guelph. His research focuses on organizational behavior as it relates to optimizing the performance of amateur sport systems, especially those servicing youth athletes.


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