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JTC Coaches Interviews

  • Published in World News
  • Saturday, 31 May 2014 08:16

Barry Greer Head Coach U20

Where were you born and where did you grow up the majority of your childhood?
I was born in Cobourg, Ontario, moved to Belleville Ontario at age 18 and I have lived here ever since

When did you get into ball hockey?
I started playing in the Belleville men's league after I moved to Belleville. It was a sport that was not available when I lived in Cobourg. 

Where did you gain the passion for the sport?
Probably when I coached my first Provincial game for Belleville for my son's Tyke team about 15 years ago.

Who were some of your biggest influences in your life that helped you growing up with the sport?
Rick Carr, President of Belleville Minor Ball Hockey was a team mate back in the days when I started playing. He started up the minor system in Belleville and when I had kids it was natural for them to start playing at a young age.

What turned you on to competitive ball hockey? How old were you when you played/participated in your first tournament?
My kids played rep ice hockey all winter and wanted to play rep soccer in the summer. No way I was going to chase them around the province all summer too. I found not only the shorter season and less travel attractive with ball hockey but the different rules and fact that so many different strategies and systems could be used in ball hockey appealed to me more as a coach. My kids were Novice and Tyke ages at the time. 

How did you get involved with the Junior Team Canada program?
After coaching rep at the provincial level every year and at the National level three times my wife and I watched our 2 boys play for Team Canada in Europe. It was after this that I decided that applying for a coaching position was something I would like to do. I believed I had the ability and the experience to be successful at that level. 

There is a lot of work to get done, what do you think your team will have to do to get this done?
Everyone must start by communicating and getting to know each other, then study and practice systems and plays, then work together and settle into a role on the team while the whole time developing an attitude that we are the greatest. Then to remain the greatest everyone must communicate more, study and practice more, work together more and want to accept more responsibility in order to be even greater then great.

What's your goal for the Junior program next summer and for future years?
My goals is to win a Gold Medal at the World Championships in Budapest in 2014 with the U-20 Canadian team. As long as I stay involved with ball hockey, my health stays good and I feel I give value to the team as a coach then I would love to continue coaching at a high level. I appreciate the opportunity that I has been trusted in me so far.

Do you think Canada has the talent to win the gold medal?
Of course I do, we feel we have the most skilled team we could put together and don’t lack talent, but we still need to have determination and work ethics. We will find a way to get it done!

Scott Jacobi Head Coach U18

Where were you born and where did you grow up the majority of your childhood?
Born – Toronto East York
Raised – Brampton
First ball hockey - Beeton

When did you get into ball hockey?
I got involved as a player in 2002 in Beeton

I began coaching in 2004 in Beeton and attended 1st Provincials as a coach (and as a player) that year 

Where did you gain the passion for the sport?
I’d never even heard of ball hockey until I moved to Beeton and was introduced to the game by my neighbours Carlo Carlucci & Steve Dockerty. I’d played ice hockey all my life and immediately enjoyed the game, and with my involvement in the Beeton program, I quickly grew passionate about the sport and improving our Association. 

Who were some of your biggest influences in your life that helped you growing up with the sport?
Carlo & Steve were my neighbours and got me involved as a player, and subsequently an official and as an executive. Our shared vision on running the league and developing players and the program fed my passion. 

What turned you on to competitive ball hockey? How old were you when you played/participated in your first tournament?
My first playing tournament was at the 2004 Masters Provincials First Provincials as a coach were the 2004 tykes 

How did you get involved with the Junior Team Canada program?
Administratively I was responsible for our Provincial program which had improved steadily thought my tenure to the point where we are now recognized as a dominant Centre at all ages.

Teams I’ve coached in Beeton have had good success at the Provincial AA level (winning AA gold in my last 4 provincials 2 PW & 2 Bantam). In 2010 I coached and won at the Provincials, Ontario Summer Games, and National Championship in the same summer, and coincident with the JTC application process, Steve Dockerty suggested I apply to coach. In 2012 I was named to the JTC U16 staff for my first participation in the program, winning Bronze.

There is a lot of work to get done, what do you think your team will have to do to get this done?
Success at the Worlds will depend on a few key elements

- Players need to assume responsibility to attend in peak condition
- Players need to be comfortable with each other and become a Team
- We’ll need to be good enough to get lucky

Until we play our first exhibition games and camp opens, individually players will need to focus on getting in shape and reaching out to all of their teammates, the sooner we get to know and be comfortable with each other, the sooner we can start to think and act as a team. 

As a coach, I will continue to have regular communication in the hopes of keeping everyone informed, up to date, and in contact.

What's your goal for the Junior program next summer and for future years?
The goal is simple, to win GOLD!

In terms of the program, I think there have been a number of rather significant administrative changes this time round not the least of which is allowing the coaches to have significant impact on the selection of the roster, thereby creating a team of 22 that fulfill roles and specialties on the floor, rather than simply being the top players. It is my hope that success at World’s will prove this to be a good decision, and allow for its continuation in future years.

Individually, aside from helping the guys win gold, my goal is to try and not cause too many problems and remain a part of the program for years to come helping to do what I can to improve and advance the program. 

Do you think Canada has the talent to win the gold medal?
Compared to my team in 2012, this team is significantly improved.

The competition is always strong, and this year there may be many teams we have never seen, but I would be surprised if there was a team anywhere in the world that has the depth of talent and skill sets that can compare to this U18 team. Talent and skill however are just the foundation and do not alone guarantee victory, it is my hope and belief that this group of players also have the character, discipline, and commitment necessary to complement their talent that combined will ultimately bring Canada home a gold medal (that and some decent officiating!)


WJC 2014 Budapest, Hungary

  • Published in World News
  • Monday, 26 May 2014 20:38

The top players representing Canada, India and USA will travel to the beautiful host city of Budapest to challenge athletes from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia at the U20 and U18 WJC June 26-29.

The schedule will be released shortly before the tournament as confirmations are awaited from other European nations.

More news to follow.


Team Slovakia Announces Camp

  • Published in World News
  • Tuesday, 18 December 2012 22:15

The beautiful historic venue of Mojmirovce castle in Nitra ( will be home to the players nominated to attend camp, which will be held from 1.18-1.20 2013. The three day event will feature intense training and in class strategizing, followed daily by leisure time in the pool and sauna.

The invited players include the top stars in Slovakia including:

Marek Kanich, Vladimír Kalis, Marián Mikulčík, Jozef Minárik, Branislav Thron, Róbert Kašša, Milan Ladiver /ospravedlnil sa z dôvodu pracovnej vyťaženosti/, Milan Beniač, Lukáš Lajčiak, Dušan Danko, Ján Rímsky, Michal Hrivnák, Libor Teplický, Martin Haring, Filip Titka, Ivan Káčer, Marían Kučerka, Michal Ecker, Erik Lvomský, Matúš Lipták, Michal Ľupták, Ondrej Hraško, Filip Cajchan

The impressive group looks to return the World Championship title to Slovakia by competing in the WBHF Men’s World Championship in Toronto, Canada, June 2013. Included in this collection of national all-stars is Branilsav (Riko) Thron, recently named the #1 player in Slovakia.

Fresh off his victory in the poll, we bring you an abridged version of this interview.
What was the deciding factor for your lead in the poll? "I do not have any information on how the vote actually took place. Certainly me, however the overall victory, I believe it was because the successful past season with the LG, where I became a champion of Slovakia and European Cup runner-up clubs, and some good results in Nitre. '

If you had a vote, who would you choose and why? "Slovakia has a lot of great players and it might be difficult to choose between them, but if I have to choose one, it would have been Jožko Minárik from LG TPS BA. I think this is probably the best defender in Slovakia and not only for sports but also character traits, but as I mentioned, we have a lot of good players. "
For many years you were an icon at Doprastav Bratislava. Before the season, you transferred to the rookie club of Nitra, which was for many a big shock. Why this change? "Yes, those years spent in Doprastav I will never forget, but sometimes life has change, and I got a good offer from Nitra. I decided to accept it and now I do not regret it at all because they are a good team and I met a number of great players and not only the most experienced, but also those who I have not seen play before. "
Finally, something of privacy, what is the difference between Branislav Thron ten years ago and today? "First of all, I have about ten years more (smile). Sure I am not so volatile and turbulent as it once before, but it's really about age. Especially since I now need more time for recovery, but I am still basically the same. There is also my taste for the sport and to win, and probably the most essential difference from ten years ago is that I no longer use hair gel (smile). "
Your jersey has always been adorned with number 18. What does this number mean to you? "It is true that I am eighteen basically from scratch. Yet when we played as juniors in L. Guerera league, I wore 21, when we changed the" old "jerseys I inherited number 18 when Vlad Franta went to seniors. When I then went to the seniors, it was free. Henceforth I wear it now and I quite like it. "
Recently, the family has been enriched by one member, daughter Tami. No plans in the near future for her to be a successor Hokejbalový Thronovcov clan? "Truly, the time is running fast and Taminka is already three years. I'm happy here. It seems she has a really decent stick technique already. Currently there is no plan for her to follow, but we'll see. Time will tell.“


An interview with Jaroslav Melíšek one of the founders of WBHF

  • Published in World News
  • Monday, 17 December 2012 11:33

In recent days, came an awareness of the activity of a newly created World Ball Hockey Federation. A lot of questions hang in the air and that is why we contacted one of its founders.

The name Jaroslav Melíšek again swirls in the surface waters of the ball hockey. Former President of the Slovak Union Street & Ball Hockey not too happy with his office, resigned this post. After a few weeks, his name is heard everywhere again. He was in fact ending his time with the International Street & Ball Hockey Federation similarly as was its long-time president Domenico Di Gironimo, which later brought the birth of the new. This of course caused great resentment among ISBHF. However, we particularly interested in answers to questions about the organization of the World Cup in Toronto and Bratislava.

Recently causing a stir was the development of another World Federation, the WBHF. Why was it created?
"Turmoil? I think that only exists in the ISBHF, it really doesn't impact current ball hockey players. Quite the contrary, there will be more opportunities for competition at an international level. WBHF formed in the summer at Niagara Falls, Canada. It was a consequence of the USA not being satisfied with the ISBHF and its recent work, especially at the World Junior Championship, while in Canada there was a separation of the Ontario Ball Hockey Association, the strongest organization in the world, away from the Canadian Association, and my general dissatisfaction with the pace of development of the sport."

What is your response to the emergence of the ISBHF prohibition?
"It doesn’t matter that they have marked us as persona non grata and banned us go to ISBHF ball hockey events. I don’t think this is even worth commenting on. For me this announcement just provoked me to be even more active and do everything possible for the WBHF to become the world leader in the sport within three years. "

What is your relationship now with the Slovak Union hockey ball?
"Excellent (smile)!. SHbÚ body limits Slovak hockey and always will."

How do you feel about ISBHF banned you to participate in any events organized ISBHF?
"It's an honor. This step shows that we are winning the battle. Positive I see it. From Martin, Zilina Nitra, I have already been called (smile), and they share a curiosity of the ISBHF. I think ISBHF lost face and cast itself now as an unreliable and of little integrity on the world stage."

Are you not afraid that a similar step will be taken by the SHBÚ? Your "activity" in WBHF probably does not thrill them.
"No, I do not care. If it did, it would embarrass them even more than they already are. Conversations I have many friends from hockey ball, most members condemn their actions and find the ISBHF laughable. They cannot ban anyone from anything because they do not give anything to anyone. "

WBHF organizes World Ball Hockey in Toronto at the same time as ISBHF in St. Johns. It was the intention?
"No, it is the traditional time, and of no concern to us. For me, the ISBHF organization is dead. We'll go our own way and do not need someone to confront. We have a vision and goals and we focus on managing them. We are introducing a new World Championship for 3 +1 and change some of the rules, which are very necessary. We have also cancelled all annual fees for the National Federations because there is only a tremendous waste of money in the other organization, which we intend to avoid. "

Website WBHF states that the World Cup will participate with many countries, even India and Italy who were missing at the World Championships in Bratislava. Is it really true?
"I can confirm that the two countries are strong and will be in Toronto. In addition we expect new countries: Croatia, China, Korea, Japan and Serbia."

Many people have been asking about what choices as if they are not all just sort of B-choices?
"It's not. The very best will be in Toronto. Slovakia will be in Toronto also with a very strong team."

How then will work on the above-mentioned selection for Team Slovakia After all, it must still require some resources, focus, coach ... And it does not finance itself.
"Everything is prepared for the 30-member Slovak choice. Organizer also caters to us in terms of accommodation. Givova company even provides for all selections jerseys free. But there's more."

Who actually chooses Team Slovakia "an umbrella"? The Union will still have their choice in the St. John's.
"This is a moment in the solutions we are discussing. This question will therefore answer later."

Do you already have an idea of who will represent Slovakia in Toronto?
"He'll lead a professional coach and they will be choosing a very strong team."

WBHF also organizes the World Cup in a "small" Ball Hockey, ie 3 +1 system. Where was this idea born?
"Street Hockey 3 +1 has a great tradition in many countries, both played. Therefore also the way you say" small "deserves its hockey world championship. ISBHF this system has so far refused, we therefore decided to organize a World Cup debut in Bratislava with a tournament of 16 teams will participate in the senior category and 8 in the Masters category. Teams will come from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, China, Japan, Sweden, Finland, Canada, United States, India, Pakistan, Portugal and others, even Mexico. "

Is there so much interest in this type of WC?
"Of course, the cost will be reduced compared to conventional WC by about 70percent. Indeed, the tournament will be just nine or ten players per team, which are the three cars for travel, for European countries."

After quitting as the president SHBÚ have declared that you have quit Ball Hockey, what convinced you to return?
"I convinced Domenic DiGironimo and Chris Housser that Street & Ball Hockey needs guarantee of quality work. Adding Dampy Brar from India inspired me. The WBHF had recent success introducing the teaching of ball hockey at high schools in the Chinese city of Tianjin that has 15 million people. This is our first such success. I trust that others will come.


WBHF Releases Official Logo for the 2013 World Championships

  • Published in Events
  • Friday, 16 November 2012 18:28

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - The World Ball Hockey Federation released the ‘official’ logo of the 2013 World Ball Hockey Championships being hosted in Toronto, Canada the week of June 2-9.

Steve Rumsey, President of the National Ball Hockey Association of Canada, “we are proud to be hosting the 2013 event where ball hockey began in our country, Ontario and look forward to providing all participants, spectators and fans of this great game the best event that will ensure a lifetime of memories for everyone and build lasting friendships.”

The logo which incorporates the world class city of Toronto with the CN Tower and Rogers Centre silhouetted over the RED maple leaf.   An image on the lower left shows a player striking the ball and it opening up to the globe to the traditional orange ball.  The tournament slogan along the bottom, `WHERE THE WORLD UNITES’ gives us a perspective on the diversity and multicultural communities that make up this world class city and will welcome all of the players, their families and spectators.

For those interested in keeping up to date on things happening in the Canada’s largest metropolis and tips on all the exciting things to see and do while in the city, please visit Tourism Toronto to download the app which included easy-to-search comprehensive listings for events, dining, attractions and shopping.

To follow the information and updates leading up to the World Championship, you may now visit the

About the WBHF

The World Ball Hockey Federation primary objective is to promote the sport of ball hockey, also known as street hockey and dekhockey, and to foster its development on a global level in the various formats it is played in. Its focus will be more on the celebration of the sport through increased participation and its values of fairness, integrity and sportsmanship.

About the NBHAC

The National Ball Hockey Association of Canada is not-for-profit and is the official national governing body for ball hockey programs and organizations across Canada that are dedicated to the development of the sport from the grass roots level to the elite at its apex of competition.



Two Legends to Lead Slovakia to the World's

  • Published in World News
  • Tuesday, 09 October 2012 20:07

Slovak ball hockey legends Robert Kassa and Branislav Thron sign on as leaders of Team Slovakia for the 2013 WBHF World Championships in Toronto, Canada.  Team preparations are well under way.  WBHF Vice-President Jaroslav Melisek expects the Slovaks to field one of their strongest sides ever for the historic event in Toronto.


The World Ball Hockey Federation

  • Published in World News
  • Tuesday, 14 August 2012 20:32

The World Ball Hockey Federation has been recently founded in July, 2012. Its primary objectives are to promote the sport of ball hockey, also known as street hockey and dekhockey, and to foster its development on a global level in the various formats it is played in. Its focus will be more on the celebration of the sport through increased participation, with less regard to the politics of sport that sometimes hinders the values the WBHF holds dear: fairness, integrity and sportsmanship.

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