Prior to 1993, London Rep hockey teams, in fact all London teams except for Red Circle played in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA). For about five years preceding 1993, the OMHA was experiencing difficult relations with its Provincial governing body, the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and its National governing body, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association CAHA (now known as Hockey Canada).
Concurrently, a number of OMHA member associations, including London expressed concerns regarding poor organization and lack of communication within the OMHA. London was joined by Kitchener and Hamilton, which were the three largest associations in the OMHA, in expressing serious concerns regarding the direction the OMHA was taking and the "choice" the OMHA was forcing these associations to make. For London, the "choice" was having two AAA teams at each age and playing league games in the Niagara penninsula.
The situation came to a head in January 1993 when at a meeting of the OMHA involving some 80 delegates from 24 hockey associations, it became clear that the OMHA and the CAHA were at an impasse. The following month, the OMHA executive declined to participate in adoption of a constitution and by laws for the OHF and on February 19, 1993, the CAHA advised the OMHA that due to their position, the OMHA was no longer a member of the CAHA. A few months later, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and USA Hockey advised in writing that their teams were forbidden to play any games against Canadian competiton not sanctioned by the CAHA. This made the OMHA an "outlaw" league.
Hockey directors in London and other OMHA centres were concerned that this radical action would result in the OMHA being unable to compete against teams from Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Northern Ontario and Toronto along with U.S. and European teams. OMHA teams would also be unable to compete in Provincial and National Championships, or even friendship exhibition games. A reluctant decision was made by London, among others, to leave the OMHA.
A number of associations led by people committed to doing what they believed was best for their children met in Kitchener in June 1993 to work to form a new organization which would be affiliated with and fully sanctioned by the CAHA and OHF. On June 16, 1993, the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario (MHAO) was created with the "Original Six" members being:
Cambridge Minor Hockey
Greater London Hockey Association Inc.
Hamilton Minor Hockey
Kitchener Minor Hockey
Richmond Hill-Vaughan Kings Hockey Association
Waterloo Minor Hockey
Representing 15,000 players and officials
The MHAO now has 22 member partners, along with the OMHA Windsor Spitfires, who play in our AAA league. London Rep Hockey Association (The London Junior Knights) were known as the "Rebels" up until 1996 wearing Blue, Red and Gold colours. In 1996, an affiliation agreement was struck with the London Knights of the OHL upon which the name was changed to "Junior Knights" and the eggplant, teal and silver colours were adopted. In the spring of 2000, the GLHA and the LJK separated to each become full and distinct members of the MHAO.
In 2002, the Junior Knights changed their team colours to Forest Green, Antique Gold and Black in conjunction with the change made by the London Knights.
HOW WE FIT IN THE HIERARCHY OF CANADIAN HOCKEY
Hockey Canada is the governing body overseeing all aspects of ice hockey in Canada.
THE ONTARIO HOCKEY FEDERATION (OHF)
The OHF is one of three Ontario Branches of the Hockey Canada. It is by far the largest.
The OHF has seven member partners:
GREATER TORONTO HOCKEY LEAGUE (GTHL)
MINOR HOCKEY ALLIANCE OF ONTARIO (ALLIANCE)
NORTHERN ONTARIO HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (NOHA)
ONTARIO HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (OHA)
ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (OHL)
ONTARIO MINOR HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (OMHA)
ONTARIO WOMEN`S HOCKEY ASSOCIATION (OWHA)
Four of these associations deliver boys minor hockey. The champions in certain age groups face off in the OHF Championships in mid-April each year.
The London Junior Knights are a member of the ALLIANCE and are eligible to compete for the OHF Championships.
London Rep Hockey Association Inc. operating as The London Junior Knights, was awarded a direct affiliation with the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario at the Alliance meetings held in June 2000. Prior to this, the Junior Knights were one of seven member associations in the Greater London Hockey Association. The GLHA is also a direct member of the Alliance.