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Captcha
09-09-2012, 06:07 PM
I have a character who plays in the Ontario Hockey League, for a team based in Canada. He's seventeen years old, and has been in the league since he was fifteen. He gets a scholarship (one year of tuition paid for every year he's in the league) and a weekly stipend, as well as having his room and board covered. This is all pretty standard (except for starting as a fifteen year old, but he was almost sixteen so I'm pretty sure it's allowed), but I'm wondering...

How much control do his parents have over his career? I assume they're the ones who sign the contract for him, since he's underage... would he have any legal say, short of trying to become an emancipated minor?

What happens when he turns eighteen? Is the previous contract automatically void and he has to sign a new one?

What about his agent? He's an NHL prospect, so I'm pretty sure an agent would be almost automatic, but I'm assuming that the agent wouldn't be getting much/any money from the jr. contracts. So if the player (or his parents) sign with an agent for his under-eighteen time, and then the player decides to chose a different agent once he turns eighteen, and that second agent gets the benefits of the NHL contract, does the first agent have any recourse?

If the first agent was out-of-pocket (he's leased a vehicle for the player's father, and made other perks available) is he just out of luck? Would he have standing to sue the father, or would that depend on the terms of the contract they signed? Are there standard terms for these contracts?

Thanks for any help, and please let me know if I'm totally off-track or missing anything important.

cornflake
09-10-2012, 04:04 AM
I have a character who plays in the Ontario Hockey League, for a team based in Canada. He's seventeen years old, and has been in the league since he was fifteen. He gets a scholarship (one year of tuition paid for every year he's in the league) and a weekly stipend, as well as having his room and board covered. This is all pretty standard (except for starting as a fifteen year old, but he was almost sixteen so I'm pretty sure it's allowed), but I'm wondering...

How much control do his parents have over his career? I assume they're the ones who sign the contract for him, since he's underage... would he have any legal say, short of trying to become an emancipated minor?

What happens when he turns eighteen? Is the previous contract automatically void and he has to sign a new one?

What about his agent? He's an NHL prospect, so I'm pretty sure an agent would be almost automatic, but I'm assuming that the agent wouldn't be getting much/any money from the jr. contracts. So if the player (or his parents) sign with an agent for his under-eighteen time, and then the player decides to chose a different agent once he turns eighteen, and that second agent gets the benefits of the NHL contract, does the first agent have any recourse?

If the first agent was out-of-pocket (he's leased a vehicle for the player's father, and made other perks available) is he just out of luck? Would he have standing to sue the father, or would that depend on the terms of the contract they signed? Are there standard terms for these contracts?

Thanks for any help, and please let me know if I'm totally off-track or missing anything important.

No, his parents don't sign for him, you enter into a contract with anyone, you sign it, unless you're talking about a baby or tiny child or what have you. Parents can cosign (though it's not really binding) but a teenage player is just signing his own contract, I'd wager.

Minors can enter into contracts, they just generally have an ability to void them (though in some cases the parties could claim they'd have to be restored)

No, an agent isn't automatic, especially in hockey. Plenty of players don't have agents, or have family as agents or whatever.

However, assume he does have an agent - his agent is getting the same money from a jrs contract as from any other; they take a percentage. The reason an agent wants to sign a kid is because they think it's an investment. If anyone switches agents, depends on what was in the contract/what was promised.

The tuition thing strikes me a very odd though, as does room an board - tuition to what, where? If he wanted to go to college, why would he be in the OHL?? Isn't he billeting?

Captcha
09-10-2012, 10:03 AM
No, his parents don't sign for him, you enter into a contract with anyone, you sign it, unless you're talking about a baby or tiny child or what have you. Parents can cosign (though it's not really binding) but a teenage player is just signing his own contract, I'd wager.

Minors can enter into contracts, they just generally have an ability to void them (though in some cases the parties could claim they'd have to be restored)

No, an agent isn't automatic, especially in hockey. Plenty of players don't have agents, or have family as agents or whatever.

However, assume he does have an agent - his agent is getting the same money from a jrs contract as from any other; they take a percentage. The reason an agent wants to sign a kid is because they think it's an investment. If anyone switches agents, depends on what was in the contract/what was promised.

The tuition thing strikes me a very odd though, as does room an board - tuition to what, where? If he wanted to go to college, why would he be in the OHL?? Isn't he billeting?

I think the tuition thing is a backup plan - I'm sure most players in the OHL dream of the NHL, but most of them don't make it, so... they get to go to any school in Canada and the OHL team will pay for it. It's standard in OHL contracts, I imagine as a way to compete with the 'Big US School' option for young players. And, yes, the character is billeting, but the billet family gets paid. Not a lot, apparently, but whatever it is comes from the team, not the player.

Thanks for the information about minors - seems a bit unfair, really, but I guess there needs to be some way to keep continuity in the players' careers.

cornflake
09-10-2012, 11:55 AM
I think the tuition thing is a backup plan - I'm sure most players in the OHL dream of the NHL, but most of them don't make it, so... they get to go to any school in Canada and the OHL team will pay for it. It's standard in OHL contracts, I imagine as a way to compete with the 'Big US School' option for young players. And, yes, the character is billeting, but the billet family gets paid. Not a lot, apparently, but whatever it is comes from the team, not the player.

Thanks for the information about minors - seems a bit unfair, really, but I guess there needs to be some way to keep continuity in the players' careers.

Ohh, okie, I gotcha now. I didn't know what you meant, as your theoretical person was 15 originally, so I thought you may have meant boarding school or ... :Shrug: (that was also my 'room and board' thing, as I'd not call it that? I mean the family gets a stipend but I dunno of it being in the contract that the kids signs as room and board, if you see what I mean) and in my experience, generally kid who want college just come on down, regardless of the hedge, heh.

Why is it unfair?

A parent will need to sign other things just btw - like various waivers, permissions, etc., for like, someone to be able to make medical decisions, etc.

Captcha
09-10-2012, 12:32 PM
Just unfair that a kid could be saddled with a contract that doesn't work for him.

My character's agent is a bit of an ass, pushing too hard, nagging all the time, etc. - he's not a bad agent, but he's a pretty bad person. But the agent and the dad got along really well, and that's why the kid signed with him. So it works for me that the kid won't be able to automatically ditch the guy when he turns 18 because I want the player to have to learn to stand up for himself and demand respect, but in the real world I can see a kid letting himself be pushed around for a long time, stuck with an agent that he chose when he was too young to know better.

Maryn
09-10-2012, 05:18 PM
I'm not a lawyer, nor Canadian, but in the US, such a kid could not enter into a contract. Minors cannot enter legally binding contracts, whether it's for sports or a lease or self-publishing. If and only if he is an emancipated minor--and the courts will not usually grant such status for the minor to pursue sports or entertainment careers with contracts the parents will not sign--can he enter into contracts.

Like I said, though, that's in the US.

Maryn, who sleeps with a lawyer

cornflake
09-11-2012, 10:04 AM
I'm not a lawyer, nor Canadian, but in the US, such a kid could not enter into a contract. Minors cannot enter legally binding contracts, whether it's for sports or a lease or self-publishing. If and only if he is an emancipated minor--and the courts will not usually grant such status for the minor to pursue sports or entertainment careers with contracts the parents will not sign--can he enter into contracts.

Like I said, though, that's in the US.

Maryn, who sleeps with a lawyer

Your 'legally binding' is the coda I inclued though. They can and do sign contracts, they're just able to void them, though parties can seek restitution.

You're saying it like you mean they're not legally able to sign contracts?

Maryn
09-11-2012, 07:47 PM
My understanding is that minors can sign anything they want, but no authority exists for anyone to enforce the terms of such a contract, so they might as well not have. It can go both ways--the kid can refuse to play, or the team can refuse to pay, because there's no binding contract in place.

I don't know, do those who would profit from the skills a minor has in sports or entertainment get the kids to sign, hoping the kids don't learn they're under no legal obligation to fulfill the terms of the contract? I would not be even mildly surprised if that's how it plays out.

Maryn, who doesn't think all that highly of humans

Duncan J Macdonald
09-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Here's a link to a similar situation in real life: OHL's Otters sign 15-year-old McDavid to contract (http://www.tsn.ca/chl/story/?id=398807)

I expect that you could contact TSN (Total Sports Network) and ask your question there.