Due to confusion by some state agencies, and perhaps the victim of it's own sometimes overzealous rules, the state of Washington now has a bill clarifying the role of players for the Tri-City Americans and other Western Hockey League teams in our state.

Over the last few years, due to increased labor laws for youth under 18, and other factors,  some over-reactive Washington state officials actually began to question if the players were supposed to meet criteria applied to other teen-age workers; when it came to "jobs".

Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bill (Senate Bill 5893) that clarifies the role these players perform for the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans.  According to the Americans:

"Senate Bill 5893 further clarifies the status of WHL players as amateur athletes and non-employees. The signing of the Bill by Governor Inslee is the final approval required for the legislation to become law in the State of Washington. Previously approved by the bipartisan Senate and House of Representatives, the Bill concerned the status of amateur athletes and, now law, ensures WHL players will not be treated or defined as employees in the State of Washington."

The WHL has provided some of the best coaching, opportunities and experiences for these players during their years with the teams, but this move was done to clarify beyond any doubt where these athletes 'fit' when it comes to teenage "work" or employment.