NO MORE BODY CONTACT IN PEEWEE HOCKEY

Jason Gregor
May 07 2013 11:45PM

A source told me tomorrow afternoon Hockey Alberta will announce that beginning next season there will be no more checking in peewee.

The email I received said, "Effective immediately checking will be removed from peewee hockey."

This doesn't come as a major surprise. They have been talking about this for a few years, and they have done studies comparing the amount of injuries in Alberta to Quebec where they don't allow checking until Bantam.

I know many kids have quit hockey when they reach peewee because they don't like checking, so this will likely keep more kids playing the game. That is great.

A concern will be that 13 year olds, first year bantam, are stronger and faster than first year peewees, so the potential might be higher with kids learning to check at 13 compared to 11.

I believe the biggest change has to come from coaching. I believe more amateur coaches need to be given better instructions so they can be better coaches. There needs to be a better formula so that volunteer coaches can instruct kids better on how to give and receive a check.

If more coaches are given better instructional tools, they can pass on that knowledge to their players. It benefits everyone.

I understand Hockey Alberta's decision to remove checking from peewee, but I'm not sure it will solve the injury problems. I think it might only delay them a couple of years.

Do you agree with this decision? Do you have kids who were afraid to play? As a coach do you feel you get enough instruction to teach proper checking techniques?

REMINDER...

We are ten days away from a great night. Jason Strudwick and Yukon Jack had some pretty damn impressive karaoke performances last night during the Oil Kings game. If that was any indication of how much fun our 12 finalists and  special "celebrity" guests will  have next Friday I'm jacked. May 17th, at On The Rocks is our King/Queen of Karaoke challenge.

Tickets are $25/each with 100% of the proceeds going to charity. And with your $25 ticket you get $50 in gift certificates from On The Rocks and Oodle Noodle. So you make money by supporting the cause. You can buy your tickets here. They will be sold out by next week.

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#51 Truth
May 08 2013, 12:49PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

I understand that hockey without hitting is less dangerous than normal hockey. The quotes touch on my earlier point of the size difference of kids playing each other, by this point players should be well-versed on how to play with contact involved. Instead it recommends no-hitting at all. If you don't want to die in a car accident, never get in a car.

What I want to see:

A: Contact in Peewee and forward

B: No contact in Peewee, contact in Bantam and forward

C: No contact in Peewee, no contact in Bantam, contact in Midget

Compare the total injuries in each case, if case C is 1/3 of case A, and case B is 2/3 of case A, there is absolutely zero benefit of delaying the introduction of hitting. My own belief is the injuries in case A would be highest in Peewee, case B highest in Bantam, and Case C highest in Midget. I would also argue that Case A would have injuries of the least severity (when compared to other actual injuries, not total quantity of injuries) due to the introduction of hitting while the players are smaller, slower, and weaker. Case C would have a high rate of severe injuries due to the larger, faster, and stronger players suddenly allowed to hit coupled with the fact that these players have learned for 10 years how to play hockey without contact in it and will be an easy target for those who now know how.

No-hit hockey is entirely different than normal hockey (contact involved).

Let's compare injuries in Tennis (no contact) to chess (also no contact).

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#52 Cody anderson
May 08 2013, 01:00PM
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I just heard they are removing keeping score in soccer up until they are 12 to avoid hurting kids feelings.

I would be interested in taking a poll to see how many people that are anti contact are also anti spanking and anti score keeping.

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#53 Lego
May 08 2013, 01:06PM
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I bet if you did a study you would find that injuries from bicycle accidents increase dramatically when training wheels are removed, should we mandate that kids under 13 must have training wheels?

Hockey is a physical sport injuries will happen, but I think the sooner body checking is introduced the better kids will be at keeping their head up and avoiding the big blow up hits. Ever wonder how a skinny kid like Gretzky or a runt like St Louis made it so far when the game was much more physical and dirtier than it is today?

I remember my son's first year peewee tryouts his friend who was the fastest player on the team had a habit of skating full speed with his head down up the middle of the ice. Us coaches had tried to break him of this habit since he started in novice but it fell on deaf ears. In the first try out scrimmage he got caught by a second year player with a huge but clean hit. Luckily he wasn't hurt and didn't miss a shift but he certainly learned the lesson that we had been trying to teach him for 4 years.

Had it been bantam instead of peewee where the size, speed and force would have been greater I'm not sure he would have escaped injury.

In Edmonton there has been an alternative for players and parents that don't want body contact for several years, it's called the NHL (no hit league) I'm not sure why we have remove the choice for all players.

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#54 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 08 2013, 01:16PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I just heard they are removing keeping score in soccer up until they are 12 to avoid hurting kids feelings.

I would be interested in taking a poll to see how many people that are anti contact are also anti spanking and anti score keeping.

You don't find it odd, I take it, that the countries that produce the best football players use this model?

It seems they have managed to maintain their competitive edge by developing fundamentals and leaving the parental desire for ego-victories at the door.

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#55 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 08 2013, 01:31PM
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Truth wrote:

@ Romulus' Apotheosis

I have!

They tell me that hitting in hockey causes more injury than no-hit hockey and that hockey causes more injuries than soccer. Big surprise! I don't see that as relevant to the introduction of hitting in hockey. What age is it best to introduce hitting into hockey? When the players are smaller and less severe impacts are probable, while they are still learning the game? Or when the players are larger and more sever impacts are probable, when the players have already learned how to play the game (incorrectly)?

You haven't.

All these studies recommend introducing hitting at an older age to reduce injury and long term effects of injury.

You simply don't accept these findings or aren't bothering to read them.

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#56 Tikkanese
May 08 2013, 04:20PM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Sports are sports. Scouts, band camp etc are not sports or even all that similar for that matter. Those however do all have tangible goals that require teamwork to achieve. Whether it is building camp, doing charity work together, winning a recital or whatever bands do, or simply practicing and eventually playing a song perfectly together just because. You can't do those things in sports. Executing a set play to score a meaningless goal doesn't mean anything to anyone.

You are failing miserably to explain how sports without keeping score has tangible goals or how it will teach using teamwork to achieve goals and all of those other good things. You are pretty much only trolling at this point.

YAY we each scored a goal or did our part in preventing goals! We all did our part; goalie, defence and forwards! We won the game/season/championship or saw and learned from seeing how the other team did all those things together properly and won! Wait, what? No we didn't because we don't keep score? It doesn't matter if the goalie Timmy saved the shot or not? YAY nobody lost so we are all winners!

YAY we all contributed and built this house properly and to code(because Health and Safety is keeping score) so this family can live a happy life! Wait, what? It doesn't matter if we tried? Doesn't matter if Timmy used glue instead of nails? Nobody's keeping score? We showed up and swumg hammers and did stuff aimlessly! YAY we are all winners, especially this family who owns the house!

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#57 Thinker
May 08 2013, 04:28PM
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It's stupid to ban hitting. I played minor hockey about 3 years ago, and I definitely feel that I was safer after having started hitting at a younger age. First of all the effects of concussions is overstated, as your average joe doesn't take the same number of head blows as a pro football player. And if we are scared of concussions, why wait until the kids are big and fast enough to cause damage intentionally. Bantam is the biggest size descrepency, as half the kids have hit puberty, and therefore it is the most dangerous. All the extra two years will accomplish is give the kids more time to get accustomed to skaing with their head down, and playing recklessly. At the younger levels, the big hits are the accidental collisions away from the puck, not those tied to hitting directly. I liken the situation to just giving a sixteen year old their liscence with having had a learners. Its stupid. The injuries in bantam will skyrocket, as the kid are thrown into the fire.

Plus there is a no hit league.

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#58 tileguy
May 08 2013, 05:04PM
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Cody anderson wrote:

I just heard they are removing keeping score in soccer up until they are 12 to avoid hurting kids feelings.

I would be interested in taking a poll to see how many people that are anti contact are also anti spanking and anti score keeping.

Were you spanked as a child? do you spank your children? Survival of the fittest, now eat your nails and get out there and drive somebody into the boards.

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#59 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 10:53PM
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@Jason Gregor

"A concern will be that 13 year olds, first year bantam, are stronger and faster than first year peewees, so the potential might be higher with kids learning to check at 13 compared to 11.

I believe the biggest change has to come from coaching. I believe more amateur coaches need to be given better instructions so they can be better coaches. There needs to be a better formula so that volunteer coaches can instruct kids better on how to give and receive a check.....

I understand Hockey Alberta's decision to remove checking from peewee, but I'm not sure it will solve the injury problems. I think it might only delay them a couple of years."

I can't believe a journalist does not do their research before posting absolute garbage. Here's some light reading for you Jason:

http://www.cps.ca/documents/position/bodychecking-ice-hockey

Excerpts listed below:

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#60 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 11:05PM
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"Bodychecking is the predominant mechanism of injury among youth hockey players at all levels of competition where it is permitted, accounting for 45% to 86% of injuries.[8][16]-[18] Several published studies, including two recent systematic reviews, reported on risk factors for injury (including bodychecking) in youth hockey.[19][20] Emery and colleagues conducted a systematic review of 24 studies and a meta-analysis including only studies which examined policy allowing bodychecking as a risk factor for injury. Policy allowing bodychecking was found to be a risk factor for all hockey injuries, with a summary incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 2.45 (95% CI 1.7 to 3.6). Furthermore, policy allowing bodychecking was found to be a risk factor for concussion, with a summary OR of 1.71 (95% CI 1.2 to 2.44). These data confirm that bodychecking increases the risk of all injuries and the risk of concussion specifically.[20] Nine of ten studies examining policy allowing bodychecking provided evidence to support a greater risk in bodychecking leagues.[20] The second systematic review found the RR of injury associated with policy allowing bodychecking ranged from 0.6 to 39.8; all but one of these studies found an increased risk of injuries associated with body checking.[19]"

Summary: Allowing body checking at ANY LEVEL of youth hockey increases risk for concussion. So skill level or age seem to be relatively insignificant in studies, and the mere presence of a policy of no body checking is currently the most effective proven way of reducing injury.

"Since the publication of these systematic reviews there have been five additional studies. A Canadian prospective cohort study compared injury rates between peewee ice hockey players in a league where bodychecking is permitted at age 11 years (Alberta) versus players in a league where bodychecking is not permitted until age 13 (Quebec).[21] During the 2007/2008 season, a validated injury surveillance system was used to capture all injuries requiring medical attention and/or time loss from hockey (ie, time between injury and return to play) in 2154 players. There was a threefold increased risk of all game-related injuries (IRR =3.26 [95% CI; 2.31 to 4.60]) and of injury resulting in >7 days time lost from sport (IRR=3.30 [95% CI; 1.77 to 6.17]) in 11- to 12- year-old peewee players from Alberta when compared with Quebec. There was also an almost fourfold increased risk of game-related concussion (IRR=3.88 [95% CI; 1.91 to 7.89]) in Alberta peewee players.[21] Further evidence was reported in a five-year cohort study (2002 to 2007) including all age groups, which demonstrated that injury risk increases 3.75 times (IRR=3.75 [95% CI; 1.51 to 9.74]) in leagues that allow bodychecking compared with those that do not.[22]"

Summary: Direct evidence in Alberta that we can protect peewee players better. I recently heard on CBC, through a psychologist who has been studying concussions in hockey, that there is roughly a 12% concussion rate in peewee hockey. That is not an insignificant proportion, and a 3-4 fold reduction by removing body checking is obviously a smart move, at least one that you can partly agree with.

"A second prospective cohort study by Emery et al examined whether the introduction of bodychecking at 11 years of age (Alberta) or 13 years of age (Quebec) affected injury rates in later years (at 13 to 14 years of age).[23] During the 2008/09 season, the same injury surveillance system cited above was used to study 1971 bantam players (13- to 14-year-olds). There was NO REDUCTION in game-related injury risk (all injuries) for this age group (IRR=0.85 [95% CI 0.63 to 1.16]), of concussion specifically (IRR=0.84 [95% CI 0.48 to 1.48]), or of concussions resulting in >10 days time lost from sport (IRR=0.6 [95% CI 0.26 to 1.41]) in the Alberta league, compared with Quebec. IN FACT, THE CONCUSSION RATE FOUND IN ALBERTA PEEWEE PLAYERS WAS HIGHER THAN IN THE BANTAM PLAYERS IN EITHER PROVINCE.[22][23]"

Sum: Evidence that quite frankly disproves your belief that inevitable injuries will only be delayed. The rate of concussions in peewee hockey in Alberta can be reduced substantially and in this age group it is apparent there is the most to gain by a no body checking policy. Effects of a concussion also seem to be most significant in the developing brain, so there is also a theoretical argument to attempt to delay brain injury from body checking.

"If more coaches are given better instructional tools, they can pass on that knowledge to their players. It benefits everyone."

I absolutely agree with you in principle. This is probably the most sense you make. But there is no evidence from studies that this makes a difference in outcomes in the more vulnerable younger players, and certainly nowhere near the evidence out there that supports an outright ban on body checking in earlier age groups.

Hockey Alberta got it right, and idiotic articles like this that cast doubt on a calculated and well-thought out decision only serve to misinform individuals as uneducated as yourself, and question the obvious merit in this brave but easy decision.

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#61 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 11:17PM
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One last point to those who think that body checking and hockey are inseparable (and this from a hockey fan) - If 12/100, or 1/8 of all peewee players in Alberta are suffering concussions during game play, this represents a significant burden to Albertans. So forget the "helicopter parent" taunts, this is a health issue that we must understand and advocate better. A concussion means the child must take complete mental rest until the symptoms have resolved. In some cases, significant symptoms last months or longer, and in the last year alone, I have seen many adolescents who have suffered terribly for this length of time, unable to last an hour in class without nausea, severe headaches, or unable to walk at times due to dizziness, or unable to concentrate on reading. Concussions often are disruptive to families, especially ones where parents cannot afford to take time away from work to look after their children.

And let me ask those who disagree with this policy a couple more questions to put this into perspective. Why does removing checking from peewee hockey make competitive hockey at a later age less enjoyable? And what percentage of peewee players end up playing competitive hockey as adults?

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#62 madjam
May 09 2013, 06:44AM
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When you watch a teammate die after being taught to spear an opponent as in football , you get a better perspective at how dangerous hits to the head are .Yes , eventually most are taught dirty tactics down the line somewhere , without being responsible for those hits and action /repercushions . What kid even at high school level does not try to please the coaches and inadvertently endanger themselves and the opponents ? Your responsible for your kids safety , as are the coaches , until such time as they are mature enough to make those educated decisions on their own . The kids need to be taught to be more responsible for their actions .

How to get back at an opponent(dirty tactics ) is far to prevalent in most sports -pressing the envelop . Taught and developed far to frequently . I want to see your kids enjoy the sport of hockey safely not be a victim of the cult of violence that infests the sport .

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#63 Reagan
May 09 2013, 07:01AM
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@Next up, is Connor McJesus.

What the hell are talking about? Living the dream for a little longer. I guess there isn't such a thing as good clean fun. Non contact high scoring sport is just as exciting as hitting in hockey. Posing this question is hitting exciting? Yes it is for those that carry the intelligence to hit properly, and learn properly to take a hit. Do you honestly believe a 11-12 year old child bears the intelligence to male those decisions and a split seconds notice? Most adults don't, unless they have been coached or trained for several years. Funny thing is that my child currently is moving from atom a to peewee next year and there are many kids out there that can't control the puck without looking down, and never mind dishing out or taking a open ice hit. Some kids are decent skaters and have watched them gingerly fight for a puck in the corner, barely keeping their balance, and not you send in a hit or two? I see nothing wrong with delaying hitting for a few more years, as it gives the stronger and weaker to develop their skills to maybe wanting to continue further. But to say this is a money grab, and is ridiculous!

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#64 mayorblaine
May 09 2013, 08:51AM
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is the instigator penalty discussion still a thing?

consider my mind boggled.

@Quick - that's an awful big spoon you have there. me thinks you like to stir a bit too much. interesting but off.

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#65 Tikkanese
May 09 2013, 08:51AM
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@Romulus' Apotheosis

Why do you feel the need to belittle constantly and put words in people's mouth's that were not there in the first place? I'm sorry you're losing your argument and you feel the need for smoke screens.

I simply asked you about 5 seperate times to elaborate and for proof and only one out of three articles that you finally presented barely broaches the idea of removing scorekeeping and talks about a lot of other ideas. I like the other ideas. They would all improve sports, especially the coaching training overhaul. Why not just implement most or all of the other ideas without completely changing the entire point of sports by remvoing scorekeeping?

I could care less about the opinion pieces. I could care less if these places are producing some of the best soccer players in the world still, that is completely besides the point.

"As you seem to elide it, I'll state it again" That article even states very plainly that they don't know if removing scorekeeping is doing a disservice or not. Why do you continue to ignore this?. It takes no genius or studies to know that scorekeeping helps teach all of the good things we want for the kids. Just because something is just one part of many good ideas does not mean that it is also a good idea or a necessary step in order to achieve what you are trying to achieve.

If you don't want to subject kids to the idea of losing but want them in physical activities have them take up running, cheerleading or synchronized swimming for show. Those can teach teamwork. Stop it with the removing of scorekeeping. It is a completely unnecessary step and completely changes sport. It is not a minor tweak.

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#66 vagmittens
May 09 2013, 09:18AM
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previous to 2003, peewee hockey was 12-13year olds, bantam hockey was 14-15 year olds, midget hockey was 16-17 year olds. so when contact was introduced, the kids were 13. this all changed in 2003 when the age groups got mangled and re-arranged. so to introuduce contact in bantam now (13year olds) isnt a big deal except for the fact that now the have 2 less years of experience in contact hockey and are 2 years closer to junior hockey without this experience. this problem is when the age groupe were realigned back in 2003.

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#67 Tikkanese
May 09 2013, 10:54AM
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Anyways,

Removing checking from Pee Wees will make it safer for that age group no doubt. So far from the small sample of evidence from Quebec it does not seem to increase concussions at the next level by much if at all. More time and data will prove that better either way.

I don't see why they don't have two streams of hockey at the checking level. That would keep even more kids playing the sport for longer. I know I would have kept playing longer if that was the case. There would even be the odd case of a kid playing a year or two of non contact then getting their growth spurt/confidence/skills/whatever was lacking, and switching to the contact league. Some kids get a late start in the sport and having contact coming at them in a mandatory way is not necessarily a good thing.

I also don't see why they don't look at seperating kids based on biological age instead of simply age whether there's checking involved or not. The accidental collisions I would think is safe to assume are a large contributer to injuries as well. If the kids are roughly the same size then injuries/concussions would be down from collisions be them accidental or not. Not to mention more years gaining teamwork skills etc from kids staying in the sport longer from lack of fear from playing with the bigger kids or whatever the case may be.

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#68 ChrisG
May 10 2013, 07:20AM
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Good job Hockey AB!! I've been reading a lot of commentary on multiple websites and I've been reading Hockey Alberta's information on concussions and risks. I have not found a single coherent, well thought out argument why PeeWee hockey should have body checking. None. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but opinions are jut opinions. They don't come with statistical evidence. There is mountains of evidence that checking should be banned. If we listened to opinions, we might still think the Earth is flat, we wouldn't be washing our hands with soap and we wouldn't be wearing seatbelts. Hockey Alberta, you may take a lot of heat for this decision, but don't cave. You made the right choice and a ton of parents applaud you for taking the lead!!

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#69 The Dipstick
May 15 2013, 11:01AM
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A big change has to come from the cult of machismo. I remember as a kid getting more props for laying someone out than for scoring a goal. Body checks cause an increase in fighting and other violent acts. Most fights I got into as a minor all were a result of the other team retaliating to a body check. There is no need for youngsters to get tainted by violence at such a young age.

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#70 book¡e
May 08 2013, 12:04AM
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Well, for every kid that plays the game, that's two fewer years where they face the risks of injury from body checking. As you noted, a comprehensive study comparing one option vs the other was used as evidence.

Looks like a solid decision to me.

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#71 The Oilers Shot Clock
May 08 2013, 12:08AM
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I remember the size/weight differance between kids being at its greatest in bantam. I'm a bit surprised at the peewee ruling. Hockey is an injury filled sport with or without the checking. Refs losing control of games was the biggest issue back in my peewee,bantam days.

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#72 Ryan2
May 08 2013, 01:01AM
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There is no clear cut answer to this issue. Granted, concussions were not monitored closely back when I played minor hockey not that long ago (who was not put back out when they had "their bell rung" to test things out and continued to play even though you were seeing spots and dizzy?), but as a coach of a Novice age player now I would rather have kids learn how to both deliver and take a hit properly from the get go. The earlier they start the better, IMHO, as the kids are so fast now thanks to power skating but they still think/react like a normal 6, 7 or 8 year old.

Watch any higher level Novice game and you will see a number of accidental collisions that could be avoided if the kids were more aware of where they were on the ice and protecting themselves. More importantly, there are several intentional body checks (we played against two teams where the coaches encouraged it) each game that are not usually called by the refs and result in players being hurt/injured.

Look at youth football as an example. They start teaching hitting and receiving a hit techniques from the get go. Heck, in Europe they even teach kids how to "tackle" properly for soccer from an early age. There is a technique to both giving and taking hits properly, as well as recognizing when you or your opponent is vulnerable and easing up, and the earlier the proper fundamentals are drilled into the kids the better the outcomes will be.

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#73 TheGunnShow
May 08 2013, 01:14AM
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@Travis Dakin

No. It isn't.

Try being 5'10 at 11 years old and getting penalties because some 4'7, 65 pound kid runs into you.

I lived it. It wasn't fun. It wasn't a joke.

Being a child and sitting in the penalty box (sometimes multiple times a game) because of your size isn't a good thing. Especially when all you wanted to do was play the game.

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#74 The Oilers Shot Clock
May 08 2013, 02:25AM
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Looking back at what we got away with. Rock fights, bikes with no helmets, cars with no childseats. I used to sleep on the top bed of the camper while we went on road trips. Like a loaded torpedo in a chute.

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#75 Curcro
May 08 2013, 04:16AM
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I am of the opinion that there needs to be both.

In a place like Alberta where there are opportunities to play, there is nothing wrong with running checking leagues for those that want it, and non-checking leagues for those that don't.

Then you put a bit more time and effort into the contact leagues, with more experienced referees and better training on contact.

Half the injuries when learning to hit, are because the players don't know how to take a hit. I remember playing a team, that had an injury literally every 2 minutes because they didn't do contact in practice.

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#76 Fresh Mess
May 08 2013, 05:45AM
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Long overdue. I've been hearing psychotic dads ranting about "good clean" hits to their kids for decades. It is often an obvious code for "put him through the boards".

It's supposed to be about fun, fitness, and sportsmanship.

If you want to teach your kids controlled violence put them in boxing.

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#77 Cody anderson
May 08 2013, 06:05AM
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I hope to god this report is wrong.

I have coached, and I have a son that is second year atom. Most of the kids have been looking forward to and talking about contact for many years.

Granted there are a few that are scared of their first year of contact, but it really seems like the minority. I would have no issue with them introducing a non contact league or deciding the lowest 3 divisions in the league would be non contact.

The percentage of kids getting hurt in their first couple years of contact hockey will sky rocket. At bantam age kids are bigger, stronger, faster and quite often not as innocent. Peewee kids generally hit to seperate another kid from the puck. There are more kids in Bantam that hit with bad intentions.

This is also another attempt to change our game. To reduce contact and reduce fighting in Bantam, Junior, and professional hockey.

Leave the game alone!

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#78 Cody anderson
May 08 2013, 07:31AM
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K_Mart wrote:

I agree that house league shouldn't have hitting. For kids who are only playing for fun there is no need.

Also, with teens developing at such varying rates, hitting in rep leagues should be introduced earlier when there isn't a huge gap in size between the youngest smallest kid and the oldest and biggest kid. Furthermore, hockey leagues from novice to bantam should be divided better as far as age is concerned. Ever wonder why 80% of NHLers were born between January and April?

If you're a January baby you probably remember how dominant you were in second year atom or second year novice. And if you're a December baby I bet you remember struggling in first year novice and first year atom. The difference between a 12yr old and a 9 yr old is dramatic and I'm sure the prospect of being hit by a 6'0 180lb enigma when you're only 4'8" 100lbs is quite intimidating.Not only that, but the other guy has already had 365 extra days to practice hitting.

Bottom line is that hitting should be introduced earlier when there isn't such a huge variety in size between peers, and only in the rep leagues(A AA and AAA). The leagues can minimize size variation between peers by having hockey cutoff dates be only one year apart instead of two. Currently there is a 3yr gap between second year January babies and first year December babies.

This is a nice idea in theory. The problem with it is your grinders, checkers, and role players are not usually the players that made the rep leagues early on. My first year making a AA team was in bantam. I was the hardest worker on every team I was on and a good penalty killer.

The problem is at the younger ages a lot more emphasis is put on puck skills which I did not develop until later on.

If I was not allowed to hit until Bantam there is a good chance I would have never made that team and never developed into a good role player.

Why not make it an entirely different sport. Have contact hockey, and if there is enough call for it start a non contact league.

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#79 Cody anderson
May 08 2013, 07:39AM
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K_Mart, for the record my son was born December 28th.

3 days later and he would be in a different league.

It made a huge difference his 1st year as he played with and against all 2nd and 3rd year players. He was one of the smallest, slowest weakest players out there.

There is still a noticable hight difference between him and a lot of the kids, but he certainly holds his own in the corners and along the boards.

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#80 clyde
May 08 2013, 07:42AM
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Travis Sarvas wrote:

Body contact should be introduced earlier, not later! If you grow up playing full contact you will be better equipped to dealing with checking throughout your playing career, As opposed to getting a wake-up call in Bantam! Big, hormone fuelled teens given the go ahead to try checking for the first time.. great plan. Like you mentioned, give the coaches the proper tools. Teach the players to play heads up, and to properly take a check. Teach the players that checking is for removing a player from the puck, not for revenge. The earlier they learn that, the better!

You make some very good points. I am coaching our PEE WEE Major AA team as my son moves into 1st year. We have been introducing removal from the puck concepts, rolling off checks and driving through since 1st year atom to prepare the kids. We do need more education as right now a coach only need an 8 hour hitting course that really is not enough. If it is removed, I will adjust and keep the skill of puck removal as part of my on going developmental plan in order for these kids to be ready in a further 2 years.

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#81 Archaeologuy
May 08 2013, 07:55AM
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I fall in line with the Pro Hitting camp, but I understand why some would want it out. Some kids at that age are Man-Children and some look like twigs. That said, Hockey is a Contact sport. Period.

I would love to see a stream where parents could put their kids into and know that it's safer, but I also think there should be one where kids learn how to play the actual game that includes contact.

I wouldnt put my son or daughter into a Contact sport and be upset when one gets injured, but maybe I'm weird that way.

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#82 oliveoilers
May 08 2013, 07:59AM
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Ok, so it's likely that checking will be banned in pee-wee. I would still like to see it coached however. Just the basics of taking a check, when to give a check and what to absolutely not do when checking. Kids still get train-tracked, so teaching them to lessen the impact can't hurt for those unavoibable collisions. Clean checking is a part of hockey. All those people saying "bigger kids put me out of hockey".....well maybe hockey at a high level wasn't for you. I love rugby but am aware that my size puts me at a disadvantage. I still enjoy it from the sidelines, and playing at a very amatuer level. Having an astronaut suit doesn't make you an astronaut.

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#83 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 08:27AM
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Cody anderson wrote:

This is a nice idea in theory. The problem with it is your grinders, checkers, and role players are not usually the players that made the rep leagues early on. My first year making a AA team was in bantam. I was the hardest worker on every team I was on and a good penalty killer.

The problem is at the younger ages a lot more emphasis is put on puck skills which I did not develop until later on.

If I was not allowed to hit until Bantam there is a good chance I would have never made that team and never developed into a good role player.

Why not make it an entirely different sport. Have contact hockey, and if there is enough call for it start a non contact league.

They can start hitting as early as they want in rep leagues. Taking and delivering hits are the EASIEST thing to learn. The bigger kids like you and I were would be just fine if we were introduced later. If a coach put you on a rep team because you were a good "grinder" then I'd wager he didn't make it far as a coach. Hockey skills first.

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#84 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 08:31AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

I never heard of anyone quitting hockey because of hitting while I was growing up. Sounds to me like the parents are the ones that are scared.

That's a huge part of it. You're still thinking old school. Old timey hockey. But talk to a lot of parents with kids who aren't on hockey and ask them why. I'll bet that many will cite fear of injuries due to hitting their kid as the reason.

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#85 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 08:33AM
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I just don't understand people, hitting isn't necessary. Let kids develop hockey skills and have fun. Those that want to hit, play rep. That's where it's more competetive and has a place. Check your egos and cool the testosterone a bit there boys.

God, I used to try to injure guys because I was big, it looked awesome and impressed my buddies.... And because I was an immature, testosterone filled moron. I look back now and just can't see what value that ever had. I should have been working on my hands and learning how to play better defensively.

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#86 the yak
May 08 2013, 08:39AM
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A couple of my best friends are from BC. They grew up playing hockey where hitting is introduced in Bantam, and we have had several conversations about hitting. They both like the Alberta system better. Why should we introduce the physical game when kids are much stronger and faster. It's Chaos, and kids do get hurt more.

People who played in BC have the gift of hindsight in regards to this idea, and most will tell you hitting should be introduced as soon as possible. Not after these boys gave grown another 2 years. Bantam players are too fast too strong to be learning how to give and more importantly take a hard check.

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#87 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 08:42AM
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the yak wrote:

A couple of my best friends are from BC. They grew up playing hockey where hitting is introduced in Bantam, and we have had several conversations about hitting. They both like the Alberta system better. Why should we introduce the physical game when kids are much stronger and faster. It's Chaos, and kids do get hurt more.

People who played in BC have the gift of hindsight in regards to this idea, and most will tell you hitting should be introduced as soon as possible. Not after these boys gave grown another 2 years. Bantam players are too fast too strong to be learning how to give and more importantly take a hard check.

Because they are playing for fun! It's friggin house league. Let the actual good hockey players hit. The ones in rep.

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#88 YFC Prez
May 08 2013, 08:43AM
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Oh and I also like the idea of no hitting leagues. I was a big kid and I quit in Pee wee cause I didn't like the pressure checking added to my game. Hitting was no fun for me and I quit playing. So I guess add contact as early as possible or not at all.

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#89 Harlie
May 08 2013, 08:45AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

I just don't understand people, hitting isn't necessary. Let kids develop hockey skills and have fun. Those that want to hit, play rep. That's where it's more competetive and has a place. Check your egos and cool the testosterone a bit there boys.

God, I used to try to injure guys because I was big, it looked awesome and impressed my buddies.... And because I was an immature, testosterone filled moron. I look back now and just can't see what value that ever had. I should have been working on my hands and learning how to play better defensively.

My parents wouldn't pay for me for Pee Wee Rep so I had to play House League even though I could have made a rep team. I was a smaller guy and had good wheels and balance and was a big hitter and I enjoyed taking guys out much bigger than me.

Last game in the last tourney of the year, in Pee Wee. There was a Dustin Nielson type of giant on the opposing team defence. I used to get a lot if breakaway goals from rushing the defence man and blocking his shot in my pads and I was off to the races. I was able to force the giant into a couple turnovers but near the end of the second he started wishing up and side stepping me at the last second.

The voice in my head from my coaches was "if the guy is bigger than you, go low as you can and hit below the waist." So I'm taking my run at the giant, and instead of flamingoing for the puck in my shins I dive head first at his legs and make huge contact on the the quad of his leg that we had all his weight on with my right shoulder.

I bounced off the giants leg like it was a rubber band and it was a yard sale with him and me both rolling on the ice. Me, my shoulder, him his leg.

So get back to the bench and try to shake off the pain and my shoulder blows up like a balloon.

Long story short, 4 hour operation later with a pin in my shoulder and it in a sling for all of the summer and my parents (mostly Mom) said that my paying days were over.

Then I discovered beer..

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#90 Archaeologuy
May 08 2013, 08:45AM
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@FireguyD3

Good job on your first post. Hope to see many more!

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#91 BigOil
May 08 2013, 08:48AM
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@Travis Dakin

You and people like you are the ones ruining the game of hockey.

You probably want to give them medals just for showing up too.

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#92 book¡e
May 08 2013, 08:50AM
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The theory about 'learning to hot while young' was disproven by studies comparing leagues that follow different rules. 'Saw it good' does not stand up to the facts when tested.

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#93 mayorblaine
May 08 2013, 08:53AM
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@Travis Dakin

agreed. good points.

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#94 Reg Dunlop
May 08 2013, 08:55AM
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'Oh $hit! Its pee-wee hockey, not the NHL! I think I screwed up again.' Kevin Lowe.

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#95 slats432
May 08 2013, 08:58AM
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Interesting point that I agree with Travis. I coach Peewee, and there are devastating hits. Many of them taken by larger players on smaller players because of the advantage.

I saw several concussions this year, and if they take it out this year, my son, who is a great hitter, will actually have a distinct disadvantage by this rule. I support it.

Hitting should be for the highest level, because the players should be more aware, better skaters, and more able to have it a part of their game.

I have seen kids quit or not even play hockey because of the style of sport/hitting.

There is no right or wrong answer because I played to Junior, and was fine with hitting. As a hockey parent and coach, I endorse this decision.

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#96 Eddie Shore
May 08 2013, 09:00AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Because they are playing for fun! It's friggin house league. Let the actual good hockey players hit. The ones in rep.

This is not a house-league only issue though.

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#97 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 09:02AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Parents are scared little Johnny is going to get hurt. If Johnny and his friends were taught how to properly hit from day 1 would it not seem to reason that the kids would be more properly prepared to give and receive checks?

You apparently forget what it like to be a kid. Or perhaps, I was the only kid who valued destroying another kid, to look awesome in front of my peers, over other kid's safety.

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#98 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 09:05AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

This is not a house-league only issue though.

It should be. Taking it out of peewee is an early step in the long, slow process of people finally catching up to the scientific facts. Head injuries=bad.

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#99 Travis Dakin
May 08 2013, 09:15AM
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Eddie Shore wrote:

Taking hitting out of PeeWee will only shift the injuries to a different age group. This is an attempt at a bandaid fix, not a solution.

Eventually, hopefully, it will be taken out of all house leagues.

http://www.ucalgary.ca/knes/news/bodychecking

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#100 Eddie Shore
May 08 2013, 09:17AM
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Travis Dakin wrote:

Eventually, hopefully, it will be taken out of all house leagues.

http://www.ucalgary.ca/knes/news/bodychecking

I have no issues with it being eliminated from house leagues.

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