Body Checking In Hockey

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Skating on two steel blades and chasing a black rubber biscuit, may not seem ideal to some. But to the people who love the sport of hockey this is just the base layer of the game. Over the past few years “body checking” has been a major topic of discussion in the hockey world. This discussion ranges from the National Hockey League to the Youth organizations around the world. In early 2011 there was a recommendation that was sent to the USA youth hockey organization stating “The sub committee recommends that a proposal be submitted to the Playing Rules Committee that delays full body checking until the 14 and under youth classification.” (USA hockey) They listed 2 major reasons for this rule change: to help improve the skill of the player and for the player’s safety. After this was released many people argued that it would change the game forever: that they were trying to change such a significant part of the game. Even though prescribing a body check rule into youth hockey programs might seem foolish to some, it is beneficial to the future health of these kids and their future careers as a hockey player. The number one reason …show more content…

This is where player safety comes in as a factor. Moving the body checking until bantams will provide the player with a full two more years for their body and brains to develop. This will allow the players better preparation to receive and give body checks. When speaking with coach Mallet over the phone he offered very good insight on player safety:
As coaches and as an organization we have been trying to prepare these kids for hitting. USA hockey had made it clear that since this rule change took place we have to teach our kids the proper technique on hitting. To make shoulder to shoulder contact every time and to not lead with their elbows or hit to the head. When I see a bantam player during practice or a game not hitting properly we pull them aside and reteach them.

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