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Re: Age For Checking

I didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t miss the point, I was simply trying to point out if checking were eliminated from HS and below, some private enterprise will try and fill the void. I agree, risk is there but it will happen.

You are right about coaches not being well trained as I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ve experienced it myself with one of my middle kids. Coach didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t see the hit, kept rolling him out. After the game, first thing I started asking my son was about his head, balance, etc. because he was clearly not right for the rest of the game. Coach overheard me and asked \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"He hit his head?\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". Long story short, fairly severe concussion, season over, missed weeks of school and months of sports. Also he never played another game for that coach.

Here\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s an interesting side topic that I started thinking about in context with this question: What can be done to reduce the head trauma, short of eliminating checking?
Nothing outside of eliminating checking can dramatically reduce concussions in hockey. People are asking the same questions about tackle football and it is becoming readily apparent there is no magic solution.

I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m not saying checking should be eliminated. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m just saying it would be the only sure way of taking a majority of the risk out of the game. If you let your kid play hockey in bantams or above you have to assume some risk. It\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s called contact sports for a reason.
I respectfully disagree. You are never going to eliminate all the risk & I don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t want hitting taken out of the game. You will still have concussions from hitting heads on the ice, on the dasher, but I think the following \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"tweaks\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" would lead to fewer head injuries.

1) Enforce existing rules. Many a kid, especially 1st year Bantams lead with their arms vs. angling with shoulders. Every Bantam game I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ve seen players take an elbow to the head because the kid initiating contact instinctually raised his hands at the last second. Make it a \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"point of emphasis\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" if you will with officials. Hands come up, it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s a penalty, even if you didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t catch their head.

2) Reduce or eliminate the \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"finish\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" rule. Essentially make it, if the kid doesn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t have the puck, he\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s not eligible to be hit or withing one or two tenths of a second. What is essentially a 1 second rule has turned into 2 to 3 seconds. If you start calling interference or roughing on these hits, the kids will figure it out pretty quick and create fewer opportunities for the mistakes.

3) Go to \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"soft shell\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" only shoulder pads. You can keep the hard cap on the chest and back for protection but make the shoulder cap soft. When my kids don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t make the illegal check from #1, they tell me their barely feel the hit. No wonder, they are essentially wearing football shoulder pads at this point. Now imagine if it actually hurt when you skated 20 feet at full speed to blow that kid up.

4) Introduce hip checking in Pee Wee\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s. The hip check is an effective tool but a nearly lost art. Let the kids get proficient at this before they go all \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"all star wrestling\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" in Bantams. In fact, I think this plays nicely into the USA Hockey progressive body contact model and generally produces less force than the shoulder check. (Although this has a real potential to result in more knee injuries.)

5) Back to enforcement, start calling the charging, boarding, and elbows that didn\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t result in injury. It amazes me how if the kid lays on the ice, it\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s a penalty but if the kid pops back up, they just play on. In addition to calling them, make them 10 minute automatic game misconducts. If a kid ends up suspended for too many misconducts, I bet the coaches and parents stop saying \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"nice hit\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" and start teaching him.

6) Stop allowing crappy helmets to pass inspection. For example, the Bauer 4500 has been around for how many years yet is still readily available and worn far too often and has little ability to absorb the secondary hit of the head. Much like USA Baseball does with bats, start introducing some real and stringent testing with helmets. Warrior/CCM/Bauer: Here is the criteria you have to meet, don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t meet this, USA Hockey won\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t certify them and kids can\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t wear them. Permanent sticker on the back of the helmet that\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s easy to see..easy to enforce for on ice officials.

7) Start holding coaches accountable. If your team receives X number of game misconducts during a game, you are sitting a game. If it happens a second time you are suspended 20% of the season, third time you lose your certification for 1 year and have to attend on ice remedial training before being reinstated. I get it, town coaches are volunteers and club coaches aren\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t really getting paid much either & I sincerely appreciate all they do for the kids. However, they are the best line of defense and in my experience, either don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t know how to teach checking or just don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t care to.

Last and not least, a mandatory USA Hockey sanctioned clinic before the start of Bantom season that all players MUST attend before they can play a game. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m trying to give some love to the coaches.
You and your kid should not be playing hockey. If it doesn\\\\\\\'t work for you and your kid there are always street hockey leagues they can play in. If it\\\\\\\'s too physical for you and your kid, pick up a golf club. I\\\\\\\'m tired of listening to you snowflake and helicopter parents...

I have to wonder if you would hold to this opinion if your kid ever lost a good part of his season to a dirty hit?

(btw, we all know the answer to this)
Snowflake, it happens in the game of hockey and YES my kid has lost time because of it. He fully understands what can happen in a hockey game (good or bad). Now have your kid go pickup a golf club and take tennis lessons before he breaks a finger nail...
I bet you think the liberals want to take away your guns too, right? It's a common argumentative tactic when someone is either not intelligent enough to engage in a civil discussion or is forced to defend a ridiculous position. Fabricate a straw man argument by the opposition, and call it wimpy or un-American, to try and distract everyone from focusing on the real issue at hand. Good lord I'm tired of this tactic.
Buddy, give it a rest. Let's face it, your kid got lit up in a game and he was out for a while. Boo hoo. Happened to mine too...

Back to the original point.....checking should start at squirts....

Re: Age For Checking

Now that's the way to add value to a reasonable discussion! I mean why have a real conversation about tweaking the sport before USA Hockey steps in and removes hitting all together & fundamentally changes the nature of the game. No it's not going to go anywhere, but it's enjoyable topic. Any more than the original question of "what age should they start checking?" is going to go anywhere.

No my kids didn't get cut, yes my kids played and play "elite" hockey. My oldest played through HS (public than prep), my middle two currently play HS and I'm not a snowflake. It's an interesting discussion, I'm sorry you are too obtuse to follow along and limit yourself to the enriching topic of E9 vs EHF.

So please go back to your cash register and "No, I don't want fries with that!"

Re: Age For Checking

I read somewhere that it has to do with kids that went through puberty or have not gone through it yet. At the peewee level its a pretty big jump between a 111/12 year old and a 13 year old.

Kids necks are not developed enough before puberty to be able to support the head during an impact.

Look at Pop Warner football - Numbers are way down because parents do not want to risk there kids long term health.

Another issue is there is no baseline testing so whenever a kid gets rocked - goes to Dr - Dr will always say its a concussion to be on the safe side.

This past year in peewees my kid ran into another kid head on. My kid was not right for 3 weeks. Constant headaches, sensitive to bright light. It was a real eye opener as to how much an effect this had on him.

Yes hitting is eventually going to happen. Not really sure what the right answer is and there might not even be one.

The other issue is that the long term effects of hitting usually come way after your kid is done playing so its hard to correlate the cause.
If your kid recovered completely in three weeks you should consider him and yourself lucky. I know kids that lost 2+months.

A lot of parents are casual on this issue because they figure it will only happen to someone else's kid.

Re: Age For Checking

I read an article that Canada is thinking about only allowing checking to continue in Tier 1 level hockey. The argument was that Tier 1 players might continue playing the sport at a high level but Tier 2 and below is mainly for recreation and fun. Some of the Jr B leagues are blood bath leagues.