We have been teaching the boys to engage players physically as they enter the zone to get them to surrender the puck. The puck is then collected by the supporting defensive player along the boards. This can now be construed as a penalty, by some officials, yet still meets the mandate of making a play on the puck. This is a 2 player system that has worked for decades without increasing the risk of injury.
The competitive contact rule isn\'t terrible in concept but the inconsistency throughout the rinks is a problem. I understand the kids will learn the game but for those that are U14 and above their time has passed for this. They should have been \"grandfathered\" through this new rule change including the automatic offside - which is the most ridiculous rule implemented to date.
If the player engaging the offensive player isn't attempting to play the puck first, it is a penalty and has technically been a penalty for the last four years. At least in the clinics I attended, "play on the puck" was interpreted as the engaging player is using his stick to play the puck first, so stick on puck before contact. Any contact that doesn't include an engaging player at least attempting to get the puck before contact should be deemed as a penalty. I know in speaking to others, depending on who was running their clinic, this message differed or as one partner told me "I've called checking the same way for over 10 years and I'm not changing now". I haven't attended a clinic in two years so it's quite possible they've rectified the messaging issue. If not, it certainly is one of the reasons you will see inconsistency, that and I'm guessing at least 50% of the officials haven't attended a seminar or watched the required modules yet for this season. It's still early so if you are coaching a FS team, hopefully you'll start to see consistency with calls in the coming month or so.
Both officials and coaches are in a tough position with the last two sets of rule changes with regarding contact. For most players, their next step in hockey should be high school teams. Nothing in these rules is preparing Bantams for high school or preparing Midgets trying to step up to varsity. In theory, finishing a check is now a illegal at all youth levels but required in varsity hockey. In the NHL you have roughly one second after a player moves the puck to finish, in high school MIAA officials use a sundial. What will get you five minutes and a game in a U-16 game will garner high fives and "nice job" from your varsity coach. So do you coach to prepare the kids for the next step or to altered rules? The same question can be asked of the officials.
As for no tag up, the most unnecessary rule change I've seen implemented in years. It's amazing how much this one rule change has really had a negative effect on pace of play.
^^^^^Excellent post. As a U14 coach I am going to continue to develop my players for high school. If they take penalties then so be it. We will work through it.
So I've read about the new rules and seen some games with the no tag offsides, icing on PK, and increased scrutiny of checking/body contact. Went to the USA Hockey site to double check the coaching requirements. I've been Level 4 with all modules for a very long time now and had background registration and Safesport up to date. Just came across where Level 4 & Level 5 coaches now have to take CE classes. I've had enough. That was supposed be a LIFETIME certification. More fees, more money, that's all this is about.
Coaching a freaking hockey team should not require as many or more certifications, background checks, CE classes, and requirements than being a freaking lawyer or carrying some other professional degree. 99.9% of us are volunteers who don't make a dime off this. Oh, but I noticed CEP Instructors and NTDP coaches are exempt from paying registration fees. How nice for them.
I am so sick of USA Hockey at this point. Rule change after rule change for the sake of making rule changes. Milking us dry in registration and certification fees. When AAU or USPHL or some other entity takes over youth and junior hockey in this country I will not shed a tear for USA Hockey because they will have done this to themselves.
"Coaching a freaking hockey team should not require as many or more certifications, background checks, CE classes, and requirements than being a freaking lawyer or carrying some other professional degree."