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.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#151 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 08 2013, 05:55PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props
TigerUnderGlass wrote:

Except that you have the rationale entirely wrong for eliminating scores.

Removing hitting is about protecting children, eliminating scores is about allowing the kids to focus on developing their skills and teamwork without the distraction of keeping score for a few years. It has nothing to do with "hurt feelings". Kind of like how sushi chef trainees don't get to even touch fish for the first three years of their training. The idea that it's done to protect feelings is an invention of those who disagree.

In other words - one is only about safety, the other is a difference of opinion about how to teach kids a sport.

That's completely right.

There are definitely helicopter parents out there supporting both these things... but that's not the reasoning behind either of them and they are both quite different things.

It is only when we place these debates into the cultural panic blender that we get these kind of side-shows... which I need to stop encouraging by arguing against...

Avatar
#152 @Oilanderp
May 08 2013, 07:55PM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Hockey has hitting. Ringette does not.

I feel that the game as played in the NHL has eroded in quality. Eliminating the instigator went a long way toward this degradation. The result is a game where the outcome is largely determined by people who aren't even playing the game (officials, administrators, directors).

I am afraid that adjusting the game like this in peewee will further erode the game of hockey years from now.

I hope not, but I am afraid it will.

I'm sorry but I just wish those people who wish to change critical aspects of the game would just go play something else. Yeah, it's dangerous. Deal with it.

Don't ruin my game. I was here first. Go make your own! Call it ... mockey or something.

“Unbeing dead isn't being alive.” - e.e.cummings

Avatar
#153 @Oilanderp
May 08 2013, 07:58PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Go play mockey!

Avatar
#154 Reagan
May 08 2013, 08:01PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

Best news! My starts Peewee next year!

Avatar
#155 Tayranchula
May 08 2013, 08:04PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
2
props

Im not 100% in favour with this for this one and only reason.

When I played peewee thats when we learned how to protect ourselves from being hit. How to absorb the check etc. etc.. When I moved up to the next level I was very small (never hit puberty) and I was playing agianst kids that had already outweighed me by 30 pounds and had a couple inches. The only reason I wasnt sent in to the stand from a hit was learning how to take and give hits with kids the same size and the same maturity level as me.

I think there are going to be alot more injuries in older age groups because of this. The only way to get rid of injuries is to get rid of hitting which I dont like.

Avatar
#156 Quicksilver ballet
May 08 2013, 08:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
0
props

@Ducey

You believe in your rubbish, but don't write off mine so quick. This is ALL about money. Hockey Alberta just wants kids to play into their mid teens, hang onto the so-called dream for a few more yrs....... so parents like yourself can "Show dem the Money! for another 3 or 4 yrs.

On the other hand, I do feel for people such as yourself. Kids whom these rules weren't in place for. Hockey Alberta wasn't there for you and the brain injury you obviously did suffer. Were you even an Albertan 10 yrs ago, or are you another one of those nomads that go where the jobs are.....Quebecian drywaller perhaps?

Be it known to all of mankind, that from this day forward, the term Quebecian is now the pride of Alex Trebeks geographical terms.

Avatar
#157 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 10:53PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@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:

Avatar
#158 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 11:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

"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.

Avatar
#159 Gary Galante
May 08 2013, 11:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

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?

Avatar
#160 madjam
May 09 2013, 06:44AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

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 .

Avatar
#161 Reagan
May 09 2013, 07:01AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

@Quicksilver ballet

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!

Avatar
#162 Quicksilver ballet
May 09 2013, 07:39AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

@Reagan

Don't fool yourself. It has as much to do Hockey Alberta keeping enrollment numbers up province wide, as it does about this secondary safety concern.

Avatar
#163 Zamboni Driver
May 09 2013, 08:28AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
4
props

I am absolutely certain those worrying about the "P*ssification" of hockey (or whatever Cherry nonsense you want to spew) DO NOT HAVE KIDS.

Do this geniuses.

Remove the word "hockey player" from your vocabulary.

Try this one instead.

Children

These are 11 year old CHILDREN

Really think they NEED body contact being taught mostly by Dads who were too dumb not to stare longer at their shoes when they asked for more volunteer coaches?!

They're 11 year olds. Not hockey players.

Kids.

Get over yourselves.

Avatar
#164 madjam
May 09 2013, 08:33AM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

Is money destroying the sport side of hockey ? Fodder , from chasing the big money grab that is available in sports nowadays ?

Avatar
#165 mayorblaine
May 09 2013, 08:51AM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Props
1
props

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.

Avatar
#166 Tikkanese
May 09 2013, 08:51AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

@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.

Avatar
#167 vagmittens
May 09 2013, 09:18AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

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.

Avatar
#168 Romulus' Apotheosis
May 09 2013, 09:34AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props
Tikkanese wrote:

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.

I'm sorry if I belittled you, but I don't think I did. Nor do I think I'm losing an argument.

You don't appear to address the rationale for the development model anywhere in your posts.

I offered a series of links offering everything from a summary of the postion, the arguments pro and con and the studies that suggest it is a viable option.

The quote you are so invested in is from a parent. It is not from the author of the article or from the CSA.

I think it is completely natural that people would react to the ideas of LTPD negatively. Quoting a skeptical parent simply offers the article the foil of the general public's confusion and anxiety about the new model.

It is hardly evidence the model is faulty, or untested.

I also have no idea why someone so committed to the idea that x will produce y ignores all the evidence that x doesn't in fact produce y in all the cases known to have tried x.

Again... your final paragraph reveals you miss the point of what LTPD is aiming for. If you are going to argue against something you have to apply the principle of charity, i.e., that the person advocating a position both genuinely holds that position and that the arguments they offer are the ones that matter.

No where in the LTPD literature is there the idea that people "don't want to subject kids to the idea of losing." This is a complete straw man.

The idea is to de-emphasize score keeping (note this doesn't mean de-emphasizing scoring) and emphasize a process of skill building.

If you disagree with this fine. It is totally valid to challenge that model. But to make a mockery of the actual position you disagree with isn't to argue against it.

Avatar
#169 Tikkanese
May 09 2013, 10:54AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

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.

Avatar
#170 Zamboni Driver
May 09 2013, 11:55AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
0
props

Btw...to clarify.

Absolute heroes are the Dad's who volunteer to coach.

Avatar
#171 Quicksilver ballet
May 09 2013, 01:17PM
Trash it!
2
trashes
Props
0
props

Don't know about the rest of you guys, but when there's someone carted off on a stretcher at a game, I can't help but feel this is an added bonus. To see a guy getting wheeled off really enforces that "must really suck to be that guy right now" bonus element to the evenings entertainment.

Should hang a body bag below the scoreboard at Rexall with financial incentive to the player who provides the matter for said bag. Putting a guy through the glass into row 3 should be kept track of rather than shots on goal. Rollerball... Dog eat dog baby!

Avatar
#172 ChrisG
May 10 2013, 07:20AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

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!!

Avatar
#173 The Dipstick
May 15 2013, 11:01AM
Trash it!
1
trashes
Props
1
props

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.

Comments are closed for this article.