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05-12-2013, 11:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Hockey Alberta Gets It Wrong


The decision to remove body contact from pee wee is wrong. Although fostered with the right intentions, ie) player safety, this is not the solution. The solution is to introduce angling, board safety/awareness, receiving/giving a check at the atom level. In fact I introduce these elements at novice. There is an obligation on coaches to ensure their players at atom have the physical and mental capability to play contact hockey with confidence. This only happens when players have the proper instruction. This should not be left to introduce at the bantam level. With the greatest variations in size and weight occurring at bantam there surely will be a spike in injuries in AB because of this or there will be a drop in enrolment. The real solution is enhance non contact hockey leagues and provide an option.

What concerns me the most is this decision was made by adults on behalf of kids. Many many kids enjoy contact (legal) hockey. Put the effort into enhancing clinics for coaching and retaining quality coaches who can teach this aspect to kids in a safe manner. I have run many hockey camps, coached a fair share of elite athletes and you would not believe the amount of kids playing contact at pw, bantam and midget who can not hold their body weight in a push up position longer than 5 seconds. That is what is dangerous. Kids with little to no core body strength and these same parents expect me to teach their child at 14 how to body check. You can't put the cart before the horse. You require body strength. Then when you tell the parent their child is not physically in shape to safely play contact hockey, they are mortified and appalled. I think a greater degree of education and awareness is the answer. Alberta got it wrong, SHA don't follow their lead.

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