Hockey Alberta Eliminates Body Checking at the Pee Wee Level
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05-15-2013, 04:02 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Detroit, MI
Interesting. As noted USA hockey implemented these changes over a year ago, I suppose this is a trend that parents/coaches and even Mike Milbury endorse.
I'm on the fence with this. On one hand I can see giving children the freedom to develop their skills without fear of annihilation. Checking later or not at all could be more fun for ones who are not physically agressive.
The older-school side of myself is saddened by the changes. It is(always was) a mean, rough, physical sport. Without checking you'll have more Pee-wee's thinking they can dangle/deke, watching the puck, admiring their pass, until they finally get laid out in Bantam. I don't see how checking could distract from all the other basic skills needed for ice hockey. One idea is that we should learn body checking in Pee-Wee, when youths are slower, so that once you're 13 you have a basic idea of what's coming at you.
In my time body checks were the #1 aspect of the game. Watching a lot of OHL hockey shows that not a lot has changed, just the skill underneath the huge, rocking, open ice checks. It makes for less offense, but it keeps hockey players honest. You shouldn't be able to walk through the crease and not get lit up. Without checking scores of games could be like 15-10, which isn't horrible it's just different than what I know hockey to be.
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