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12 and under to play no check?

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Old
05-22-2011, 03:15 PM
  #1
WhoozYerrDaddy
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12 and under to play no check?

USA Hockey proposes to move the no check rule from under 10 to under 12.

http://www.usahockey.com//Template_U...T_03&ID=299508

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05-22-2011, 06:56 PM
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I like it. From what I've heard, the idea is to start them on "contact" earlier than they used to, so they can work on balance, being strong, etc. while getting bumped and pushed around. Also, body position, blocking out and all that. The idea is that they'll have a longer time to work on all of their skills before reaching the full check stage, and will be better prepared to learn that properly when they do get there.

So, all in all, I think it will be good. But I'm getting all of this from coaching clinics and what I read. I haven't actually worked with kids, so real coaches may have a different perspective. I'd really be curious to hear from some of them.

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05-22-2011, 08:30 PM
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It's not a big issue for us in western PA as we will all be on a level playing field. But, I have some friends in Detroit and they are pretty pissed about it. They play a lot against teams from Canada and feel that US kids are already behind the Canadians and that kids should learn to check earlier rather than later.

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05-22-2011, 08:56 PM
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If it protects kids from getting brain-damaging injuries, then its a good thing.
I kind of feel like it might be a bit of an overreaction but there seems to be science behind it.

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05-22-2011, 10:33 PM
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As a high school coach I am not for it. I feel it should be lowered not raised. People think it will decrease head injuries when in fact in my opinion it will do nothing but increase them at a later age.
When kids learn to play in a "no check" enviornment they learn to play in situations with no fear and they carry that habit with them when they do finally play in checking leagues. They play facing the boards with no fear of having their face slammed into the boards.
8-12 year olds can do little damage if they are allowed to check each other so thinking that playing a few extra years without hitting will reduce the amount of injuries is just not reality.
Beginning the kids hitting during the years when the size differences are at their greatest is a dangerous and bad idea. A 150 lb 13 year old who is new to contact and probably with little skill hitting a 85 lb 13 year old who is used to being able to face the boards with no consequences is a recipe for disaster. Teach the kids to check when they are all the same size so that they are all equally equipped when size does matter.

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05-22-2011, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
As a high school coach I am not for it. I feel it should be lowered not raised. People think it will decrease head injuries when in fact in my opinion it will do nothing but increase them at a later age.
When kids learn to play in a "no check" enviornment they learn to play in situations with no fear and they carry that habit with them when they do finally play in checking leagues. They play facing the boards with no fear of having their face slammed into the boards.
8-12 year olds can do little damage if they are allowed to check each other so thinking that playing a few extra years without hitting will reduce the amount of injuries is just not reality.
Beginning the kids hitting during the years when the size differences are at their greatest is a dangerous and bad idea. A 150 lb 13 year old who is new to contact and probably with little skill hitting a 85 lb 13 year old who is used to being able to face the boards with no consequences is a recipe for disaster. Teach the kids to check when they are all the same size so that they are all equally equipped when size does matter.
I didn't read the science behind the idea but this was my initial reaction. I figured it would teach kids bad habits through crucial developmental years. But that's just my opinion based on nothing. I would think that the only way this would avoid injuries at a later date is if kids learned to play no-check and CONTINUED to play no-check or with very little checking at higher levels. (Carried the habits over, not the rule). Making the sport a little softer over time? That would be generations down the road, though.

On the other hand, you probably have some kids out there who watch the NHL and see a huge dirty hit and maybe they don't understand just how bad it is, then they go out there and try to emulate it themselves. Maybe there were a bunch of 12 year olds running around trying to kill marc savard? I don't know.

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05-23-2011, 06:27 PM
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Gino 14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
As a high school coach I am not for it. I feel it should be lowered not raised. People think it will decrease head injuries when in fact in my opinion it will do nothing but increase them at a later age.
When kids learn to play in a "no check" enviornment they learn to play in situations with no fear and they carry that habit with them when they do finally play in checking leagues. They play facing the boards with no fear of having their face slammed into the boards.
8-12 year olds can do little damage if they are allowed to check each other so thinking that playing a few extra years without hitting will reduce the amount of injuries is just not reality.
Beginning the kids hitting during the years when the size differences are at their greatest is a dangerous and bad idea. A 150 lb 13 year old who is new to contact and probably with little skill hitting a 85 lb 13 year old who is used to being able to face the boards with no consequences is a recipe for disaster. Teach the kids to check when they are all the same size so that they are all equally equipped when size does matter.

I'm pretty sure that checking or non-checking, hitting from behind like yo describe is illegal. Hits like that are the ones that USAH has to stop, and the NHL needs to put a stop to them also. These guys getting slammed into the boards are the ones that kids see and try to copy because they get the attention and are seen over and over. Giving the kids a little extra time to develop their skating and puckhandling will allow them to keep their heads up more and give them a head's up to checks. Kids that can't skate with a puck shouldn't be checking, it's a recipe for disaster.

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05-23-2011, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
I'm pretty sure that checking or non-checking, hitting from behind like yo describe is illegal. Hits like that are the ones that USAH has to stop, and the NHL needs to put a stop to them also. These guys getting slammed into the boards are the ones that kids see and try to copy because they get the attention and are seen over and over. Giving the kids a little extra time to develop their skating and puckhandling will allow them to keep their heads up more and give them a head's up to checks. Kids that can't skate with a puck shouldn't be checking, it's a recipe for disaster.
His point is that non-checking hockey develops bad habits, and he's right. Go watch a girl's hockey game; it's embarrassing how often they go around the net with their head down a la Lindros pre-Stevens. By the time kids are 8-9, most of them know how to skate well enough. Let them learn to play hockey the right way. By instilling the right kind of mentality about hitting at an early age, it's a way to prevent more injuries further down the line.

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05-23-2011, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
It's not a big issue for us in western PA as we will all be on a level playing field. But, I have some friends in Detroit and they are pretty pissed about it. They play a lot against teams from Canada and feel that US kids are already behind the Canadians and that kids should learn to check earlier rather than later.
This is my feeling about it as well. USA Hockey and HockeyCanada should be working together. They already have several major rule diffferences (i.e. immediate vs tagup offsides)that make US-Canadian youth games difficult.

This could put US kids even further behind.

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05-24-2011, 12:17 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gino 14 View Post
I'm pretty sure that checking or non-checking, hitting from behind like yo describe is illegal. Hits like that are the ones that USAH has to stop, and the NHL needs to put a stop to them also. These guys getting slammed into the boards are the ones that kids see and try to copy because they get the attention and are seen over and over. Giving the kids a little extra time to develop their skating and puckhandling will allow them to keep their heads up more and give them a head's up to checks. Kids that can't skate with a puck shouldn't be checking, it's a recipe for disaster.
That is my point. Having the kids wait even longer to start hitting is way more dangerous than having 10 year olds hit. 10 year olds won't do near the amount of damage (when the kids are mostly the same size) as kids will when they get older, bigger and faster. Some kids will take to hitting right away and become very good at it and some will take more time. I would rather have a kid learn how to take a hit when the kid hitting him is the same size. Kids begin really gaining skills between 10 and 14 years of age. By playing no check during those years the kids learn to play in what eventually will be dangerous situations without any fear of being hit or hurt. I even know of coaches who teach kids to face the boards and protect the puck knowing that if the kid gets hit he will get an extended power play.

You can make a medical study turnout with whatever results you are after so I put zero stock in any study that says concussions will decrease by not allowing hitting for 2 more years. I would rather make my judgement through 40+ years of experience playing, coaching, officiating and reporting on the sport. I don't pretend to be a doctor but I can count on less than one hand the amount of concussions I have seen with kids under 10 back when there was no checking age restrictions. I see by far the most with kids between the ages of 12-16 and most of those by kids with little experience getting hit. It isn't so much the hitter being more in the wrong but more often than not the hitee putting himself in a bad position through inexperience. And at that age the kids are big enough and fast enough to do real damage.

I would much rather see time and effort put into teaching coaches how to actually teach the kids to be able to protect themselves and have kids deliver hits correctly and respectfully. I see far too many youth coaches whose coaching knowledge ends at being able to open and close the gates to the bench. Lets fix that problem instead of just throwing darts in the dark at a problem and hoping it works.

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05-24-2011, 11:02 AM
  #11
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For everyone commenting without having read the article:

Read it first. They explained their rationale behind it pretty well and commenting without reading it just fills this thread with uninformed opinions. After you've heard their reasoning, then comment on agree/disagree.

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05-24-2011, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vyktor View Post
It's not a big issue for us in western PA as we will all be on a level playing field. But, I have some friends in Detroit and they are pretty pissed about it. They play a lot against teams from Canada and feel that US kids are already behind the Canadians and that kids should learn to check earlier rather than later.
I was under the impression that checking was not permitted in Canada until the Bantam level. My kid's Pee Wee AA team played in the Bell Cup in Ottawa last year, and there was no checking permitted at the Pee Wee level (incidental contact occurring while playing the puck and angling players off were OK, though, as will be the case under the USA Hockey rules).

Perhaps that was a tournament-specific thing, or a Greater Ottawa rule, but my impression was that it was more widespread. In any event, it certainly suggests that there's not a monolithic rule in Canadian youth hockey permitting checking at younger ages

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05-25-2011, 12:16 AM
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I like it, but it's got to be very clear what's "body contact" and what's "body checking". USA Hockey recently emailed me their youtube video about it, but the problem is some of the plays are body contact but are said to be "illegal" under the new rules because the player went down.

I think the defining guideline needs to be impact (vs. no impact and just coming together to establish position).

If this is done, kids will have to learn to play defense using body position and the stick first, which is good. Then they can learn to check later but it won't be about just blowing kids up with huge checks because "now you can". At 12 you're old enough to understand proper positioning and defense, at 10 it's harder if you can hit you want to (especially bigger kids). I think it makes for better and smarter players in the end.

Also as I understand it, the new system calls for checking to be taught in PRACTICE from the time the kids are 10 but not allowed in games until they are 12. That gives two years to practice checking techniques against teammates (who kids should NOT be trying to blow up) in practice, get their technique down, and learn the difference of what is a legal and illegal body check (two years of learning not to hit from behind!) So I am OK with it.

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05-25-2011, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
I see by far the most with kids between the ages of 12-16 and most of those by kids with little experience getting hit. It isn't so much the hitter being more in the wrong but more often than not the hitee putting himself in a bad position through inexperience.
Your arguement doesn't support your stance. You say teach them younger, yet your arguement says inexperience is the culprit. Give the kids extra time to develop their other skills and they will have more time to be able to avoid hits because they don't have to look at the puck while stickhandling. As for coaches teaching bad habits, that's a fault of the system and needs to be corrected, but that happens at all age levels.

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05-25-2011, 06:33 AM
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05-27-2011, 10:41 PM
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I've seen size differences among 12 year olds, I've seen 6'0 12 year olds, and kids that are 5'1 giving up 50+ lbs etc,

There is a reason why they are thinking about upping the age to hitting etc...

As far as non-contact teaching bad habits, disagree 100%, COACHES teach bad habits, if you notice a kid developing a bad habit, it's your job to step in and correct it, simple as that.

Coaches now days are TEACHING KIDS TO TURN TOWARDS THE BOARDS, that's just insane....

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06-17-2011, 08:20 AM
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It's done......


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-zaN...ature=youtu.be


In the US, pee wees and below will play no check.

Good luck to all our Canadian friends who come into the US to play.


Last edited by WhoozYerrDaddy: 06-17-2011 at 08:29 AM. Reason: fixed link
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06-17-2011, 09:42 AM
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I was listening to hockey great Lou Nanne talking about this and his opinion was that checking is one of the easiest things to teach and with the size discrepancy at those ages it's probably a good idea.

From what I've watched of kids that age, the less hitting their is, the better the quality of hockey. I've seen games where nobody plays the puck and just hits each other. I've also seen games with lots of skill, great skating, playing the body but doing it smart.

But yeah the frightening thing is seeing kids that are 6' going up against kids that are 5'. I remember in squirts I was the biggest kid on our team at 5'6 140 pounds and any time we'd play tourneys we'd play teams that had multiple kids close to 6' that I'd have to keep hitting in order to keep them from our skill guys.

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06-17-2011, 07:37 PM
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I was listening to hockey great Lou Nanne talking about this and his opinion was that checking is one of the easiest things to teach and with the size discrepancy at those ages it's probably a good idea.

From what I've watched of kids that age, the less hitting their is, the better the quality of hockey. I've seen games where nobody plays the puck and just hits each other. I've also seen games with lots of skill, great skating, playing the body but doing it smart.

But yeah the frightening thing is seeing kids that are 6' going up against kids that are 5'. I remember in squirts I was the biggest kid on our team at 5'6 140 pounds and any time we'd play tourneys we'd play teams that had multiple kids close to 6' that I'd have to keep hitting in order to keep them from our skill guys.
The biggest spread of sizes statistically speaking is in Bantam though like you and others have said there can be the odd, though not rare, 6' kids at the 11-12 Peewee age at close to 200 pounds, playing against many kids well below 5', many of which are under 70 pounds. Age spreads can be fully 2 years (Peewee next season in Canada is the '99 and '00) unless they do a minor/major.

Hockey at all rep levels is getting faster and at the top levels it's pretty fast. Kids are getting concussed at all levels, House included, but it is generally greater at higher levels.

It's probably not a popular opinion but I support keeping the kids safer (they still will be taking risks) Their brains are more at risk at that age.

That said, my kid will be probably play rep next year and here that means checking.

edit: more info http://www.usahockey.com//Template_U...T_03&ID=299508


Last edited by Crosbyfan: 06-18-2011 at 08:14 AM. Reason: to add link
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07-02-2011, 10:52 AM
  #20
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We have the same rule in Sweden.

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07-02-2011, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
As a high school coach I am not for it. I feel it should be lowered not raised. People think it will decrease head injuries when in fact in my opinion it will do nothing but increase them at a later age.
When kids learn to play in a "no check" enviornment they learn to play in situations with no fear and they carry that habit with them when they do finally play in checking leagues. They play facing the boards with no fear of having their face slammed into the boards.
8-12 year olds can do little damage if they are allowed to check each other so thinking that playing a few extra years without hitting will reduce the amount of injuries is just not reality.
Beginning the kids hitting during the years when the size differences are at their greatest is a dangerous and bad idea. A 150 lb 13 year old who is new to contact and probably with little skill hitting a 85 lb 13 year old who is used to being able to face the boards with no consequences is a recipe for disaster. Teach the kids to check when they are all the same size so that they are all equally equipped when size does matter.
agree with this. i have coached all ages 10 under and high school. so i have seen this.

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07-02-2011, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Steelhead16 View Post
That is my point. Having the kids wait even longer to start hitting is way more dangerous than having 10 year olds hit. 10 year olds won't do near the amount of damage (when the kids are mostly the same size) as kids will when they get older, bigger and faster. Some kids will take to hitting right away and become very good at it and some will take more time. I would rather have a kid learn how to take a hit when the kid hitting him is the same size. Kids begin really gaining skills between 10 and 14 years of age. By playing no check during those years the kids learn to play in what eventually will be dangerous situations without any fear of being hit or hurt. I even know of coaches who teach kids to face the boards and protect the puck knowing that if the kid gets hit he will get an extended power play.

You can make a medical study turnout with whatever results you are after so I put zero stock in any study that says concussions will decrease by not allowing hitting for 2 more years. I would rather make my judgement through 40+ years of experience playing, coaching, officiating and reporting on the sport. I don't pretend to be a doctor but I can count on less than one hand the amount of concussions I have seen with kids under 10 back when there was no checking age restrictions. I see by far the most with kids between the ages of 12-16 and most of those by kids with little experience getting hit. It isn't so much the hitter being more in the wrong but more often than not the hitee putting himself in a bad position through inexperience. And at that age the kids are big enough and fast enough to do real damage.

I would much rather see time and effort put into teaching coaches how to actually teach the kids to be able to protect themselves and have kids deliver hits correctly and respectfully. I see far too many youth coaches whose coaching knowledge ends at being able to open and close the gates to the bench. Lets fix that problem instead of just throwing darts in the dark at a problem and hoping it works.
once again i agree here. and i have dealt with USA hockey for years before i even had children of my own to coach. as an organization they leave much to be desired.
and when i taught 6 yr olds how to skate towards the boards and still protect themselves, i had parents complaining it was a waste of ice time.

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07-02-2011, 06:17 PM
  #23
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This is just a knee jerk reaction that will pull American hockey even further behind Canadian hockey. I understand that they want to develop players technical skills (Keeping head up, stickhandling, shooting, etc.) without having kids get their heads taken off, but those are all things that can be practiced away from the rink. I'm not saying that coaches should focus practices entirely on skating and learning how to take checks, but these are things that must be taught on the ice. Coaches need to take the time and effort to thoroughly teach these skills and correct bad habits.

It isn't just learning how to take a check tho. USA hockey needs to be doing what the NHL and NFL haven't been able to do, and find a way to crack down on head shots. Personally, I'm a fan of what's going on in Minnesota right now with the Hockey Education Program and the fair play point. Penalizing a team for a player's dirty hit emphasizes that it is a team game A couple years ago I had played on a team where a 2 guys were constantly running late. Mid-season our coach started bag skating the rest of us anytime someone was late. After a couple of those practices, it wasn't an issue anymore... and I'm rambling.

Point is, while it isn't necessarily a bad thing to try and protect youth hockey players, it is an inefficient use of ice time to not be teaching them how to properly give and receive hits when other skills can just as easily be practiced away from the rink. You don't need to be on the ice to learn how to keep your head up while stickhandling or shooting.

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