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USA Hockey's proposed bodycheck ban stirs debate in youth hockey

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Old
06-06-2011, 09:26 PM
  #51
joshjull
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
http://usahadm.com/wordpress/?p=170

Here is the video from USA Hockey on what will be legal and illegal body contact if this passes.

Basically, don't "finish a check" with no regard for the puck if this passes.
Its more than that. Its moving hitting up to bantams (13+14 year olds). Thats a huge change, for the worse IMO. I also don't see enhanced punishments for the hits they are tryinng to eliminate. Moving the age for hitting up will do nothing to remove those hits if there isn't some sort of crackdown to get rid of them. Juts trying to teach better hitting techniques isn't enough if thats their goal


I've said it before but its worth repeating, the Ontario Hockey folks have it right. No checking for all of house hockey ages 6-21. Checking in travel starting at squirts, age 9 +10 and tough rules on hits form behind and other borderline hits that are vigorously enforced.

Many parts of their American Development Model (ADM) I think are great like transfering the younger ages to small sided games, getting away from a focus on winning at the early ages, part of that is getting rid of nationals until bantams iirc. But they are off base with moving the hitting age.


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06-07-2011, 07:41 AM
  #52
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06-07-2011, 09:09 AM
  #53
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Its more than that. Its moving hitting up to bantams (13+14 year olds). Thats a huge change, for the worse IMO. I also don't see enhanced punishments for the hits they are tryinng to eliminate. Moving the age for hitting up will do nothing to remove those hits if there isn't some sort of crackdown to get rid of them. Juts trying to teach better hitting techniques isn't enough if thats their goal

I've said it before but its worth repeating, the Ontario Hockey folks have it right. No checking for all of house hockey ages 6-21. Checking in travel starting at squirts, age 9 +10 and tough rules on hits form behind and other borderline hits that are vigorously enforced.

Many parts of their American Development Model (ADM) I think are great like transfering the younger ages to small sided games, getting away from a focus on winning at the early ages, part of that is getting rid of nationals until bantams iirc. But they are off base with moving the hitting age.
The big thing is what will be "allowable body contact" for the Mite, Squirt, and Pee Wee age groups before "checking" is then legal at the Bantam and Midget levels.

I would prefer the house vs travel change. But, if they encourage more "body contact" at earlier ages and delay "checking" until Bantam, it might work.

Personally, I like that USA Hockey is trying to figure out ways to better develop players. Just doing things because that's the way they've always been done isn't always the best move.

Only time will tell with this one, if it even happens at all.

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06-07-2011, 09:16 AM
  #54
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
But I don't in any way blame hockey for that
I'm not blaming hockey for it.

I'm saying that I've seen it more with youth hockey than any of the other youth sports I played growing up or that my three kids have played so far in their young lives.

And I do think that some sports (lacrosse, rugby, and hockey are three that immediately come to mind) have a drinking culture attached to them more than others.

In youth hockey, the ease of access makes it worse, IMO.

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06-07-2011, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
The big thing is what will be "allowable body contact" for the Mite, Squirt, and Pee Wee age groups before "checking" is then legal at the Bantam and Midget levels.

I would prefer the house vs travel change. But, if they encourage more "body contact" at earlier ages and delay "checking" until Bantam, it might work.

Personally, I like that USA Hockey is trying to figure out ways to better develop players. Just doing things because that's the way they've always been done isn't always the best move.

Only time will tell with this one, if it even happens at all.
I agree and for the most part they do a pretty good job. The hitting debate is getting a lot of attention right now but I know many are equally up in arms about switching the younger ages to cross ice hockey. I personally think its a great idea. It will make better use of ice time and get kids more involved in actually touching the puck in the games.

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06-07-2011, 09:21 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
I'm not blaming hockey for it.

I'm saying that I've seen it more with youth hockey than any of the other youth sports I played growing up or that my three kids have played so far in their young lives.

And I do think that some sports (lacrosse, rugby, and hockey are three that immediately come to mind) have a drinking culture attached to them more than others.

In youth hockey, the ease of access makes it worse, IMO.
Fair enough.

I touched on it in my previous post but it sucks that your tourney experience was what it was. At the end of the day its the coaches/team managers that set the tone for their teams. I've been fortunate for the most part that my kids teams' have had coaches/managers that allow for the parents to have their fun at tourneys without it impacting the kids and the atmosphere at the rink.

EDIT: that hockey article is about adult rec hockey. Now I've definately seen plenty drunks at those games, in many cases on the ice. The BFD hockey teams being some of the worst offenders.


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06-07-2011, 09:53 AM
  #57
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
I agree and for the most part they do a pretty good job. The hitting debate is getting a lot of attention right now but I know many are equally up in arms about switching the younger ages to cross ice hockey. I personally think its a great idea. It will make better use of ice time and get kids more involved in actually touching the puck in the games.
Yeah, I agree, I wish they would have done it with my son. The mites spend half the game chasing loose pucks.

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06-07-2011, 11:06 AM
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i think at that stage of development it might be better for young guys to be out there working on their skating/stick/positioning skills without worrying about the early maturer of their group steamrolling them at practice.

besides at that age the kids dont really have the bone/muscle mass to take and receive hits safely so its good for that reason too.

i love hitting, and i think its a natural part of the game but theres no reason why little kids should be out there head hunting instead of learning the strategy of hockey.

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06-07-2011, 11:32 AM
  #59
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Quote:
* I understand the concern over injuries, but if a 12-year-old is good enough to play travel hockey, isn't he ready to learn how to take a bodycheck?

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06-08-2011, 05:15 PM
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They moved all bodychecks in single letters there. Hockey in Quebec are put in talent categories from B, A CC, BB, AA , AAA and since they took off bodychecks, injuries are worst than ever because they don't learn young enough to protect themselves.

It's easier to learn when a 75 pounders slam you on the board, chances of injuries are slim, a little to late to learn when a 175-200 pounds guy knock you off !!!

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06-08-2011, 06:40 PM
  #61
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Quote:

Youth Hockey Injuries in Body-Checking Study May Spur Debate
June 08, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT
MORE FROM BUSINESSWEEK

June 8 (Bloomberg) -- Eleven-and 12-year-old ice hockey players showed triple the risk of injuries in games that allow body checking, according to a Canadian study that may “add some heat to the temperature of this topic,” said a director with the U.S. governing body for hockey.

Body checking occurs in a hockey game when one player slams into another to knock the puck loose from possession. Youth teams in the Canadian province of Alberta, where the practice is allowed starting at age 11, showed triple the risk of severe injuries and concussions compared with those in Quebec province, where it isn’t permitted in players younger than 13, according to the study.
http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...www.google.com

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06-08-2011, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by schadenfreude View Post
If the arguement is moving it from peewees to bantams makes kids safer. Then the more relevant comparison is injury rates in Bantams.

I read about that study before and I take issue with it. We dont have enough context. Are the peewees in Alberta hitting for the first time? Like we currently do in the USA. Or, like Ontario, are they in their 3rd + 4th years of hitting because they started in squirts? How tough is Alberta in dealing with hits from behind and borderline hits? In Alberta is hitting allowed in house or is it like Ontario where only travel players are allowed to hit?

Why didn't they use Ontario's numbers? Or numbers from all the provinces?


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06-08-2011, 08:12 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
If the arguement is moving it from peewees to bantams makes kids safer. Then the more relevant comparison is injury rates in Bantams.

I read about that study before and I take issue with it. We dont have enough context. Are the peewees in Alberta hitting for the first time? Like we currently do in the USA. Or, like Ontario, are they in their 3rd + 4th years of hitting because they started in squirts? How tough is Alberta in dealing with hits from behind and borderline hits? In Alberta is hitting allowed in house or is it like Ontario where only travel players are allowed to hit?

Why didn't they use Ontario's numbers? Or numbers from all the provinces?
I agree the article is vague, and I still am open to the argument that earlier is better. But at face value, the study seems to indicate that there are more trauma injuries as a whole for youth hockey when it is introduced at an earlier age than a later age.

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06-09-2011, 07:23 AM
  #64
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
This stereotype needs to die.


My kids have played hockey, soccer, lacrosse and softball at various levels from house to travel in each. There are crazy parents in all of those sports. The more competitive the level your kid is playing the crazier the parents can get, no matter which sport.

At the end of the day its the personality of the parent not the sport that makes them act like idiots. A few times this year I've been incredibly embarassed by some parents at my youngest daughter's travel soccer team's indoor games over the winter. In one case the refs said they wouldn't continue officiating if the parents didn't stop or weren't removed.

I was actually happy my other daugther quit travel soccer not long after tryouts to play softball. Since one of the dads on that team was one of the worst asshats you could run into at a game. Non stop yelling at his daughter. I only half kiddingly told my wife to watch the papers for when the daughter finally snaps.
I was not talking about other sports. It's not a "stereotype" because there are crazy hockey parents. Me stating such does not preclude other youth sports from having crazy parents.

Hockey is the fastest paced and most dangerous sport, especially for kids who may not be mature enough to fully understand the consequences of their actions. Also, in hockey, there is a larger gray area when it comes to what is a legal play and what is not, at least from the perspective of those with a rooting interest.

If a parent of a child playing baseball throws a fit because a umpire calls them out, they look like a jackass to everyone and will likely not get any sympathy.

If a parent of a child playing hockey throws a fit because their child was slashed behind the play and nothing was called, they may look like a jackass, but they will likely get sympathy.

What's the difference? Safety. Football is the closest to hockey here because of the violent nature.

How does this tie in to refs being afraid to make calls? The tempers can rise quickly in a hockey game as a result of hits, slashes, high sticks, etc. It doesn't necessarily take much to step off an angry parent if they feel like their child's safety was put at risk with no call, then their child was later called for a "ticky tacky" call.

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06-09-2011, 11:02 AM
  #65
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Originally Posted by schadenfreude View Post
I agree the article is vague, and I still am open to the argument that earlier is better. But at face value, the study seems to indicate that there are more trauma injuries as a whole for youth hockey when it is introduced at an earlier age than a later age.
All the article/study indicates is that peewees that check get hurt more than peewees that don't check. I really don't think we needed a study to know that.

Without proper context and backround, that study is pretty close to meaningless for the sake of this debate.


To further explain my point.

If the kids in Alberta are hitting for the first time in peewees. Then they should be compared to the bantams in Quebec (who are hitting for the first time). This way we could find out if there is a difference in injury rates between hitting for the first time at peewee or bantam. This may tell us that hitting for the first time on its own causes higher injuries while kids are learning to do it for the first time. Or it may tell us that waiting until bantams reduces injuries or it may increase them. Comparing peewees that hit to peewees that don't tells us nothing about this.

They should have also compared the injury rates in Alberta bantams to Quebec bantams. As well as Alberta bantams to Quebec midgets.

By comparing these groups we can see trends. Do injuries drop, stay the same or go down in the 2nd age group after hitting starts? Are those trends impacted by the age at which hitting starts?

If they throw other groups in like Ontario, which had checking starting in squirts. We now get a fuller picture. Do the injury rates for Ontario kids hitting for the first time in squirts differ from the injury rates of Alberta kids that start hitting in peewees (I'm assuming thats when they start hitting) or Quebec kids that start hitting in bantams? What are the injury trends as they get older? Are their trends? Or do injury rates stay roughly the same in bantams no matter when players start hitting?

All of the above would give us a much fuller picture to make this decision.



The funny thing is USA hockey on the one hand argues that 9-12 years old is the prime years for development. I agree with them and they have some pretty good research to back that up. Yet they don't seem to grasp that hitting is a skill thats a part of the game. Like any other skill it needs to be developed and based on their own development research thats best accomplished from the ages of 9-12.


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06-09-2011, 03:28 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
All the article/study indicates is that peewees that check get hurt more than peewees that don't check. I really don't think we needed a study to know that.

Without proper context and backround, that study is pretty close to meaningless for the sake of this debate.


To further explain my point.

If the kids in Alberta are hitting for the first time in peewees. Then they should be compared to the bantams in Quebec (who are hitting for the first time). This way we could find out if there is a difference in injury rates between hitting for the first time at peewee or bantam. This may tell us that hitting for the first time on its own causes higher injuries while kids are learning to do it for the first time. Or it may tell us that waiting until bantams reduces injuries or it may increase them. Comparing peewees that hit to peewees that don't tells us nothing about this.

They should have also compared the injury rates in Alberta bantams to Quebec bantams. As well as Alberta bantams to Quebec midgets.

By comparing these groups we can see trends. Do injuries drop, stay the same or go down in the 2nd age group after hitting starts? Are those trends impacted by the age at which hitting starts?

If they throw other groups in like Ontario, which had checking starting in squirts. We now get a fuller picture. Do the injury rates for Ontario kids hitting for the first time in squirts differ from the injury rates of Alberta kids that start hitting in peewees (I'm assuming thats when they start hitting) or Quebec kids that start hitting in bantams? What are the injury trends as they get older? Are their trends? Or do injury rates stay roughly the same in bantams no matter when players start hitting?

All of the above would give us a much fuller picture to make this decision.



The funny thing is USA hockey on the one hand argues that 9-12 years old is the prime years for development. I agree with them and they have some pretty good research to back that up. Yet they don't seem to grasp that hitting is a skill thats a part of the game. Like any other skill it needs to be developed and based on their own development research thats best accomplished from the ages of 9-12.
I understand your point.

I would be interested in the same study but with Bantams in Alberta and Quebec (or whatever they call them up there). i.e. are the Alberta kids less likely to get a concussion than the Quebec kids. If not, there really isn't any reason to allow hitting below 12.

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06-09-2011, 09:02 PM
  #67
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I agree and for the most part they do a pretty good job. The hitting debate is getting a lot of attention right now but I know many are equally up in arms about switching the younger ages to cross ice hockey. I personally think its a great idea. It will make better use of ice time and get kids more involved in actually touching the puck in the games.
I'm not up in arms, but I'm definitely on the fence with this one. Half ice definitely gets the slower skaters more involved in the game, but you also get smaller stronger skaters smothered by bigger kids that don't skate as well. I'd prefer to see a mixture of half and full ice throughout the season than one or the other.

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06-10-2011, 07:47 AM
  #68
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I'm not up in arms, but I'm definitely on the fence with this one. Half ice definitely gets the slower skaters more involved in the game, but you also get smaller stronger skaters smothered by bigger kids that don't skate as well. I'd prefer to see a mixture of half and full ice throughout the season than one or the other.
There is a reason why U8 soccer teams never play on a full sized pitch.

Going cross ice makes so much sense. And it's not about slower kids being able to keep up. It's about reducing space to increase the time on the puck and reduce the game being "breakaway hockey".

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06-10-2011, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Bob View Post
There is a reason why U8 soccer teams never play on a full sized pitch.

Going cross ice makes so much sense. And it's not about slower kids being able to keep up. It's about reducing space to increase the time on the puck and reduce the game being "breakaway hockey".
We have this great program that one of the coaches runs on a micro rink called 'pond hockey'. He basically takes kids (mite and younger) moving up from the learn-to-play program to the in-house team, and puts them out there 3 on 3 with pond hockey nets (no goalie). The kids love it.

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06-10-2011, 09:39 AM
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We have this great program that one of the coaches runs on a micro rink called 'pond hockey'. He basically takes kids (mite and younger) moving up from the learn-to-play program to the in-house team, and puts them out there 3 on 3 with pond hockey nets (no goalie). The kids love it.
Kids love to get out there and play.

The cross ice program is nice because there is a lot more action and the kids get a lot more touches on the puck.

It's boring for kids when they have to skate a mile to get the puck.

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06-10-2011, 12:55 PM
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Kids love to get out there and play.

The cross ice program is nice because there is a lot more action and the kids get a lot more touches on the puck.

It's boring for kids when they have to skate a mile to get the puck.
I'm disappointed my kids never got to experience it. Its a great idea thats long overdue.

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06-10-2011, 01:56 PM
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I'm not up in arms, but I'm definitely on the fence with this one. Half ice definitely gets the slower skaters more involved in the game, but you also get smaller stronger skaters smothered by bigger kids that don't skate as well. I'd prefer to see a mixture of half and full ice throughout the season than one or the other.
A smaller ice surface gets kids more touches of the puck and promotes skill development. Having 4 kids come up through the current set up. Its was a waste of ice time to watch a pack of 10 kids chase a puck, with only a few kids touching it during a shift. Not to mention at that stage of skill development its counterproductive to waste time worrying about how to set up as a dman, forward, where offsides is, etc. Particulary when ice time is as expensive and infrequent as it is.

Its a fairly odd concern on your part to worry more kids (slower ones) will get involved in the game. Thats supposed to be the point at the early ages, skill development and getting the kids involved.

Some kids may be better skaters in the younger ages because their parents have the money to send them to skating clinics, or have the time to take them to open skate or they started skating at an earlier age. Generally speaking, the more time on the ice a kid gets the better their skating will be. Why should kids that don't have these opportunities take a backseat in games at the younger ages?

In a mini-mite or mite program you will have kids of various skating skill levels because of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. It doesn't make much sense and isn't very fair to have games set up where the better skaters can just dominate and skate through everyone else. Believe it or not it actually hurts the better kids as well. Cross ice games will teach those better kids to skate in traffic, stickhandle and have better situational awareness. All of which are building blocks towards becoming a very good player. They are also the skills that will make you better prepared to start hitting. Cross ice will force the kids to keep their heads up (in this case to keep the puck and avoid collisions). Something they rarely have to worry about on a full sheet of ice.


Basically if a kid is really good in the youngest ages its rarely becasue he has a great hockey skill set. Its usually because he is one of the kids that can skate with the puck on his stick (not stickhandle) at a decent speed. It leads to the scene many of us have witnessed in mites. A kid gets the puck in their zone and starts skating for the other team's net pushing the puck up the ice (not stickhandling). We know the kid isn't passing and it turns into a race to see if the kids on the other team can catch the kid. Not a lot of hockey skill is being displayed in that scenario.

Whereas in a cross ice game, in order for a player to be really effective they need to be able to play in traffic and make quick decisions with the puck. Because of this, players will start to learn to play with their head up, anticipate opponents challenging him, start to stickhandle for better puck control in traffic and look for teammates to pass to. They will no longer being to just take off with the puck. In the current set up the skills that cross ice promote are rarely needed with the amount of open ice there is along with the size and skill of the younger players.

I used a lot of cross ice drills when I was teaching my sons peewee teams how to hit (both giving and receiving). In many cases the better skaters on the team were the ones I spent the most time trying to break them of their bad habits (poor situational awareness, having their head down too much when stickhandling and holding on to the puck to long, etc). It led to them to take a step back developmentally for a bit as they learned better habits. A few were never as effective as they were previous to getting introduced to hitting. Primarily because their bad habits often left them vulnerable on the ice which led to them getting drilled a few times a game. Their poor habits developed in part because there was nothing stopping them on their way up from min-mites to mites to squirts to peewees from playing that way.


Many other team sports scale things down in some way for the younger players. Baseball/softball shrinks the size of the diamond, soccer shrinks the field and number of players, basketball will use lower nets, etc.


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06-16-2011, 07:59 PM
  #73
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Well the no hitting passed. They also passed no touch icing for bantams and above. I like that.

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06-16-2011, 09:52 PM
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Its a fairly odd concern on your part...
Don't judge. I've got kids playing as well, and I've had them in both full ice and half ice games. In either full ice or half ice there are kids that will dominate. Those won't always be the same kids. Both scenarios have their benefits. What's odd to me is that this strikes you as so unreasonable that you need to write an 8 paragraph lecture:

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Originally Posted by cardiffgiant View Post
...I'm definitely on the fence with this one.... I'd prefer to see a mixture of half and full ice throughout the season than one or the other.
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Why should kids that don't have these opportunities take a backseat in games at the younger ages?
And why should the kids with these opportunities take a back seat to kids without them? Why should anyone take a back seat? Why do these things have to be one way or the other?

To each their own. I've seen a lot of great hockey and development in our mite program on full ice. I've also seen kids just pack up and mob the puck on half ice. I've heard parents getting really animated about it. I'm more worried about my kid having a good time and enjoying the sport, which is why I'm in favor of a variety.

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