Saturday, May 25, 2013
Richmond Hill, ON: - Hockey Canada’s Annual General Meeting concluded last Sunday, May 26th in Charlottetown, PEI, as the Hockey Canada Board of Directors voted on a number of proposals impacting hockey at all levels in Canada.
Hockey Canada Motion – 6.2b, one of the major topics from the weekend’s proceedings was the discussion on body checking. The Hockey Canada Board passed a motion to create a national standard moving the introduction age of Body Checking from Peewee to Bantam effective the 2013-2014 season.
This direction follows a decision made by Ontario Hockey Federation [OHF] Minor Member Partners, including the Ontario Minor Hockey Association [OMHA] to remove Body Checking from all divisions of House League and House League Select hockey, effective the 2011-2012 season.
“The OMHA works closely with Hockey Canada and we continually assess and evaluate our programs. The game of hockey continues to evolve and we have to change with it. Ultimately, our goal is to provide the very best programming for all of our members while creating a safe and enjoyable environment in which to play the game.” said OMHA Development Committee Chair, Dave Garinger. “We will continue to focus on education, for players and coaches through our certification clinics, specialty clinic programming and resources.”
For the OMHA, education will remain a priority focusing on the 4-Step Checking Progression, which begins the first time a young player steps on the ice. This progression emphasizes the practice of positioning, angling and stick checks followed by Contact Confidence and Body Contact which is taught at the later stages of athlete development. Moving forward, we will need to clearly define the differences between Body Checking and Body Contact.
“We recognize that there are varying opinions on this subject which can be quite polarizing. Our priorities as an organization remain dedicated to player safety, providing young athletes with the opportunity to best develop and acquire skills, and keeping as many players playing the game as possible. If the introduction of Body Checking at a later stage of player development will accomplish these goals then we certainly support it.” said OMHA Director, Development Programs, Ian Taylor.
For more information on the Hockey Canada AGM please visit www.hockeycanada.ca.
For more information on hockey development programming offered by the OMHA, please visit the OMHA website at www.omha.net.