Body Checking FAQ
Why did the Hockey Calgary Board of Directors make this decision?
After last year’s AGM (at our member’s request), Hockey Calgary put together a body checking review committee. This committee gathered data, research and studies to help them come up with recommendations. In the final report, studies found children who body check at the Pee Wee level are three times more likely to sustain a major injury or a concussion. Safety of our children is the biggest and most important reason for putting forward the two motions.
What is the difference between body checking and body contact?
Body Checking - a player's attempt at gaining the advantage on the opponent with the use of the body. Checking results when two opposing players collide while skating in opposite directions or when positioning and angling allow the checker to use the force of the body to gain the advantage.
Body Contact - Incidental contact of two opposing players in pursuit of the puck or position on the ice in the same direction. Body contact occurs as a result of movement by the offensive player.
What is the process of putting together the two motions?
At last year’s AGM, it was requested by our members to put together a body checking review committee. Over this past year the committee has gathered all the information through studies (Dr. Carolyn Emery, USA Hockey, Quebec Hockey League) and research and put together recommendations. The body checking review committees recommendation was followed with the one significant change being to include all of Pee Wee. The reason why the board felt to include all of Pee Wee was because the higher divisions are where the most incidents of injury and concussion occur.
The Board took those recommendations and came to the conclusion to keep our children safe, it is best to suggest the two motions.
The board has already voted on it and now awaits 52 more votes from the Hockey Calgary members at our AGM on June 23.
Who are Hockey Calgary Members?
Each Association is a member of Hockey Calgary. Each Association gets one vote per 15 teams. People are encouraged to educate themselves with the studies and talk to their Association.
What is Hockey Calgary doing to help people get informed?
Hockey Calgary will be holding four forums around the City to allow people to ask questions and get informed with all the information. We encourage people to come out. The first body checking forum will take place at the University of Calgary in Murray Fraser Hall 162 at 7PM on April 16, 2012.More dates and locations coming soon, please check this page often for updates.
Our web site also hosts all the studies and links to different articles and videos for people’s information.
Won’t kids be at a higher risk of injury by introducing body checking at the Bantam level when kids are bigger and stronger?
No, studies clearly show the injury rate does not go up. In Dr. Emery’s study she looked at kids in Bantam who play in Quebec (their first year of body checking) and looked at Bantam kids in Calgary. The injury rate was the same across the board.
Will kids still learn how to body check in Pee Wee?
Yes, Hockey Calgary still wants body checking to be introduced at the Pee Wee level, but in safe and controlled practice setting.
Why would coaches teach body checking when it doesn’t get used during a game?
We are going to increase our coaching level for Pee Wee so coaches have to teach players the proper way to give and receive hits. We will be enhancing the coaching curriculum so coaches will have the proper tools to teach our children the safest way to body check. We are also in discussion of moving the coach certification date, for Pee Wee, from December 31 to October 31.
We are calling out to experts to find out the best way to go about this as we want to make sure kids are practicing body checking on a regular basis.
Why not introduce body checking earlier, like in the Atom, when the kids are smaller?
Studies show the injury rate goes up for younger kids. Saskatchewan actually did change their rules and introduced body checking at the atom level and it only lasted two seasons due to the increased injury rate. This would also require Hockey Canada’s support.
Can my team still play out of the City where body checking is allowed?
Absolutely teams can still travel and take part in out of town tournaments where body checking is allowed at the team’s discretion. If teams feel that during their practices they are practicing the body check and would like to try it in a game setting, then we are not going to discourage them.
What about the Bantam Draft? Shouldn’t Pee Wee players who want to play at a high level be allowed the same advantage as other kids?
Hockey Calgary is looking into this and believes it might be something that comes out of these motions. It is a possibility that Hockey Calgary may introduce a AA stream to the Pee Wee game.
How can Hockey Calgary do this without the support of the entire province?
Each zone is allowed to make their own rules. Both governing bodies are aware of the motions Hockey Calgary has put forward and both are waiting to see the outcome. Some branches, such as Hockey Edmonton, are using Hockey Calgary as a pilot project.
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