Oct 10, 2014

Checking (2014)

Hockey parents love to debate the right age to check. And I have heard great arguments on both sides. “We should check from the beginning so we don’t have to wait until they are 12 to find out if the like being hit or not.” “The young body is not ready, we need to wait until they grow before their body takes this type of abuse. Of course the real concern is injury. But most injuries can be avoided if checking is done properly. My observation is that most injures occur, when hands and sticks come up. Players who fail to bend their knees enough to deliver a forceful check compensate by coming up with their hands forcing the player to fall backward, to frequently resulting in concussions and other injuries. Additional injuries occur as the result of the use of a stick.

I would like to see the following rule enacted. A player must have 2 hands on his stick and his stick on the ice when delivering a check or it is a penalty. This would foster proper body contact, and eliminate the actions that lead to injury. Furthermore it fosters good hockey habits, 2 hands on the stick, knees bent, preparing the player to take a hit, receive a pass, or accelerate.