Awareness and education advised on youth bodychecking in hockey

"Increasingly medical research confirms that the adolescent brain is especially vulnerable to traumatic brain injury

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

VICTORIA – In light of research highlighting the frequency and severity of injuries as a result of bodychecking, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Bill Bennett encouraged education and awareness about youth bodychecking for parents, coaches, and all involved in youth hockey.

“I played defence in hockey. Both of my sons played, I coached and I managed hockey teams, but I don’t pretend to be any sort of an expert. I just want parents and coaches to be aware of the medical information available today on the impact of bodychecking at a young age, so that they can make an informed decision,” said Bennett on April 14.

In June, members will consider a resolution at the BC Hockey annual general meeting to raise the age of the introduction of bodychecking in youth rep hockey. BC Hockey is encouraging members to let their associations know if they support raising the age.

BC Hockey president Wilf Liefke said, “Many local associations are holding their AGMs in the weeks leading up to the provincial AGM, so this is a good opportunity to discuss the issue and make informed decisions.”

“Increasingly medical research confirms that the adolescent brain is especially vulnerable to traumatic brain injury,” commented Bill Barrable, Rick Hansen Institute CEO. “A growing body of research is also telling us that body checking in youth rep leagues is a major risk factor for spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. It’s very important that minor hockey associations promote awareness among all parents, coaches and players with these

The BC Hockey annual general meeting will be held June 7-9 at Sun Peaks near Kamloops.

 

Hockey Canada rules do not allow bodychecking below the age of 11. Each provincial or territorial association sets its own rules for bodychecking for players 11 and above.