Marty Hastings – Kamloops This Week
Canadians love their hockey — and they love arguing about their hockey.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Hockey Canada’s decision on May 25 to ban bodychecking from the peewee ranks (11 and 12-year-olds) and below is being met with seas of discontent and oceans of praise.
“There are discussions that happen all the time, not just with board members, but with the general membership and everybody that belongs to minor hockey,” said Jon Pankuch, president of the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association.
“I don’t think it’s a bad move. I think, if it’s going to keep kids in hockey longer and keep them uninjured, it’s going to be a good thing.
“Whether you agree or disagree, it’s kind of out of our hands at this point. We’ll move forward and follow the rules.”
TSN media man Bob McKenzie took a stance on Twitter, saying he agrees with the decision to introduce bodychecking at the bantam level, citing empirical data that shows contact at younger ages leads to higher rates of injury and concussions.