Starting next season there will be no body checking in the lower levels, or house league, of Edmonton minor hockey.
Mark Doram, the president of the Edmonton Minor Hockey Association tells 630 CHED’s Reid Wilkins, that Calgary made the move last year and they are following their lead.
“We had a lot of requests from parents,” says Doram. “We want to see the number of injuries go down. Calgary actually introduced no body checking in Bantam last year, so Edmonton will be following suit. But, we’ll also be taking it into the Midget realm too.”
Doram says differences in body types played a role in the decision.
“We’re seeing numbers of players leaving the game, just because of the physicality,” says Doram. “We’ve got some young guys standing over 6’ and weighing in at 190 lbs. And then we have some are 5’5” weighing in at 130 lbs.
Doram adds they aren’t eliminating physical play from the game.
“People get confused about body checking and body contact,” explains Doram. “People automatically think when they say no body checking that means absolutely no body contact. That’s actually wrong. There will still be body contact, but it will be things like angling into the boards, rubbing out (and) bumping.”
Doram says 45-86 % of injuries are related to body checking at the lower levels.
Full contact will still be allowed in rep play, or teams that can qualify for provincials.
Hockey Edmonton made the decision on Tuesday. (km/jrw)