Saturday, May 25, 2013
Hockey Canada Bans Bodychecking at Peewee Level
Hockey Canada's provincial federations voted in favour of removing bodychecking from peewee hockey, coast to coast in Canada on Saturday.
The motion passed by a nearly unanimous vote, with Saskatchewan registering the only "no" vote in opposition.
The provincial federations have, however, agreed to develop a bodychecking standard for coaching to be implemented in 2014-15.
Earlier this month, both Hockey Alberta - one of Canada's largest hockey federations - and Nova Scotia voted to remove bodychecking from their peewee divisions.
The decision to do away with full-contact leagues for 11- and 12-year-olds came down to player safety, according to one of Alberta's top executives.
"Our players' safety is the foundation in making this decision," Rob Virgil, Hockey Alberta's board chairman, said in a statement after passing the provincial ban.
"There is overwhelming evidence that bodychecking is the single most consistent risk factor for injuries and concussions in youth ice hockey."
Quebec had already eliminated body checking for some peewee leagues prior to the Alberta and Nova Scotia provincial bans, as had some recreational leagues in Ontario.