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Participants in Canadian youth hockey have recently experienced a positive change. Injuries for young players are on the decline. In fact, a recent study reports that, ever since Hockey Canada passed a ban on body-checking for players under the age of 13, the number of injuries has been cut in half. Furthermore, there has also been a huge reduction in the number of concussions sustained among youth hockey players.
While some people were skeptical about the new rule, it has obviously been helpful. This makes sense when one considers that body-checking, which involves slamming into an opponent with full force, has long been one of the major causes of injuries to young hockey players.
Policy changes can take some getting used to for anyone, especially those who have a long history with the sport. However, results like those referenced above just don’t lie. With injuries and concussions both significantly reduced since the rule change, this appears to be one new rule that will stay in effect for quite some time.
Furthermore, given the positive impact of this change, it won’t be surprising if Hockey Canada makes others in the near future. In fact, the organization is still researching factors related to injury to take steps to reduce the risks for young players.
And, while some may be concerned that kids aren’t learning body-checking skills, others argue that there’s plenty of time for that later…when they’re older and less likely to be seriously injured after being body-checked.
No matter how people feel personally, however, the rule change remains in effect for the foreseeable future and must be abided by for all players under the age of 13 playing on Hockey Canada leagues.