Monday, March 25, 2019

Change in Youth Hockey?

Over the years, people have proposed all kinds of changes to youth hockey. Some of these changes have “stuck” and taken effect. Then, there are changes that people are still lobbying for.   

Many people, for instance, feel that youth hockey still has too strong of a focus on winning. These individuals push for the sport to focus more on goal-scoring, skill-building, and play-making.

People who are proponents of this idea have many suggestions for how to better institute it in youth sports.

Moving the Line

One option that has been suggested is to move the icing line back to the far blue line. The thinking is that this change would discourage puck dumping. Instead, players could focus more on playmaking, strategizing, and zone entries, all important skills.

Ditching Positions

Another big push that some are advocating for is ditching positions. Many feel that “positions” are kind of arbitrary anyway, especially as players grow older.

Some feel that it’s better not to define or box a player in with some kind of title. Instead, they just want players to line up at the beginning of the game and then feel free to play how they see fit on the ice, without being held to the confines of a position.

Disallowing Icing

As a result of such strong opinions, some rules have already been changed. For example, icing is no longer allowed for any shorthanded teams at 14U and below.

However, there are a lot of people who want to take things a step further. They want to disallow this type of icing at all levels and are steadily pushing for a change.

Obviously, there are a lot of ideas out there about how and why the sport should change. And, while you can and should push for the change you see fit, only time will really tell how the sport will evolve.

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