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Player Development

Better Enforcement, Not Rule Changes Key To Reducing Dangerous Play in Hockey


Minnesota Hockey and the Minnesota State High school league increased the penalties for dangerous plays following the tragic life changing accident Jack Jablonski, a 16-year-old Benilde St. Margarets player, suffered in January of 2012. The question at hand now is should we continue with the stiffer penalties, modify them, add to them or return to the previous rule book? So far the consensus is to keep them and add to them.

It seems so simple, but as we learn in life nothing is simple. Perhaps we should look at the causes that are creating the current environment and then asertain if the  penalties are warranted, are sufficient or need changing.  

We won't make ice hockey safer for players by increasing penalties for dangerous play. We need to address the core issue: the violent culture of the sport.

Relentless Pursuit of Excellence

USA Hockey continues to expand their American Development Model (ADM) that is intended to provide youth players a better quality of experience in the game, higher skill levels, and a safer environment that will attract and retain more players. The model is tested in other parts of the world, makes lots of sense for kids, and it has the support from many disciplines in the medical field. Hockey associations and clubs around the country are quickly adopting the concepts and ideas although some are fearful of the changes that are required. The interesting part of all of this is that many of these ideas have been around for a long time and only now are they organized into a coherent long term development program for youth players and older athletes.

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