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Hockey - Ice

The Endless Hockey Season: Is It A Good Thing?

The off-season for hockey will start in a few weeks.

Or will it?

Apparently not. These days, it seems many hockey parents and players consider what used to be the traditional off-season, when kids played outdoors and changed sports until the next winter season, as the real season, because it is the time of year when AAA all-star teams are formed and tournaments are played, weekend after weekend. The off-season teams have cool jerseys, expensive jackets and warm-ups for players and parents. It's also a time for tournament organizers to rake in the big bucks. 

How to make $100,000 in 4 days of youth hockey or "Whatever Happened to the Off Season?"

The Future of Ice Hockey: What Kind of Game Do We Want?

What kind of game do we want ice hockey to be? Do we want a very physical game with lots of hitting from behind and head contact or do we want the game we once had, a game of skill and respect along with legal physical play?

The game of ice hockey has not always been played as it is now. Checking was not permitted by attacking players in the offensive zone until the mid 1970’s. The center red line created another point that slowed the game down a bit and there was no tag-up offsides, so defensemen actually had to learn some skills to survive in neutral ice until their linemates got back onside.

What is the future of youth ice hockey? Will it continue to be a game of illegal hits to the hitting, interfering, intimidation, and trash-talking opponents, or one rewarding speed, skill, and physical play within the rules?  Only time will tell.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: John Huether (West Roxbury, Mass.)

When a referee at a JV hockey game in Massachusetts suffered a serious concussion, a coach's act of exceptional sportsmanship set the kind of example for his players they will remember long after their playing days.

Child Sexual Abuse: The Dark Underbelly Of Youth Sports Culture

The Penn State scandal didn’t occur in youth sports.  Yet, it is one of the rare occasions that sex abuse by coaches, which is a major problem in youth sports, got the type of national publicity that allowed the problem to penetrate the public consciousness.  The big question is whether we as a sports society are up to the task of doing to more to prevent future abuse.

 

Sarah Burke's Death: A Reminder To Take All Head and Neck Injuries Seriously

Vertebral artery (e.g. whiplash) injuries, such as the one that claimed the life of Canadian freestyle skier, Sarah Burke, can occur to athletes in contact sports, such as football and hockey, and sports where falling is common, such as skateboarding and skiing

Stiffening Penalties For Violent Hits By Minnesota Hockey League Important Step In Improving Player Safety

 

This past weekend, the MInnesota State High School League took an unprecedented step of changing the rules mid-season, by stiffening the penalties on three of the most violent and dangerous infractions in hockey: checking from behind, boarding and contact to the head will now result in an automatic five-minute "major" against the offending player resulting in ejection and forcing his team to play short-handed for five minutes, regardless of how many times it is scored upon during the ensuing power play. 

By stiffening the rules against dangerous play in ice hockey and giving referees less discretion in calling penalties, the Minnesota State High School League has taken an important first step to reduce the number of catastrophic injuries in the sport.

Jabs #13: Making Youth Hockey Safer In Wake of Jablonski Tragedy

While Jablonski's injury was, of course, his parent's worst nightmare, and will change his life forever, such injuries are fortunately quite rare in ice hockey but the publicity, in this instance, has prompted calls for the leaders of youth and high school hockey in Minnesota to demand stricter rule enforcement, better coaching, and more severe penalties for dangerous and illegal "hits" that lead to hockey being a sport with one of the highest rates of concussion.

Longtime Minnesota ice hockey coach Hal Tearse talks about how the catastrophic injury suffered by high school hockey player Jack "Jabs" Jablonski and suggests ways to make the sport safer.

Protective Cups, Jock Straps, Supporters: Essential Equipment for Contact and Collision Sports

When your son plays contact or collision sports, there is always the risk of testicular injury.  To protect against such injury, boys need to wear a cup.

Angela Ruggiero Remembers Winning Gold

Four-time Olympic women's ice hockey medalist, Angela Ruggiero, tells MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench that the best part of winning gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan was seeing the American flag raised at the medal ceremony.

Angela Ruggiero: My Personal Reflections On Her Retirement

This is a success story virtually without equal in women's sports in the post-Title IX era. A story not only about the success of one remarkable young woman, but about her parents and those, like me, who were privileged to watch her grow from a starry-eyed and talented teenager to the mature, self-assured woman she is today; a story which should serve, not only as an inspiration to any youth athlete who wants to reach the elite level in their sport, but for their parents as well.

Two days ago, Angela Ruggiero held a press conference to announce her retirement from women's ice hockey, two weeks after she told me of her decision.

The story of Angela Ruggiero is virtually without equal in women's sports in the post-Title IX era.  It is a story not only about the success of one remarkable young woman, but about her parents and those, like me, who were privileged to watch her grow from a starry-eyed and talented teenager to the mature, self-assured woman she is today.
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