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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.

NFHS Clarifies Rules On Checks From Behind in High School Hockey

In an effort to promote safer play and minimize the risk of head, neck and spine injuries, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has clarified the rules on checking from behind in high school hockey.  The changes seek to stem the rising tide of violence in high school hockey, and come in the wake of several highly publicized catastrophic injuries to players after illegal checks from behind, but is better enforcement the simpler, and better, answer?

Emotional Abuse: Youth Hockey's Dirty Little Secret

The story of the Foglietta family tells a cautionary tale highlighting the problem of emotional abuse.  At center ice are 9-year-old identical twins who became the unintended but innocent victims of a real life power play in the adult-centered world of youth hockey.

Protective Cups: Essential Piece of Sports Safety Equipment

Protective cups and jock straps are worn under an athlete's uniform as part of the base layer of their underwear. The cup is primarily for supporting and protecting a boy's testicles or genitalia.  Cups are recommended equipment for just about any sport your son plays which involves a puck, a ball, or possible collision or contact with another player, explains MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench in this informative video.

Buying Mouth Guards

There are three kinds of mouth guards, but, regardless of type, they help prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, lips, cheeks and tongue. But they are also breeding grounds for bacteria, so they should be sanitized daily.

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
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