I just had a good conversation with an NHL linesman that came to my hockey schools for years when he was a kid. He is on a committee that is looking into the role of body checking in minor hockey. The solution that has been announced but not approved yet is that there won't be any body checking until Bantam (13-14 yrs.) Then it will be just for the higher level teams. (in Calgary they have 4 quadrants starting at Bantam where they skim the players from the communities in that area of the city and have AA and AAA teams. The associations have Division 1 -2 -3 etc. as in the European Soccer/Football leagues) So the body checking would only be in quadrant hockey and the first few divisions.
Don spotted me at Tim Hortons and asked me to discuss this proposal with him. He was on the committee that made recommendations but not all of them were adopted and he wants to get input from people who have coached a lot of hockey and find their thoughts on the matter.
He wants to see the sticks down and hitting for the sake of hitting eliminated.
I told him that in my opinion there needs to be two interpretations to the rules.
1. One step only allowed before contact.
2. Stick on the puck and body on body. (if the stick is up then it is a penalty)
I would call these rules until U16 and then allow the 2 steps that is now allowed but still call the 'body on body and stick on the puck' . The main reason is that 'body on body and stick on the puck' is the best technique to create a good checking angle to separate the player from the puck and gain puck possession. (isn't that the point of body checking)
What are Your Thoughts on the question of body contact in minor hockey????