REGINA, SK – The Canadian Hockey Association Board of Directors approved and carried two motions at their 2003 Annual General Meeting on Monday that effect body checking in minor hockey across Canada.
The CHA Board of Directors approved motions that checking in minor hockey in Canada will be introduced at Pee Wee level (ages 11 and 12) and above. Branches that currently have body checking at the Atom level will have the opportunity to continue only under a controlled research environment, with CHA approval.
The following are the motions that the Board of Directors approved for the 2003-2004 season:
- The minimum age classification that body checking may be introduced is Pee Wee
- The CHA undertake controlled pilot projects to further investigate the impacts of body checking on the Atom age classification with respect to injuries, skill acquisition, attitudes and behaviours, recruitment and retention, and the content, delivery and follow up of checking education programs. These pilot projects are opened to the branches where body checking has been introduced at the Atom age classification
At the 2002 CHA AGM, the CHA Board of Directors approved a motion that did allow each of the CHA’s 13 Branches the opportunity to introduce body checking to begin at the Atom level (ages 9 and 10) within their Branch during the 2002-2003 season. Last year’s motion regarding checking did not affect all levels and participants in the game, only 15% of all Atom hockey players in Canada, and only four of the 13 CHA Branches (Hockey Newfoundland/Labrador, Ottawa District Hockey Association, Ontario Hockey Federation, Saskatchewan Hockey Association) implemented checking at the Atom level last season.
Prior to Monday’s motions being approved, the CHA conducted a 90 minute checking workshop on Saturday during their AGM which examined the need for further education of the four step teaching progression of checking in hockey at all levels. All CHA delegates in attendance provided input on seven questions that were brought forward by the CHA checking committee.
The four step teaching progression that will be the focus of the CHA throughout the 2003-2004 season:
1. angling and positioning
2. stick checking
3. body contact / confidence
4. body checking
This four step educational program targeted at parents, players, coaches, officials and minor hockey associations will include an educational DVD that will be distributed and made available for the 2003-2004 season to all CHA Branches and members of the CHA, and the continued development of a body checking/contact section on the CHA website at www.canadianhockey.ca.
The CHA’s 2003 Annual General Meeting which runs through Tuesday morning, will hold their annual awards banquet on Monday night – recognizing Volunteer of the Year amongst other awards. Full details on the CHA’s AGM are available at www.canadianhockey.ca, the official site of the CHA.