Message surrounding body contact must change

If you listen to the never-ending national debate on body checking, you may conclude that minor...

If you listen to the never-ending national debate on body checking, you may conclude that minor hockey isn't the place for your children or your family. But what's missing in all this - lost in the message of development - is context, writes the Sun's Steve Simmons. (QMI AGENCY FILES)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:28 AM ET

TORONTO - A friend of mine, who has three young children, has already determined he won't be enrolling his kids in minor hockey.

Too dangerous, he says.

And if you listen to the never-ending national debate on body checking, tune in to Don Cherry, pay attention to the concussion statistics, read the latest Hockey Canada rule changes, you may conclude just as my friend has: That minor hockey isn't the place for your children or your family.

But what's missing in all this -- lost in the message of development -- is context. When Hockey Canada makes decisions, it isn't making them for the lowest level of player or even the intermediate level player. It has development in mind. It is about protecting the next star or next potential star. Hockey Canada is making rules, essentially, for AAA players, the young stars, the kids on the move, who happen to represent just a tiny percentage of those who play the game in this country.


Videos

Photos