Or Is It Simply The Way Of The Future?????




According to Hockey Canada: Body Checking is defined as an individual defensive tactic designed to legally separate the puck carrier from the puck. This tactic is the result of a defensive player applying extension of the body toward the puck carrier moving in an opposite or parallel direction. The action of the defensive player is deliberate and forceful in an opposite direction to which the offensive player is moving and is not solely determined by the movement of the puck carrier.

Therefore, when a defensive player decides to body check an attacking player, he/she actually initiates the collision by moving in an opposite direction, or by moving towards the attacking player. What has happened in minor hockey is that many players tend to focus on "body checking" and on how hard they can hit their opponents than on scoring or on other less violent skills which can be used to stop the attack. What we have to do now is place more emphasis on body contact and less on body checking in order to solve many of the issues in minor hockey.

For example, according to Hockey Canada: Body Contact is defined as an individual defensive tactic designed to legally block or impede the progress of an offensive puck carrier. This tactic is a result of movement of a defensive player to restrict movement of the puck carrier anywhere on the ice through skating, angling and positioning. The defensive player may not hit the offensive by going in an opposite direction to that player or by extending toward the offensive in an effort to initiate contact. There must be no action where the puck carrier is pushed, hit or shoved into the boards.

In other words, ‘body contact’ is the action of a defensive player blocking an attacking player by simply "getting in the way" or "getting in the path" of the attacking player. It is actually the offensive player who is moving into the defensive player who usually "rides the attacker" to the side and prevents him or her from getting any closer to the net.

Body contact is taught at the entry level in minor hockey. It is something that is permitted right from the beginning and is perfectly acceptable to everyone involved.

Based on the definitions of body contact and body checking, it would seem pretty clear that all we have to do is enforce the body checking rule more consistently with respect to the "separation of the attacking player from the puck". If the attacking player no longer has the puck on his stick or in his skates, he should not be subject to a body check. 

Therefore, if a player gets rid of the puck prior to being checked, the person doing the checking should be penalized. By implementing this simple rule, it would stop the practice players have developed in "running" at their opposition. Now, they don't really care if the person they are checking has passed the puck off. If he was the last one to touch the puck, he is fair game. Simply by following the rule as it is currently written, we could clean up the game for good.



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