Body Checking should continue to be banned in youth hockey until the U14 level because it raises too many severe risks to all ages, sexes, and levels. Some more traditional thoughts is that it should be lowered to where it was prior to 2011 at the U12 level. Some even think that it should be implemented younger than that at the U10 level. According to Trisha Korioth, In 2012, the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) released a position statement that supports the elimination of body checking from all levels of organized recreational/non-elite competitive male ice hockey and checking only in competitive leagues for boys ages 13-14 years and older, preferably age 15.
Body checking is a common cause of injuries in not only youth hockey, but also in competitive levels too. In 2017 an investigation was put into place to determine the impact of body checking on the distribution of injuries reported by youth hockey players. Injury data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a United States Consumer Product Safety Commission database, were analyzed for Pee Wee and Bantam players between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2010 and again between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2015. Data on the location of injury, diagnosis, and mechanism of injury were collected. “The location of injury was categorized into 4 groups: head and neck, upper extremity, lower extremity, and core.
Diagnoses investigated included concussions, fractures, lacerations, strains or sprains, internal organ injuries, and others. The mechanism of injury was broken down into 2 categories: “checking and other.” The investigation concluded that there was a reduction in the total number of mechanism and injuries when body checking was eliminated from pee wee levels.However, researchers found that the number of concussions reported was unexpectedly increasing.
Nathan Seppa author of article “A check on youth hockey injuries” said, “Children playing ice hockey in leagues that permit body checking have more concussions and other injuries than do youngsters in leagues that prohibit checking. An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions occur in the United States each year. During 2001-2005, children and youth ages 5-18 years accounted for 2.4 million sports related emergency department (ED) visits annually, of which 6% (135,000) involved a concussion. Concussions occur at all skill and age levels in ice hockey, and have been reported to account for 2–14% of all hockey injuries and 15–30% of all hockey head injuries (Izraelski, Jason).Concussions are the most consistent risks for severe injury.
Allowing body checking in hockey has the potential to raise the danger of injury. In 2010 and 2011, two studies provided evidence that 11 and 12 year old players in body checking leagues are at a 3 fold greater risk of injury and a 4 fold greater risk of concussion compared to those in non-body checking leagues (Mckay). Not only can concussions be bad during the time you have one, but it can follow you later into life. Concussions can lead to additional head injuries later in life. The following additional head injuries include, troubles with concentration, memory problems, depression and other psychological problems, irritability, sensitivity to light, and even personality changes. Those who are not as developed and fully developed are at a higher risk for concussions and injuries.
Puberty is the process of physical changes by which a child’s body matures into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction, it is initiated by hormones. Most boys begin puberty between the ages of 9 and 14, for girls it begins between 10 and 14. However puberty is not guaranteed at a specific age. Puberty will begin when the male or female’s body is ready to embark, and with this comes that every individual’s body grows at its own pace. Puberty doesn’t just affect the physical appearance of one’s body, even bigger it affects the brain which affects a child’s behavior. When a child is going through puberty he/she can experience a lot of different emotions, one being mood swings also known as “raging hormones.” A teenagers mood and emotions can fluctuate between anger, excitement, depression, and anxiety. In hockey, body checking is a role that kids are given to be overly aggressive. It is reinforced by a players social environment and is advocating for one’s loyalty to teammates especially injured teammates. It is an act of revenge in a competitive and aggressive way.
By allowing a teeanger who is not fully developed or in the transition of becoming fully developed it always them to be aggressive in such a negative way which could then lead to the possibility of more injuries. Michael Cusimano, author of “Aggression, Violence and Injury in Minor League Ice Hockey” states, “Aggression interventions should be further investigated as a means to reduce head impact severity. All levels, ages, and sexes needs to have a full knowledge and understanding of safe play and should consider aggression interventions to lower the amount of injury severity and injuries in all.”