Hockey Canada Removes Body Checking From The Peewee Level

As parents and hockey players return to rinks across Canada this Summer and Fall, there will be a drastic difference in one division, after Hockey Canada voted to remove body checking from peewee hockey across the country.

At the 2013 Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting, held this past weekend in PEI, the Board of Directors voted to eliminate body checking at the peewee level, postponing full contact until players move to bantam hockey. This means players won’t be participating in body checking until they are 13-years-old.

Peewee hockey will now adopt the atom rules, where players are awarded a penalty for body checking.

According to Hockey Canada’s report following their AGM, “A modification to playing rule 6.2b was approved, removing body-checking from Peewee levels and below within leagues governed by Hockey Canada, starting in 2013-14.”

Hockey Canada also decided to increase efforts to teach skills and develop proper progressions and instruction for youth and coaches in terms of body checking.

“In addition to this rule change, a work group has been directed to build a mandatory national checking and instructional resource program to support the progressive implementation of checking skills at the Novice to Peewee levels to better prepare players for body-checking at the Bantam and Midget level,” the Hockey Canada release stated.

The decision was made to help reduce concussions and other injuries to young hockey players who are still physically developing.

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