I don’t want to be confused with somebody who has gone “wimpish” on the sport of hockey. I think we’ve had a lot of “soccer mom” mentality creeping into our game, and I know much of it is based in a very real concern for concussions and other types of injuries. With that said, I don’t want to take it too far.
I was honored to join USA Hockey’s subcommittee on body checking and feel that I have a broad background that allows me to bring something to the table on this important topic.
The subcommittee consisted of some very educated individuals who care deeply about the game. Nobody was getting paid or had a hidden agenda. Some were adamantly opposed to changing the rules on checking and others were fully supportive of the change. That was the starting point for the dialogue that followed.
Information was presented from many different points of view. Some focused on the competitive and skill development side while others came at it from a physiological perspective. As a parent, I listened with great interest as Dr. Michael Stuart presented information that indicated that kids under the age of 11 or even 12 were more susceptible to concussions, and also that the impact of those concussions could last for extended periods of time.
Clearly, kids at that age are not developed physically enough to enter into this kind of contact without real jeopardy to their health. That was a no brainer to begin with, but it was more than that.
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Starting with the upcoming season, USA Hockey is launching a new online curriculum in our Officiating Education Program. In addition to the standard registration requirements, including application, open and closed book testing and attendance at a USA Hockey Officiating Seminar, every official must complete the online material prior to receiving their card and crest for 2014-15.
The online curriculum is designed to enhance educational experience with accurate and consistent officiating information. The online modules will be broken down into three categories. The first two requirements will include general and level-specific presentations. The third category will have elective courses from a variety of topics such as positioning, procedures, penalty criteria and the mental game. These electives will be level-specific and allow you to hone your officiating skills in areas you select.
The length of each presentation will vary depending on content and focus. The majority of the presentations will fall in the 5- to 10-minute range, followed by a short quiz reviewing the content. The entire online curriculum will take 3-5 hours to complete, depending on the level of the official. The in-person seminar each official will be required to attend will be abbreviated and designed to supplement the material presented in the online curriculum.
Instructions on accessing the online seminar will be sent to you upon receiving your USA Hockey application. The curriculum will be accessed through your USAHockey.com profile and can be completed at your leisure, meaning you can log out and log back in to pick up where you left off. Some presentations are designed to be viewed before attending the seminar as a means to improve the overall seminar experience. These will be highlighted for your consideration.
Officials will find this new system to be beneficial and it will make your overall USA Hockey experience a more valuable one. Let’s get the season off to a great start!
Tag(s): Body Checking Rule