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Team USA Veteran Langenbrunner Retires

01/15/2014, 4:15pm MST
By USAHockey.com

Captain of the 2010 U.S. Men's Olympic Ice Hockey Team and two-time Stanley Cup champion Jamie Langenbrunner announced his retirement Wednesday, the National Hockey League Players' Association announced in a press release.

Langenbrunner, 38, spent 16 full seasons in the NHL and parts of two others. He won the Stanley Cup with the Dallas Stars in 1999 and the New Jersey Devils in 2003. He represented the United States twice in the Olympics and took home a silver medal from Vancouver in 2010.

"It was a dream come true to have the opportunity to play in the NHL for 16 seasons," Langenbrunner said via press release on NHL.com. "The friendships I developed with my teammates, and also the people in the communities where I played, will always be cherished by my family and I. I would like to thank Bob Gainey, Lou Lamoriello and Doug Armstrong for giving me the opportunity to play against the top players in hockey, in the best League in the world. I'd also like to thank my coaches and teammates for helping a kid from Minnesota enjoy a long, fulfilling hockey career. Finally, I'd like to thank my truly amazing family for all their sacrifices they made so I could live my dream."


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TRENDING: Right-Sized Youth Sports

09/01/2015, 9:15am MDT
By USA Hockey

Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.

Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.

Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road, and these initiatives will help us do that,” said Tab Ramos, U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director. “In general, we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this (new) environment, they are going to learn to do that. Fast forward 10 years, and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”

With this change, American soccer will join sports like baseball, basketball, hockey and tennis, all of which have embraced the skill-development benefits of age-appropriate playing dimensions and competition formats (see chart below).

Those benefits are at the core of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was recently praised by the Sports Business Journal as a “trailblazing program.”

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