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Ask the Expert – Responsible Sports is Here

By USA Hockey, 02/19/13, 7:00AM MST

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Brought to you by the Liberty Mutual Insurance Responsible Sports program

[2013 Experts thumb] Every week, fans of Responsible Sports write in with questions about parenting, coaching and youth sports scenarios which they encounter in youth and high school sports. The questions are posted in the Ask the Experts forum and Responsible Sports then reaches out to their experts to help these parents or coaches.  
 
Visit the Ask the Expert archive or join the conversation on the Responsible Sports Facebook page today!
 
Here is an example of one of our latest questions from a Responsible Coach who wrote to our panel of experts to ask: 
 
"I am the new coach at a school with a very weak program. The number one problem we had this season was with attendance/tardiness. I have a good idea of how to clearly define the expectations. I struggle with consequences. I want to find something other than holding them out of practice or some kind of conditioning punishment." Jim, a concerned coach
 
We asked one of our Responsible Sports experts to weighed in on Jim’s question.  Eric Eisendrath, Positive Coaching Alliances’ Lead Trainer in the Boston and New York Areas had this advice to offer:
 
"Thank you for taking the time to write. My first suggestion would be to begin your practice with "something fun." So often we begin (at least in the kids' minds) with drills and other activities and save scrimmaging for the end as a reward. I have found it helpful, once everyone has stretched (thus avoiding injury), to begin with some type of shooting drills, Power Play, Man Advantage situations. Once late arriving kids see that the other players are getting to shoot etc, they tend to throw their equipment on as fast as possible.
 
I would strongly resist the urge to use conditioning as punishment. Being highly conditioned is critical to team performance. The steps taken to become fit should be embraced, not thought of as punishment. Sprints and pushups etc. are activities designed to "help us in the fourth quarter or second half"; not because we are late or misbehaving. You really want to attach an appreciation for hard work and conditioning, as opposed to linking it to a negative emotion.
 
Finally, instead of looking to "punish" the players who are late; work to "reward" the players who are on time, and doing the things you ask of them. When you announce your starting lineup, have it filled with the players who are on time. Reward the behavior you want, and through extinction, the behavior you don't want (IE tardiness and unexcused absence) will eventually disappear.”
 
Are you a coach or parent who has a youth sports question you’d like to pose to our panel of experts?  Visit us on Facebook and ask your question today!  We regularly post answers on Facebook.com/ResponsibleSports.

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The 2021-22 Season is coming!

By Matt Leaf 05/25/2021, 9:30am MDT

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still a reality, the USA Hockey Officiating Program is looking forward to getting everyone back on the ice in what will likely become the “new normal.”

As we get closer to minimizing the effect the virus has had on our everyday lives, the successful completion of our USA Hockey National Tournament series and the IIHF Under-18 World Championships is a promising indication that hockey is back and will be better than ever for the 2021-22 season. 

As early player registrations mirror those trends from prior to the pandemic, the following is some information as to what officials should expect over the summer months and for the start of next season.

 

SUMMER DEVELOPMENT CAMPS AND ADVANCED SYMPOSIUM ARE BACK!
The Summer Development Camp Program is being downsized slightly as some facilities are still not available this summer, but we have latched onto the USA Hockey Player Festivals to be able to provide a quality development experience for those officials who qualify.

The Advanced Officiating Symposium is scheduled for early August in Providence, Rhode Island.  USA Hockey is working closely with the host hotel to maximize participation while still adhering to state and local COVID-19 restrictions. The goal is to be able to accommodate everyone interested in attending this one-of-kind get together of top ice hockey officials in a dynamic and engaging program.

 

RULE CHANGES
USA Hockey is in the midst of our quadrennial rule changes process, meaning there will be an updated 2021-2025 version of the Playing Rules Book prior to the start of the season.

Although the fundamental structure of the game will not change, there are several rule changes likely to be adopted that will require officials to pay attention to their rule knowledge and commit to the proper application of the rules. Officials will play a major role in USA Hockey’s efforts to improve the culture of body checking and, in return, officials will be provided more support through organizational initiatives to curb abuse of officials and unsportsmanlike behavior.

 

REGISTRATION JUNE 1
Officials registration for the 2021-22 season will open on June 1. However, since the updated playing rules will not be adopted until the USA Hockey Annual Congress in mid-June, hard copies of the 2021-25 Officials Playing Rules and Casebook will not be available until early August. A summary of the adopted rule changes and a PDF version of the updated rulebook should be available relatively soon after the Annual Congress. As a result, the open book exam, online module curriculum and seminar program will become available during the week of June 21.

 

SEMINARS
One of the outcomes of the pandemic was it required us to take a hard look at our seminar program and make significant adjustments to best prepare our membership for success on the ice. Officials should look for the re-introduction (local restrictions permitted) of the in-person level 1 and level 2 seminars, with the level 1 format returning to an all-day seminar experience. The level 1 standardized seminar curriculum will include the online module curriculum as part of this experience in an effort to streamline their registration process. Level 2 officials will experience a half-day in-person seminar which will include an ice session. 

The virtual “zoom” classroom seminar appears to be here to stay for level 3 and level 4 officials, even though some areas may choose to also provide in-person seminars for our most experienced team members. Either way, the goal is to be able to accommodate the needs of all of our officiating members with options that provide flexibility and efficiency. The online module curriculum for level 3 and level 4 officials is also being modified to streamline their registration process without compromising the educational value.

The level 2-3-4 closed book exams will also follow a modified format like last season where they will be able to complete the exam online within seven days of the seminar they attend. It is important to note these modified closed book exams will still be timed, so they must be completed in one sitting.

 

ADAPTING THE BEST WE CAN
The final thing to expect for the 2021-22 season? There will likely still be some restrictions and protocols that must be followed in certain local areas. The game may not look exactly like it did at the start of the 2019-20 season. Although we do not expect any full-fledged shutdowns as happened during the 2020-21 season, we will still need to be diligent and follow local guidelines in order to keep our game and its participants safe and on the ice. 

USA Hockey is excited about the opportunity to get everyone who was involved prior to the pandemic safely back on the ice. There is also huge growth potential as people feel more comfortable to get back into daily life and look for new ways to engage. There is no reason why hockey cannot be that avenue where everyone is welcomed, included and encouraged in a way that a lifelong passion for the game is nurtured.

USA Hockey thanks you for your continued support and your involvement in our programs.

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