Letter: Parents and coaches blamedHaving harsher penalties for checking from behind in youth hockey is just putting a band-aid on a widespread problem and, in my mind, is a cop out by the governing bodies which just puts the responsibility, that should on adults, right back on the young players.
By: Mike Sarno, Hudson, Hudson Star-Observer
Having harsher penalties for checking from behind in youth hockey is just putting a band-aid on a widespread problem and, in my mind, is a cop out by the governing bodies which just puts the responsibility, that should on adults, right back on the young players.
I have been a referee in youth hockey for seven years and the problems don’t even touch the ice. Parents and coaches are the root of this problem and they are the ones that need to step up and make sure that their kids and players abide by these rules. And it isn’t enough just to preach about it in practice. There needs to be consistency during games which just is not there right now.
The adults who tell their kids to hit, hit, and hit some more during high intensity hockey games are the same adults who complain and clamor for severe penalties when the opposing team hits their own child in the same fashion. The adults need to be able to keep themselves from getting too wrapped up in the game and maintain a view of the bigger picture of their child’s life and well-being.
The severe injuries that we have witnessed in past months are a testament to just how dangerous these hits can be. It is sad to me that it has taken injuries of this degree for those in charge to take action. The focus is too much on the results and not enough on the causes. If the players who have been severely injured hadn’t been, these changes wouldn’t even be a thought and everyone would still be playing in the same dangerous way.
The bottom line here is that until parents and coaches, not the rule makers, take on the responsibility to change the way the game of hockey is played, the still developing players will continue to model their play after that of their older and more physical role models in the collegiate and professional ranks.