No more hitting for Sooke, Island hockey

As of last month, The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association banned all body checking in recreation (rec, also known as house) hockey leagues. And that’s just fine with former ECHL player Greg Batters.

Hits

Minor hockey tryouts are starting up in Sooke for the 2011/12 season, and beginning this year the game will have a hint of European influence.

As of last month, The Vancouver Island Amateur Hockey Association banned all body checking in recreation (rec, also known as house) hockey leagues. And that’s just fine with former ECHL player Greg Batters.

“There’s no reason in lower (levels) to have body checking. Body contact, sure, but not body checking,” said Batters, who is also the president of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League.

“In house or rec hockey we want to have kids play because they want to play and they’re not afraid to get hurt.”

Peewee through midget leagues (ages 11-17) are affected by the ruling. Incidental body contact, however, is allowed. VIAHA defines body checking as a “physical extension of the body” by a defender to the puck carrier in an opposite or parallel direction (think open ice hit), and contact as blocking the progress of the puck carrier without pushing, hitting or shoving towards the boards.

Some people have raised concerns over the ban, such as kids not being properly prepared for the physical nature in the upper echelons of the hockey world. But Batters said there are “very few” kids that play recreational who end up going pro.

“We’re hoping to turn these kids that play (minor league) hockey into hockey fans so they end up becoming lifelong players, and coaches of their own kids maybe down the road.”

The main problem with hitting in this segment of the sport is size.

“You got kids that hit puberty that are fully grown and other kids that aren’t. There is a bigger discrepancy in size at that age group (than any other),” he said.

“It’s our rules that govern where kids play—it’s an age-based rule, it’s not a size-based rule. If that’s what we’re doing we better have their best interests at heart.”

Hockey enthusiast and adult recreational player Nicholas Chow had an alternate idea to eliminating body checking.

“They should teach kids how to hit properly,” he said, who added body checking-related injuries often happen in minor hockey because kids hurl themselves at each other without proper training.

Batters remains happy with the decision.

“There’s more positive coming out of this than negative by a hundred miles.”

Just Posted

High speed internet coming to remote CRD areas

Ottawa to invest $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable in B.C.

Affordable housing organization seeks to build in Sooke

Habitat for Humanity hopes to build cluster of townhouses at 2008 Murray Road

Council re-tenders Murray Road staircase project

Project could be delayed months

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Late charge in Portland sees Victoria collect third straight WHL win

Matthew Phillips leads the way with three-point night in 4-2 win, Giants up next

Most Read