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Minnesota youth hockey follows State High School League's lead.

I received this email less than an hour ago from Minnesota Hockey, which is the governing body for all youth hockey below the high school level in our state.

This follows a similar change by the Minnesota State High School League a week ago.

Any form of checking is prohibited in Minnesota Youth hockey for children at the Pee-Wee level an younger, and for girls at all levels. But checks still occur, and this is an added effort to crack down, following the spinal injury suffered last month by Jack Jablonski.


Minnesota Hockey Announces Rule Changes


Minnesota Hockey Members,


In light of recent injuries in high school hockey and with continuing efforts to reduce the risks involved in hockey, the Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors adopted the following rule changes.  Effective Wednesday, January 25, 2012, the minimum penalty for boarding and checking from behind infractions will be increased.  The first level of penalty for Boarding, Rule 603, will become a major and a Checking from Behind, Rule 608, will become a major plus a misconduct.  These changes apply to all Minnesota Hockey sanctioned league, tournament and exhibition (scrimmage) games and will be in effect until the end of the 2011-12 season (July 31, 2012).  The effectiveness of these changes will be evaluated going forward.


These rule changes are being adopted on a pilot basis and all rules and definitions in the USA Hockey  2011-13 Official Rules of Ice Hockey book remain in effect.  Only the first levels of penalties for the two infractions stated above are increased.  Officials need to make these calls and must have the support of the coaches and parents if increasing the consequences for boarding and checking from behind is to have a positive effect.


These revised rules are only part of what is needed to make hockey as safe as possible.  A culture change is required that will no longer encourage dangerous and intimidation play.  Parents, coaches, officials, players and administrators, need to work together, to make that change.  Education, skill development and respect (Fair Play) are key in making the culture change and Minnesota Hockey is committed to continuing to provide leadership in these areas.


During this pilot, HEP Fair Point calculations are not changing. When tabulating total Fair Play penalty minutes, the "equivalency" penalty minute for the first level boarding and checking from behind remain the same;  Boarding, 2 minute minor and checking from behind, 2 minute minor and 10 minute misconduct.


The announcement below provides additional background.  


Hockey is a great game and wouldn't be possible without all of the efforts of coaches, officials, administrator and parents.  For all your work we say thank you and ask for your cooperation in implementing these changes.


Thank you,


Dave Margenau

President, Minnesota Hockey



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