Don Cherry: Hockey Canada on 'road to Hell' with Peewee bodychecking ban
Don Cherry. (DAVE ABEL/Toronto Sun files)
Don Cherry thinks he knows where Hockey Canada is headed after the organization placed a nationwide ban on bodychecking in Peewee hockey.
“You (Hockey Canada) have good intentions, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions,” Cherry on Saturday’s edition of Coach’s Corner. “You’re going to be sorry. You watch and see, you will be sorry.”
Earlier in the day, Hockey Canada’s board of directors voted to eliminate bodychecking for players from ages of 11-12 to lower the risk of injuries.
The ban came on the heels of a recent study led by the University of Calgary that found bodychecking at the Peewee level more than triples the likelihood of concussion or other major injuries.
Cherry thinks the ban will impede children’s ability to learn how to safely throw and receive hits.
“What’s going to happen is these kids are going to go up to (age) 13 and then they’re going to go in with kids that hit. And they don’t know how to protect themselves,” Cherry said.
Cherry believes that having separate leagues with no hitting would be a better solution.
Along with the ban, Hockey Canada has formed a working group to build a mandatory national program on checking, including instructional resources, to support the “progressive implementation of checking skills” at the Novice to Peewee levels so players are better prepared for bodychecking at the Bantam and Midget levels.
The Peewee checking ban takes effect at the beginning of the 2013-14 season.