Q: I see my child get knocked down in 12U games. Why don’t the refs make the body-checking call?
A: It’s important to remember that “no-check” doesn’t mean no-contact hockey. As long as players are playing the puck and no overt action has been made by a player to body-check an opponent while disregarding the puck, body contact is legal and can, at times, be forceful enough to knock an opponent down (without incurring a body-checking call).
It’s not uncommon for a player to lose his or her balance in close proximity to the opponent when battling for the puck. These confrontational situations are part of the normal play that occurs at all levels and should not be penalized just because a player falls. Additionally, these body-contact situations are a valuable piece of skill development, since they help players learn to properly initiate and withstand body contact while playing and protecting the puck.
For more questions and answers on topics related to specific age levels and articles about hockey in general, visit the USA Hockey ADM (American Development Model) newsletter articles.
From mini-mite to the NHL, coaches, players and parents often vent their fury at on-ice officials while playing a key role when things do not go the way they want during a game.
Before you vent your worst at a hockey referee for blowing a call, listen to what Ken Reinhard, Referee-In-Chief of USA Hockey's Rocky Mountain District has to say ...
“Referees call penalties for actions by players or coaches that fall outside the rules of the game,” he said. “Through the calling of penalties, it's hoped the player changes his behavior.
"But officials cannot control the game, he said. "That's up to the players, coaches and most important, the parents."
"Players control the game through the choices they make while playing," he said. "Coaches control players by granting or denying ice time. If a player fails to play within the rules, regardless of whether or not an official penalizes that action, it is the coach's responsibility to teach proper and safe play and discipline that player by denying ice time. That is control of the game. If a coach fails to act on his authority, then it's the coach who has failed to teach and control the player.
“Parents also control the player by approving or disapproving of the play of their child," he said. "If a player has a greater fear of a referee calling a penalty than he does of his coach's discipline or his parents' approval, then something is wrong.”
That's the stop-you-in-your-tracks truth right there, something that everyone involved in the minor hockey chain should take a minute to chew on.
Reinhard backed it up with a story from his own youth hockey days. Click here to read the entire article.