Hockey can be a very violent sport, there’s no question about that. However, many parents choose to keep their kids out of this great sport fearing that the action is too fast and the potential for injury is too great. The fact is that parents should not keep their kids out of hockey when there are steps they can take to increase their safety while playing.
First, investigate available leagues carefully. Some leagues are non-contact, and considering that body checking causes the most potential for injury, a no-contact league may be just the answer. In these leagues, players are penalized if they come in contact with another player. This is the safest of all kinds of leagues.
Secondly, make sure that your children have all the protection gear necessary. Protective hockey gear is cumbersome and expensive, but it is the only way to safeguard your kids against injury. Properly fitting gear is essential to safely playing hockey. If cost is a concern, consider buying the gear second hand from used sports clothing stores, from online or some leagues will even rent you certain pieces of equipment.
Thirdly, ensure that the coaches are teaching proper hockey etiquette, and that they’re not encouraging body contact. Some coaches are just blood-thirsty and encourage kids to play dirty. If this is the case, find a new team. Children should be taught that the game is enjoyable, and they should be learning how to be good team players. Coaches that are overly competitive could be putting excess pressure on the kids and may be encouraging violent behavior.
Hockey is a great game that can certainly be played safely by children of all ages. It is a great sport for keeping fit, for learning how to be a team player and how to be a good sportsman.