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Nova Scotia removes body checking from peewee hockey

TSN.ca Staff

5/12/2013 11:55:12 AM

Nova Scotia has become the second province to remove body checking from all levels of peewee hockey starting next season. Alberta made the same decision earlier this week.

"At its core, this decision is all about the safety of our players," said Hockey Nova Scotia's president Randy Pulsifer. "We have seen a great deal of evidence that body checking is the biggest risk factor when it comes to injuries and concussions in minor hockey."

Hockey Canada is expected to make this rule change mandatory coast-to-coast in meetings later this month.

Last fall, Hockey Nova Scotia created a commission to look at the issue, meeting with medical officials and reviewed scientific research. The coommittee recommended body checking be removed from all levels of peewee hockey and also the lower levels of bantam and midget hockey.

"This weekend, we saw overwhelming support for these recommendations," said Pulsifer in a statement. "It's great to see our hockey administrators from across the province showing real leadership in making the game safer for our players."

The decision came as welcome news to those in the medical community.

"By doing this, Hockey Nova Scotia is reducing the risk of children receiving a head injury at these levels by over two thirds," said Dr. Kevin Gordon, head of pediatric neurology at the IWK Health Centre.