CAHA Associations, Coaches, Hockey Directors, Parents, and Players - here is some information that may be helpful for you as we work together to ensure the safety of all the players in CAHA. The USA Hockey Declaration of Safety, Fair Play, and Respect can be found below and we are providing some tools to help you in preparing your players, coaches, parents, etc. to better understand this emphasis on body checking. The definition of body checking from the document is:
- A body check represents intentional physical contact, from the front, diagonally from the front or straight from the side,by a skater to an opponent who is in control of the puck. The opposing player’s objective is to gain possession of the puck with a legal body check and NOT to punish or intimidate an opponent.
- Legitimate body checking must be done only with the trunk of the body (hips and shoulders) and must be above the opponent’s knees and at or below the opponent’s shoulders. The use of the hands, forearm, stick or elbow in delivering a body check is unacceptable and not within the guidelines of a legal body check.
- The primary focus of a body check is to gain possession of the puck and proper body checking technique starts with stick on puck, therefore the stick blade of the player delivering the check must be below the knees.
- USA Hockey reminds coaches and players that these requirements are the responsibility of the player delivering the body check. Under no circumstance is it acceptable to deliver a body check to a vulnerable or defenseless opponent, an opponent who is not in possession and control of the puck or to use the hands, stick, forearm or elbow in delivering a check to an opponent.
This will be a major point of emphasis for referees, players, and coaches for the coming season in 14U and above. We have a responsibility to make sure that we are teaching our players the right way to body check - must play the puck, stick below the knees, contact below the shoulders and above the knees, contact with trunk (hips and shoulders), and hands and elbows down. Here are some materials that may help you. If you would like a representative from CAHA to attend a coach's meeting to discuss this, please let us know.