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Representative Non-Body Checking Option Announced

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 03/17/23, 10:00AM EDT


Will be classified as BB for U14 and Above

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association continues to review, assess and implement programming and programming models in order to meet the ongoing needs of our hockey families.

Players, along with their families and minor hockey associations, have voiced their desire for the OMHA to provide a non-body checking opportunity at the Representative level at U14 and older.

Currently, body checking is not permitted at any age division of Recreational hockey, including House League, Local League and Minor Development. Body checking is then introduced at U14 at the Representative Level.

The demand to provide a non-body checking option at the Representative level allows a player to continue to play in a non-body checking environment and still have access to Representative hockey and to continue to play at a level according to their ability.

Size difference in players, previous injuries and personal preference have all been raised as reasons to have this option available. In addition, this supports players at the Recreational level where players returning from Representative hockey may create too large a skill gap resulting in a lack of enjoyment for both players.

The OMHA Representative Committee brought forward the recommendation that was presented and approved by the OMHA Board of Directors to implement non-body checking hockey for U14 and above classified as BB, beginning the 2023-2024 season.

This change is the result of recognizing changes in the game of hockey. The priorities of the Ontario Minor Hockey Association remain dedicated to player safety, providing young athletes with the opportunity to best develop and acquire skills, and keeping as many players playing the game as possible.  We believe this new opportunity will satisfy all of these elements.

To support the implementation of this initiative, the following provisions were also approved:

  • BB will be the only Representative category with no body checking permitted
  • Associations are not required to provide a Base category team to be able to offer BB Non-Body Checking entry
  • Player movement to access Non-Body Checking hockey is not permitted

Current BB teams have several options:

  • Recategorize to C category which would include Body Checking at U14 and older
  • Entry as a second A team
  • Maintain BB designations without Body Checking
  • Associations must provide a second entry according to Regulation

Education on the skill of Checking will remain a priority focusing on the 4-Step Checking Progression, which begins the first time a young player steps on the ice. This progression emphasizes the practice of Positioning, Angling and Stick Checks followed by Contact Confidence and Body Contact which is taught at the later stages of athlete development.

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