Hockey Canada is considering a few adjustments to minor hockey to curb recent drops in registration. Enhancing non-contact leagues appears to be at the top of the list in light of recent concerns around concussions and other injuries. The NHL, for its part, isn’t setting the best example. Hockey purists will no doubt claim the sport is just fine the way it is, but hockey does need to react to threats from other sports, video games and rising costs to name a few. Every sport, for that matter, has to grow and evolve in the face of challenges to its popularity. I appreciate a good hockey hit as much as the next guy, yet you need look no further than women’s hockey to see a high level of skill and really entertaining hockey without head hits, hits from behind and the other bad sides of what can be a pretty violent game at times. Maybe it is time to take a harder look at non-contact options to get more kids playing and staying in hockey.
I would imagine that the rising costs of playing hockey are keeping a lot of parents from signing their kids up. It’s a little daunting to walk into a sports equipment store and realize just how much a full set of pads is going to cost you…not to mention that you’ll need to buy a whole new set NEXT year as well since the kids keep growing…Hopefully Hockey Canada will be able to encourage more signups.