Hockey Canada has been taking a hard look at why registrations are dropping and how to that trend can be reversed. Is our game at a dangerous crossroads and if so, how do we make sure we turn the right way or is the game pricing itself beyond Canadian family budgets?
Minor hockey registration (for young Canadian boys in particular) is dropping across the board and the powers that be at Hockey Canada will be talking this week about how to stem the tide. It would seem the overarching issue is the perceived inherent danger of the game. There is no doubt a fine line to be drawn between making the game safer and changing the way its played in a major way.
Another item not touched upon here, but which certainly needs to be discussed, is the cost of playing hockey which continues to rise with the price of ice and equipment. With two competitive players of my own I can certainly attest to how expensive hockey can be. By comparison, two growing Canadian sports soccer and basketball, both of which simply require a pair of shoes, shorts and a ball. There are, of course, other costs associated with playing these sports at a higher level, but I would guess these don’t touch hockey.
I’m not about to say I have any quick answers or that anyone can, but it would appear something needs to be done if hockey is going to remain Canada’s dominant game.