On May 28th Hockey Canada, the governing body of amateur hockey throughout the nation, sent out a press release tightening down on the rules for contact to the head;
- zero tolerance measures for all head contact or checks in minor, female, junior and senior hockey:
- in minor and female hockey, a minor penalty shall be assessed for all accidental hits to the head, while a double minor penalty, or a major and game misconduct at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence of impact, shall be assessed for any intentional contact to the head;
- in junior (Junior A, B, C, D) and senior hockey, a minor and a misconduct or a major and a game misconduct shall be assessed for all checks to the head, at the discretion of the referee
- a major penalty and a game misconduct, or match penalty, shall be assessed to any player who injures an opponent under this rule
- approval of an action plan to address recruitment and retention in Canada, including:
- membership card;
- education and communications initiatives;
- reporting strategies;
These actions have now clearly shown that the world’s leader in the sport of hockey is serious about concussions. Notice if you will that at minor and female hockey there will be a penalty assessed for ACCIDENTAL hits to the head. This signals that every player is now responsible for any contact to the head, and the very tough rules for any check or malicious contact to the head. Now if the FREAKING NHL would conform.
The IIHF (international arm of the sport) and Hockey Canada (birthplace and center of the sport) have indicated NO HITS to the head, yet the professional league still thinks is part of the game.