By Jack Weinberg, AHAI High School Chairman
Everyone has a role in making our sport of hockey safer. These first months of the season have already seen too many injuries. Causes include injury potential penalties such as Head Contact, Checking from Behind, Boarding, Slashing, Charging, and of course, Fighting.
These penalties are being called by the officials this season because, they are happening. Don’t complain about the call, ask why our players are not following the rules. Good coaches will not continue to put players back on the ice who will not follow the rules.
Parents and fans, support the efforts of the coaches and officials to curb dangerous play. Complaining and screaming, “Let ’em play!” when the referee makes a call enables the bad behavior and compromises the safety of all the players. Cheering when a player crumbles to the ice from a violent or otherwise illegal hit tells everyone that you think that was a good thing to do. Do you slow down at the scene of a traffic accident with bodies strewn everywhere and think, “I hope my child caused that!” Of course not. Why encourage the same behavior on the ice.
Everyone can help make the game safer. Support the team the right way by applauding the coaches and officials for providing a safe environment for our children who play this great game. Reward the players by cheering for their great play and good sportsmanship. Remember the other team is the opponent, not the enemy.