By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar
QUESTION: How much body contact should be allowed at the younger levels of play, 12U and below?
ANSWER: Legal body contact should be allowed in all instances provided it is done within the definition of body contact. Body contact is a hockey skill that needs to be developed and encouraged at all levels of play. Players should be allowed to compete and gain possession of the puck using their body to establish and maintain their position using legal methods. At the same time, officials should be diligent in enforcing body checking in Body Contact categories anytime a player shifts their focus away from playing the puck and instead intentionally plays the body with an overt hip, shoulder or forearm for the purpose of separating the opponent from the puck.