As a parent of a soon-to-be first year Bantam player, who has volunteered with our organization actively for the last 5 years, this series of Podcasts has changed my opinion on this issue 100%. Although my son is now playing Bantam hockey during the spring and summer, in preparation for his upcoming first year Bantam season, and is beyond the age where the rule change will affect him, I was adamantly opposed to the rule change. Like others, I felt that checking should be be introduced at an earlier age rather than later.
After listeing closely to these Podcasts on the subject, I now fully support the rule change 100%, and wish it had been made when my son was a Mite. I urge everyone to listen to all of these Podcasts carefully, and I believe that the reasons for the change are clear, the benefits are obvious, and that the potential negatives, such as officiating difficulties and Bantam-level injuries, are small.
Clearly I was misinformed on the intentions of the proposed rule change, and had developed preconceived notions on the reasons and the potential results of the change. Listening to these Podcasts was very informative, and I now feel that the rule change is long overdue, and will ultimately improve the game and the skill development of the players, and will not in any way affect the physicality of the game, which is obviously a very important and signature aspect of the game of hockey.
Bravo to USA Hockey for putting together such informational Podcasts. And thanks from an involved hockey volunteer, hockey father, and fan of the greatest game in the world.