As concern grows in the NHL over the prevalence of head injuries and serious concussions, the Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey Association is looking at offering non-contact teams for the upcoming season.
RMMHA president Glen Mund said the new league would offer parents more hockey options for their children.
RMMHA recently survey parents about interest in non-contact teams and heard back about 100 of them. Only 50 said they were.
That would be enough for three or four teams, although the concept of regional teams has also been discussed.
The Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, to which RMMHA belongs, already has non-contact leagues, but until now has offered none in the Fraser Valley.
Ontario has recently made all C Leagues non-contact, while Quebec has offered non-contact hockey for years.
“Hockey Canada recently conducted studies which inidicate that the level of injury in contact leagues is three-fold that of non-contact leagues at the bantam level,” said Mund. “They have also determined that there is little difference in injury levels at bantam when comparing players coming from non-contact or contact leagues in previous seasons.”
Hockey Canada high-performance coaches have also indicated that playing contact or non-contact at the younger age groups has little impact on how a player plays later in his hockey career, Mund added.
“I think more and more players and parents are more educated about the risks and benefits of non contact and contact hockey and want to at least have choices available for their children,” he said.
• For more information, visit www.ridgemeadowshockey.com.