Children playing road hockey games have been benched in Enfield, a small community just east of Halifax, because neighbours complained to police.

An RCMP officer recently stopped by and told the kids there had been complaints about their playing in the street, so they would have to stop.

Ryan Jefferies, 12, said he lived for those afternoon hockey games. He and his friends would jump off the school bus and run home for their hockey gear.

Ryan's mom, Debbie Jefferies, said she never received a direct complaint about the street hockey.

"They play all winter," she said. "They play in hockey leagues — each and every one of them — and they are on this street every single day. They're passionate about it."

Jefferies said she doesn't know what prompted the complaint to the police, so the boys never had a chance to fix what was wrong.

They were given the option of playing on a cul-de-sac less than a 10-minute walk away, but they don't want to do that.

"It's a lot funner playing here," Ryan said. "If we need a drink, we can just go in and get it. And if someone gets hurt, you just go in and get a Band-Aid."

Road hockey is ingrained Canada's hockey history, said Pete Belliveau, the head coach of the Dalhousie University Tigers men's hockey team. And there are worse things the kids could be doing, he said.

"At the end of the day, I'd rather see my kids playing hockey than maybe playing on a computer," he said. "But I'm sure safety is No. 1."

Last month, a father in Quebec was fined $75 for playing a game of street hockey with his seven-year-old son and some of their friends on a residential street.

David Sasson of Dollard-des-Ormeaux said public security officers who patrol the neighbourhood told him they had to fine him because they received a noise complaint.

Since then, more than 500 people have signed a petition to strike down the Montreal-area West Island bylaw that forbids street sports.