The Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) has reinstated its ban on body-checking for nine and ten year-olds. The resolution means Saskatchewan will have to change its controversial policy.

  • The minimum age classification that body checking may be introduced is Peewee
  • The CHA undertake controlled pilot projects to further investigate the impacts of body checking on the Atom age classification with respect to injuries, skill acquisition, attitudes and behaviours, recruitment and retention, and the content delivery and follow-up of checking education programs. These pilot projects are opened to the branches where body checking has been introduced at the Atom age classification.
  • The CHA made a policy change that allowed provinces to lower the body-checking age a year ago. Saskatchewan was one of three provinces that went ahead with the change.

    A big factor behind the CHA's decision was a report from Ontario that suggested body-checking did not result in more injuries. However, that study was wrong says Bob Nicholson is director of the CHA.

    "Last year, we had a report that came forward that influenced a lot of people," he says. "It certainly wasn't the only document that we used. In the last ten years there were a few branches that always wanted to have body-checking. I think that this research paper had the Canadian Hockey Association open the door. Today, we closed the door on that."

    The CHA board will allow limited exceptions for research projects into the impact of body checking on young players.

    The director of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association says he's disappointed with the board's decision. Kelly McClintock says the board will likely try to initiate a research proposal so it can keep body checking in atom hockey.

    "...a little bit disappointed in that I don't think we necessarily agree that a minimum standard had to be created. We felt that it was already in place and the second motion that was approved would be fine and those people that still wanted to have atom could do it but would initiate some research projects to accompany it."

    The CHA lowered the age limit last year after delegates were presented with an Ontario study that indicated body-checking did not result in more injuries. However, a CBC News investigation by the program Disclosure revealed that report was inaccurate.