Boys being boys and parents being parents

Boys being boys and parents being parents I recently learned Whitehorse Minor hockey is a noncontact league. This strikes me as a missed opportunity because it both eliminates the ability to compete against teams outside of the Yukon who do play contac

I recently learned Whitehorse Minor hockey is a noncontact league. This strikes me as a missed opportunity because it both eliminates the ability to compete against teams outside of the Yukon who do play contact, and it doesn’t allow boys to be boys.

With no other option for competitive contact sports such as football, lacrosse or rugby in the Yukon, young kids in the area are being deprived of the opportunity to participate in organized, regulated physical sports.

These sports develop a different sense of camaraderie that can only be acquired through going through the modern-day battle that contact sports provide. Physical contact and roughhousing are part of boys growing up, and a safe and controlled environment is the best medium for this. It is a crucial part of boys being boys.

Many people are worried about their children hurting themselves. No one wants anyone to get hurt, but my understanding is that the majority of hockey injuries occur from unprepared players. The first thing children learn when they start contact hockey is how to take a hit and protect themselves when being hit. This does not prevent all injuries, but it goes a very long way towards it.

I don’t agree with the issue of size being a huge factor as in my first year of Bantam (13- to 15-year-olds), being all of five feet and 90 pounds, I loved the contact. I have never been aggressive or chippy – receiving the Lady Byng award for sportsmanship twice in my contact-hockey career – but contact was why I wanted to play.

Being the smallest guy on the ice, I just learned to keep my head up and pick my spots. I would get caught every once in a while, but nothing more than minor bumps and bruises and lots of smiles afterwards.

While I fully support contact hockey in the Yukon, I do not support the reasons quoted in the recent newspaper article.

The concept of “building hockey players” frightens me.

It sounds like parents trying to live vicariously through their children on a quest for greatness. A few people from the Yukon may make a living through hockey, but the vast majority will take numerous life lessons and fond memories out of the game and will realize that it is just that, a game.

Being a talented hockey player here is great and playing junior down south is even better, but it is very likely not a long-term plan that will put food on the table.

I don’t want to discourage youngsters from dreaming of the NHL, but I do think that the parents wanting to “build hockey players” should take a reality check.

The idea of “kids having fun bringing down the league” is just ridiculous. These are kids not robots. Kids like to have fun. It may be that kids not taking the game as seriously as others are bringing down the quality of play in the league. But just because someone is less athletically gifted or doesn’t have the time commitment necessary to play rep hockey doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to play at all.

The anti-contact camp noted registration has increased since contact has ceased. This should be the ultimate goal and is hard to argue against, but I wonder if this is true across all age groups.

I still feel the many rough-and-tumble kids that just love a bit of physical combat, and those who do have aspirations of higher levels of hockey should have a contact option. If some sort of system could be created that had an optional contact division, or co-ed noncontact, or a more open and comprehensive rec league, we all may be better off.

Neil Cosco

Whitehorse

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read