Why does this town have to pull apart the minor hockey league? With what small amount of hockey players we do have, somebody has decided to put the best (elite) on one team and move them up a division to play against older kids.
Younger players are physically and, especially, mentally unprepared to deal with the difference in maturity level. This has been compensated for by eliminating body contact. While in theory, this compensates for the physical aspect, it does not address the mental aspect. It also ignores the fact that hockey is a contact sport.
Without proper education of how to take and receive a body check, injuries and mental intimidation are inevitable. While children in other communities are learning the checking skill, our children are left in the dark and set up for failure by their lack of knowledge of the physical side of the game. This benefits no one.
Alternately, by spreading the talent pool equally among teams with kids the same age and properly teaching body contact, we are eliminating these problems while promoting tolerance and the ability to work with kids of various skill levels to build team spirit and to achieve a common goal. This creates parity and the chance for everyone to win if they work as a team. Isn’t this what we want?
Why can’t we have all the kids play in their own age group? Why do 20 of the best kids have to be on one team? Who is benefiting from this? Why can’t they pick four or five kids off each team to represent the Yukon when they go down south for tournaments?
This has destroyed the competitiveness and fun of the league to the point that some kids don’t even want to show up at the games anymore.
The way the system is set up, the expense is beyond the means of most parents, myself included. Why should talented youth be excluded because of their parents’ financial position? The league should rise to find better solutions for fundraising to make sure all youth have equal opportunity.
Don’t rip the league apart, let’s work together to prepare our youth for a realistic shot at a junior team. Our kids have the rest of their life to play old timers hockey.