USA Hockey is considering making it a penalty for young players to make contact to another player’s head or neck, according to The New York Times.
The amateur hockey organization is also weighing whether to ban body checking for boys younger than 13, the Times reported. The way rules stand now, “there is no penalty for incidental contact to the head or neck,” according to The Times.
There was a summit on ice hockey and concussions held in October and led by Dr. Michael Stuart, who is USA Hockey’s chief medical officer and a professor of orthopedic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Studies discussed at the summit found that there were more than three times the rate of bad injuries and concussions in jurisdictions that permitted body checking for “11- and 12-year-olds, as measured against areas where it was allowed for 12- and 13-year-olds,” the Times said.
The USA Hockey proposal regarding penalties for contact with the head and neck at all ages is similar to the rules that already have been enacted at the Ice Hockey Federation and the NCAA. The National Hockey League permits some checks to the head, accordign to The Times.