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Deflections: Herewith, a New Year’s hockey fantasy proclamation:


Whereas, we define a child as someone less than 11 years old,
Whereas, hockey rinks were designed by adults to meet the needs of adults in an age when kids played the game outdoors,
Whereas, the rink dimensions, net size, locations of lines, circles, and faceoff dots have not changed in a century or more,
Whereas, children are, except for anomalies, much smaller that adults,
Whereas, it is fact that, depending on the quality of drinking water in the area, children are physically weaker than adults or teenagers,
Whereas, it is acknowledged that by virtue of children being younger than adults (also fact), they have less experience in just about everything,
Whereas, it has been shown that children take generally considerably longer to reach any point on a rink than adults,
Whereas, a child’s skill development is often slow and awkward,
Whereas, better skilled children require opportunities in a space consistent with their size,
Whereas, the hockey puck is the same size and weight as that used by Sidney Crosby and his ilk,
Whereas, playing rules for said age group are almost identical to the aforementioned professionals,
Whereas, minor hockey is the only sport activity for children that has made no adaptations for all of the above (save for game length),

Therefore be it resolved from this day forward:
That teams maintain a ratio of a minimum of two practices for each game,
That games be conducted on no larger than half the length of a conventional rink,
That weaker skilled children, determined locally, will play across the rink in a single “zone,”
That all games involve no more than four skaters plus a goalie, with cross rink games having one less,
That the puck be proportionally reduced in size so that it weights 4 oz for novice age and 5 oz for atom age,
That nets be no larger than 3 ft high and 5 ft wide for half length games and 2 ft by 4 ft for cross ice games,
That for half ice games, a yellow or orange line be painted across the rink at the tops of the circles (currently known as the ringette line) and that this line is the offside line, and no other line markings be used (and none at all for cross ice games),
That penalties in half ice games be reduced to one minute for minors, with major and misconduct penalties replaced by suspension for X number of shifts,
That there be no penalties in cross ice games, except for intentional acts in which the child is replaced on the ice for a shift,
That teams be comprised of just two “lines,” ie. 9 per team for half ice games and 7 per team in cross ice games.

Be it resolved that we, the adults who should know better, proclaim to make it for and about the kids (as we like to profess).

Signed, this New Day in January, 2016.

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