The safety of the players is one of the biggest concerns of a hockey parent. With this in mind, it's no surprise that one of the most popular search phrases online is “is hockey safe”. The concern with hockey safety is justified. Hockey is a popular and enjoyable sport, but like other contact sports such as football, there are risks associated with playing it.
In the same way that hockey is a team sport, hockey safety is also a team effort, and it goes beyond the ice rink. There are risk factors that are inherent to the sport, but there are also external risk factors that can be reduced with the collaboration of everyone involved, from parents to players and coaches.
Players are being instructed in stick handling, shooting, power skating, and other skills. However, sometimes coaches and trainers don’t invest enough time in helping players develop safety skills. There are guidelines to assist players in acquiring those skills. For example, as early as 8U, USA Hockey recommends blending drills to learn “Allowable Contact with Opponents”. Just as with any other skill required to play hockey, playing safe should be encouraged for all age groups, both on and off the ice.
Coaches accept a significant responsibility when they are selected to work with a team, especially a youth hockey team. The initial actions to promote safety start with the selection of the players during tryouts. Sometimes players are selected for a team for reasons beyond their skill level. A player who is selected for a team above his skill level represents a higher safety risk for the player and for the teammates.
During practices and games, coaches must always be aware of players that are not playing responsibly and never reward risky behaviors even when the excessive body check was against the opposing team.
Parents are fully aware of their player’s skills, personalities, objectives, and attitudes. Helping their players manage those traits responsibly is one of the most important contributions to player safety that a parent can make. In addition, one of the most important areas of improvement for many parents is their behavior during games. As part of the registration process, most hockey organizations require that parents sign an agreement that includes appropriate behavior during games.
There are always some parents that completely ignore those agreements and become serious threats to player safety. Trying to coach from the stands, screaming at their players and other players and directing inappropriate expressions towards the refs. That type of behavior represents an unnecessary distraction for everyone involved with the sport and can have a direct impact on the actions on the ice.
Youth hockey offers young athletes, opportunities to develop unique skills, live healthy lifestyles, learn about collaboration, develop leadership skills and many other benefits. We can all make the sport even more valuable by promoting player safety practices as a community.
Duzter was developed with three main objectives: availability, quality, and affordability. There are many hockey products that are available for junior and adult players but little or no availability for young players that are learning to play hockey. For that reason, Duzter was specifically created for youth hockey players and it is available in six different sizes, from mites to midgets.
In addition to the size availability, Duzter has base layers for male and female players. The quality of the Duzter products was validated by the USA Hockey Magazine. They selected the Duzter Armor set for their 2022 Safety Guide. Regarding affordability, the price of the Duzter Hockey Armor set is comparable with regular youth hockey base layers that don’t offer the additional blade injury protection.