Hockey Canada: Remove body checking from all levels of Pee Wee & Bantam hockey in Canada.
  • Petitioned Bob Nicholson
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

President of Hockey Canada
Bob Nicholson
Chairman of the Board, Hockey Canada
Mike Bruni
Vice President of Hockey Development
Paul Carson
See response

Hockey Canada: Remove body checking from all levels of Pee Wee & Bantam hockey in Canada.

    1. Andrea Winarski
    2. Petition by

      Andrea Winarski

      Markham, Canada

June 2013


Andrea Winarski: On May 25, 2013, Hockey Canada voted to nationally postponed the introduction of body checking effective immediately. Just proving that one "hockey mom" can make a huge difference!!

Current medical evidence documents that injuries, specifically concussions, can be substantially reduced if body checking is removed from minor hockey.  Given the recent findings on the long term consequences of concussions, we are asking Hockey Canada to provide a safe playing environment for our Rep and Tiered hockey players: one which reduces the risk of concussions and injury by eliminating body checking.

Hockey Canada's current rules are failing players in the instance when they most need to be protected. We maintain that, if left unchanged, this situation is a serious breach of responsibility and accountability. This is NOT an issue of being for or against body checking- this is a broader issue concerning the health and welfare of Canadian children in sport.


Body Checking Fast Facts:

1.  Children and teenagers are more susceptible to concussions than adults.     Long-term consequences of concussions include reduced cognitive function, depression and dementia.

2.  There is an abundance of solid medical evidence which proves that body checking is the single most consistent risk factor for injury to minor hockey players.  Body checking is associated with between 46% and 86% of injuries in minor hockey. The top 3 injuries incurred are concussions, knee sprains, and shoulder dislocations.

3.  Renowned medical organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and the American Pediatric Association endorse the action of removing body checking from minor hockey.

4.  Boys play hockey for fun above ALL else. More than 99% of children who play Rep or Tiered hockey in Canada will not have professional hockey careers; after the age of 19 they will play in recreational, non-hitting leagues. 

5.  Hockey Canada continues to debate the issue.  They maintain that body checking is a required skill for players entering into professional hockey careers.  In fact, when body checking is removed from game play, the skill and development actually goes up. The "body checking is part of the game" retort is typically launched from the uninformed, or nostalgic.

6.  The volunteer system of hockey results in gaps in the ability to manage and mitigate potential injury situations, leaving the children at even further risk 

7.  Many boys leave hockey because they do not like the body checking game. As 30% of Canadian youth are overweight or obese, keeping children active should remain a key goal. We want our boys to be players, not spectators. 

Why do we have a minor hockey system designed for the uber-minority that may make it to the NHL instead of for the vast majority of children who want to play competitive hockey for the duration of their lifetime?

This is no longer an issue for Hockey Canada to ponder.  This is a public health crisis.  The time to make change is now. 

For more info visit Safer Hockey on Facebook

Recent signatures


    1. Hockey Canada AGM

      Andrea Winarski
      Petition Organizer

      At the Hockey Canada Annual General Meeting on May 24-May 26, a motion to raise the age of body checking NATIONALLY from 11 to 13 will be presented and voted upon. Please email your Hockey Canada Executive ASAP and let them know how you would like them to vote.

      Thank You!

      Wilf Liefke, BC Hockey

      Rob Virgil, Hockey AB

      Al Hubbs, SK Hockey Association

      Bill Whitehead, Hockey MN

      Judy Bain , Hockey Northwestern ON

      Bill Bowman, ON Hockey Federation

      Ron Thompson, Ottawa District Hockey Association

      Réal Langlais, Hockey Quebec

      Ray Carmichael, Hockey NB

      Goops Wooldridge, Hockey P.E.I.

      Randy Pulsifer, Hockey NS

      Jack Lee, Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador

      Gary Vivian, Hockey North

    2. Let's Not Remain the 'Silent Majority'!

      Andrea Winarski
      Petition Organizer

      On March 3, the Rick Hansen Institute published a survey on public attitudes on ways to improve safety in amateur hockey in Canada.

      The Angus Reid survey polled 2,017 Canadian adults, hockey fans and hockey parents.

      The most startling finding: Two thirds of hockey parents (67%) and four-in-five hockey fans (79%) support delaying the introduction of body-checking until age 15 or older.

      Why does Hockey Canada continue to be influenced by the very loud minority of Canadians and hockey parents who endorse the introduction of body checking at the age of 11.

      Please make your opinion heard: pass this petition on to friends and family. Safer Hockey in Canada will be presenting the petition and ALL the comments to the Hockey Canada Executive this spring.

      To see the full survey and results:

      Also, please Like us at and Follow us on Twitter @SaferHockey.

      Best Regards,

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. Reason #1 to Share this Petition:

      Andrea Winarski
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to all of you for signing our petition to end body checking in Pee Wee and Bantam hockey !

      Many of you think this initiative is a 'no-brainer'; please do not underestimate the voice of the loud minority to which status quo favours. Consider this comment from Saskachewan which was posted on our Facebook page today:

      "Maybe those who are scared of there children getting hurt should cover them in bubble-rap....perhaps leave the training wheels on there bikes until they move out. Hockey is hockey and if you don't agree with contact pick a different sport. This is the reason minor hockey in rural centres is decreasing, parents who are more scared than there kids. My son will play contact and will be taught respect for other players. Grow up society..."

      Please take the next step and pass this petition onto 10 friends! Parental advocacy and education is what is going to protect our children.

      Please also share the articles on


      Safer Hockey in Canada

      Given the mounting evidence that injuries can be substantially reduced if body checking is removed...

    5. Reached 250 signatures
    6. Decision-maker Paul Carson responds:

      Paul Carson

      Thank you very much for your correspondence to Hockey Canada and those responsible for the administration of the game.

      Hockey Canada and its 13 regional branches review programs and regulations on a regular basis, including those that...

    7. Decision-maker Paul Carson responds:

      Paul Carson

      Merci beaucoup d’avoir écrit à Hockey Canada et aux responsables de l’administration du hockey.

      Hockey Canada et ses 13 divisions régionales revoient les programmes et règlements sur une base régulière, incluant ceux qui peuvent avoir...

    8. Our Boys Are Getting Hurt: Stop Body Checking In PeeWee and Bantam!

      Andrea Winarski
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all for your support!

      In less than 2 days, we have had over 150 people add their signature and heart felt comments to this petition. Thank you for sharing your stories and inspiring us all to make this change.

      This petition is not just for hockey parents; it is for all Canadians. Please share this with your family, friends and co-workers. Together we will make a difference.

      Please start the discussion and get people talking about this issue.

      The time for change is now!

      Best Regards,
      Andrea, Safer Hockey in Canada

    9. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Patricia Paley DUNROBIN, ONTARIO, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      I have seen the results of mild and serious concussion on both children and adults and the best hockey does not need to allow body checking.

      • about 1 year ago

      I have a son who plays hockey and loves the sport and I want him and all other children to be safe... My profession is psychotherapy and I understand the progressive characteristics of brain trauma...

    • tom Corbett EDMONTON, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      Bodychecking is an oxymoron, Sport is about fun and friendship.

    • Charlotte Campbell LAKE GEORGE, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      I am concerned about my young grandchildren who all play hockey.

      Checking is just too dangerous - which is why I don't like the sport.

    • Michelle MacDonald AIRDRIE, CANADA
      • about 1 year ago

      We need to ensure the safety and long term development of our players in hockey. Often Pee Wee and Bantam levels are times where kids drop out of hockey due to the hitting and rough play. Those who stay, are at risk of long term ramifications to their health if or when experiencing concussions. Body Checking has it's place at older levels when players are more mature and have appropriate coaching and training.


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