Are you considering hockey for your child? Please read “Why Hockey?” below and explore the subjects that follow.
If you are a veteran hockey parent, congratulations; you are a special kind of parent (but read on anyway)!
Why hockey? Hockey is Canada’s national winter sport. The game is deeply engrained in our culture. But it is also so much more…
Hockey is about teammates, friendship and the bond that can only come by sharing the journey of learning to play a game that is not like any other.
Hockey is a game of skill and movement. It is about the sense of freedom and exhilaration of speeding across the ice. It is about the satisfaction of controlling the puck. It is about the joy of scoring goals.
Hockey develops agility, balance, coordination, reflexes and strength. It is also fantastic exercise. It is one of the best cardiovascular games you can play.
Hockey requires mental agility and creativity. It is a fast sport that requires quick thinking, the ability to focus and make decisions quickly in the context of a larger strategy.
Hockey develops life skills: working towards common goals, working within a group, developing strong communication skills and listening skills, respect for authority and rules, self-confidence, patience and sportsmanship.
Is Hockey Safe?
In West Vancouver, only two of our 16 teams (Bantam A and Midget A) play in divisions where bodychecking is permitted.
A number of important and significant changes have occurred to improve safety in hockey in the past few years. Most significantly, body checking has been eliminated at the Peewee age group. Coaches and safety managers teach and reinforce safe practices. Safety equipment has improved. Our understanding of the risk of concussions/head injuries has greatly improved, as has our ability to assess and respond to head injuries.
Recent research shows that hockey is equal to other major sports, including soccer, and falls behind sports such as skiing/snowboarding with regards to head and other injuries.
The majority of injuries (62 percent) among young hockey players (18 and under) are a result of checking. Injuries caused by body checks were the most common in the 14 to 16 age group, after players have been exposed to body checking. In BC, players do not bodycheck until Bantam (ages 13 to 14), and even then it is only introduced at the elite levels of the game – rep hockey.
Up until two years ago, in many parts of Canada, bodychecking was introduced at Peewee (ages 11 and 12). A study found that Pee wee players in Alberta were 2.5 times more likely to get hurt and 3.5 times more likely to suffer a concussion than the Pee wee players in Quebec (where bodychecking was not permitted). The joint University of Calgary, McGill University, and the University of Laval study tracked 2,200 Peewee players from both provinces for the entire 2007-2008 season to measure injury frequency.
In West Vancouver, only two of our 16 teams (Bantam A and Midget A) play in divisions where bodychecking is permitted. In fact, the majority of WVMHA minor hockey players play their entire minor hockey (from age 5 to 18) in non-bodychecking divisions and leagues.
Safety and risk management is taken very seriously by WVMHA, the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association, and Hockey Canada
Frequently Asked Questions
Hockey in West Vancouver is more expensive than soccer, but less expensive than skiing, swimming and other sports. We believe WVMHA offers the best value in hockey in the Lower Mainland. There are no membership fees or monthly dues. We operate a top-notch facility with reasonable practice times and uncrowded ice while providing access to some of the best professional coaches in the Lower Mainland.