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There is a petition going around asking USA Hockey to undo the latest rule changes for youth hockey, specifically automatic offsides, icing on the penalty kill, and body checking rule change.

Everyone's opinion will be different.  In my case, I can live with the icing and body contact changes, but the automatic offsides does not compute.

Anyone care to defend or debate the merits of the change?

Here's the petition.  

Petition · Fixing USA Hockey's rules. · Change.org

 

Edited by Jack Handey
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My initial reaction to the automatic offsides change is positive. 
 

Anything that forces possession and control of the puck at all costs is a good thing. With this new rule kids are going to have to make quicker decisions, be more deceptive with the puck, and maintain possession by passing. 
 

In youth hockey there is so much play along the boards and so much dumping and chasing. It’s borderline gross to watch. I think this change could help unleash and develop skill with our kids. 
 

But this change certainly goes against the old school “dump and chase” and parents and coaches screaming “use the boards” mentality. 
 

Do you want old school hockey or do you want to develop puck skills? That’s what this comes down to. 

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19 minutes ago, BeaverFalls said:

In theory, sunshine, rainbows and magical skills. In reality just one whistle after another, no flow and even less continuous play. 

One whistle after another because kids will be continuously offsides?

Challenge the kids to make decisions and maintain possession. They may surprise you. Kids are adaptable. 
 

We’ll develop players better without them all blasting it into the zone along the boards during regroups. 
 

It takes more creativity and skill to play with the new rules. I’m not sure that’s even debatable. 

Edited by RJUSHL
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1 minute ago, RJUSHL said:

One whistle after another because kids will be continuously offsides?

Challenge the kids to make decisions and maintain possession. They may surprise you. Kids are adaptable. 

From what I’ve seen, kids are doing an ok job of holding the puck, but SO many whistles on those plays where the puck bounces off someone and goes in the zone while players are exiting.  

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3 minutes ago, Lucky17 said:

From what I’ve seen, kids are doing an ok job of holding the puck, but SO many whistles on those plays where the puck bounces off someone and goes in the zone while players are exiting.  

It’s because kids are rushing things and wilt under pressure and panic and just get rid of the puck. This change will force the issue. We’ll have more skilled players and better decision makers. 

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42 minutes ago, BeaverFalls said:

In theory, sunshine, rainbows and magical skills. In reality just one whistle after another, no flow and even less continuous play. 

More continuous play actually. You really think dumping and chasing is skilled hockey with fluid play? That’s the easiest play for the unskilled and robotic player.

Look at all those players making it to the next level because they can shove the puck up the boards constantly and dump and chase! So much skill!

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Finally worked a bunch of games this weekend.   Worked every age group, mostly T1.    Surprising results:

1. The icing rule has not stopped anyone from simply icing the puck on the power play.

2. The offside rule is not that big a deal.  The good teams are regrouping back through their D.  Once in a while there is a whistle off a bad bounce, etc. 

3. The competitive contact rule has led to more contact off the puck.  Many of the T1 teams were using a lot of man-to-man D, with position battles everywhere.  Was not expecting this at all.

Interested to see how this goes over the next few weeks.   Don't think it's time to reject the changes just yet.  Need another 4-6 weeks to see what happens.  Same reaction occurred when the Standard of Play was first introduced and all the obstruction penalties were added.

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1 hour ago, RJUSHL said:

More continuous play actually. You really think dumping and chasing is skilled hockey with fluid play? That’s the easiest play for the unskilled and robotic player.

Look at all those players making it to the next level because they can shove the puck up the boards constantly and dump and chase! So much skill!

It sounds like you’ve just completed your first level cep and had your head pumped full from the good idea fairies from usa hockey.

kids get better by playing the game. Not by constant whistles and stoppage of play.

There is no proof that automatic offside has made anyone a better player. It’s simply there because it’s easier for newer and unskilled officials to make the call than managing the numbers of delayed off sides. Same with icing at all times. It makes it easier to just call an icing regardless of game context. 
 

Creativity on the penalty kill is about the last thing you want to be teaching young players. Positioning, reading passes etc on the other hand…

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1 hour ago, BeaverFalls said:

It sounds like you’ve just completed your first level cep and had your head pumped full from the good idea fairies from usa hockey.

kids get better by playing the game. Not by constant whistles and stoppage of play.

There is no proof that automatic offside has made anyone a better player. It’s simply there because it’s easier for newer and unskilled officials to make the call than managing the numbers of delayed off sides. Same with icing at all times. It makes it easier to just call an icing regardless of game context. 
 

Creativity on the penalty kill is about the last thing you want to be teaching young players. Positioning, reading passes etc on the other hand…

It’s always hilarious when someone tries to make (wrong) assumptions about someone instead of offering solid arguments. 😂

Delayed offsides by definition = non-possession. This new rule change is subtle but it emphasizes skill and decision making under pressure. To me that’s a good thing. I’m not arguing it’s validity based on whether or not it’s easy or difficult for the refs. I’m arguing based on kids development as hockey players. Take away the easy option and actually make them think and be creative. 

And I didn’t mention anything about the PK.

 

Edited by RJUSHL
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I hate the automatic offsides. The better, higher level teams are adjusting quickly to it, but I hate the extra stoppages. I am hearing that lower teams are struggling, but maybe they, too, will adjust. Whether that translates to better players, no one really knows right now. Guess we shall see.

I hated the no ice on the penalty kill at first, but now it doesn't bother me. It impacted the game until the kids adjusted. The better teams can stick handle to the neutral zone, a lot still ice it.

So maybe I won't care about the offsides later in the season, either. It does drive me crazy that school and travel play under different rules. But bigger hockey markets like Minnesota and Michigan only let you play one or the other, so maybe that is why they don't care.

Checking changes are not going anywhere. USA Hockey is scrutinized by outside forces. We were told in a CEP that if they don't make the game safer, their fear is medical professionals and government will force changes that they won't have input on. They want to make the game safer and point to how they are doing it.

And the checking rules are not different from the last rule implemented, just changed wording for 'clarification'. The big hit that causes all the ooos and ahs is supposed to be gone. Make a play for the puck or can't hit. I don't mind that. A hit is supposed to get you possession of the puck. Nine times out if ten, that big hit takes both players out of the play. That's dumb. The biggest problem I have seen so far is that not many refs seem to be calling the rules that way. I want consistency. 

I see a lot of issues coming with the change in penalty minutes that will pull a kid out of a game, particularly on bantams learning how to check. 12 minutes and you are out, regardless of minor or major. Lots of kids coming out of games. That is a bigger chill on checking than applying these definitions of checking.

We may just be headed to non checking.

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I have watched several games and have gotten to see various applications of the contact rule from one rink to the next.

I have to say that I am disappointed with this new rule. So now we move the puck at the last second and draw a penalty. What a great tactic. 

So now we don't hit at all and just watch shake and bake and kids now back to skating with their heads down, because good luck knocking them off the puck.

All I have seen from these new rules is a lot of sloppy hockey and no skill development. Refs are watching the blue line so close they miss half of what's going on out there.

Checking is now basically a free for all away from the puck, because no one is watching that.

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15 hours ago, BeaverFalls said:

It sounds like you’ve just completed your first level cep and had your head pumped full from the good idea fairies from usa hockey.

kids get better by playing the game. Not by constant whistles and stoppage of play.

There is no proof that automatic offside has made anyone a better player. It’s simply there because it’s easier for newer and unskilled officials to make the call than managing the numbers of delayed off sides. Same with icing at all times. It makes it easier to just call an icing regardless of game context. 
 

Creativity on the penalty kill is about the last thing you want to be teaching young players. Positioning, reading passes etc on the other hand…

Newer officials were not working games with delayed off-sides.  Level 1 officials work below that level.  They are not putting rules into effect to make it easier for officials.  They are doing it to change the style of play.

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21 hours ago, RJUSHL said:

But this change certainly goes against the old school “dump and chase”

You can have a 50-50 battle at the blue line, or you can have a 50-50 battle behind the opponents' goal line.  If you want to see more offense and more scoring and just as much creativity, let them have the battle behind the goal line.  The new offsides rule forces a puck carrier at the blue line to turn back and re-group into traffic.  On occasion I have seen as many as 8 or 9 skaters between the blue and the red line because of the turn back.  Yes some creativity will be required to keep possession.  But the rule forces more play and more time spent in the neutral zone with high traffic.  Is this really what we want to see and where we want to play the game?

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26 minutes ago, Jack Handey said:

You can have a 50-50 battle at the blue line, or you can have a 50-50 battle behind the opponents' goal line.  If you want to see more offense and more scoring and just as much creativity, let them have the battle behind the goal line.  The new offsides rule forces a puck carrier at the blue line to turn back and re-group into traffic.  On occasion I have seen as many as 8 or 9 skaters between the blue and the red line because of the turn back.  Yes some creativity will be required to keep possession.  But the rule forces more play and more time spent in the neutral zone with high traffic.  Is this really what we want to see and where we want to play the game?

This is a good argument. We'll see how it plays out.

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The new checking rule appears to be:

If it's loud on the boards or glass- 2 minutes

If the kid being checked falls- 2 minutes

 

If the kid doing the checking is bigger than the one being checked and one or both of the above happen- that's a two and ten

 

It's ridiculous. 

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22 minutes ago, nemesis8679 said:

The new checking rule appears to be:

If it's loud on the boards or glass- 2 minutes

If the kid being checked falls- 2 minutes

 

If the kid doing the checking is bigger than the one being checked and one or both of the above happen- that's a two and ten

 

It's ridiculous. 

BuT iT maKeS ThEM CrEaTIve!

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On 9/21/2021 at 2:09 PM, RJUSHL said:

My initial reaction to the automatic offsides change is positive. 
 

Anything that forces possession and control of the puck at all costs is a good thing. With this new rule kids are going to have to make quicker decisions, be more deceptive with the puck, and maintain possession by passing. 
 

In youth hockey there is so much play along the boards and so much dumping and chasing. It’s borderline gross to watch. I think this change could help unleash and develop skill with our kids. 
 

But this change certainly goes against the old school “dump and chase” and parents and coaches screaming “use the boards” mentality. 
 

Do you want old school hockey or do you want to develop puck skills? That’s what this comes down to. 

Is that what you have seen so far this year? I have seen many many AAA games and have seen no change. Other than more games ending at a curfew. Much like the no icing rule, they hoped for one result and it has not helped the game or players one bit in my opinion. Why not have set rules thr  the youth hockey ranks? Let the kids learn the complete game earlier and progress. Makes no sense to me.

Edited by hockeydadlife
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1 hour ago, hockeydadlife said:

Is that what you have seen so far this year? I have seen many many AAA games and have seen no change. Other than more games ending at a curfew. Much like the no icing rule, they hoped for one result and it has not helped the game or players one bit in my opinion. Why not have set rules thr  the youth hockey ranks? Let the kids learn the complete game earlier and progress. Makes no sense to me.

I’ve seen what you’re describing. For better teams it hasn’t made a huge difference. For worse teams the play is more choppy. We’ll see if they adapt or not. 

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On 9/21/2021 at 6:03 PM, carroll81 said:

Finally worked a bunch of games this weekend.   Worked every age group, mostly T1.    Surprising results:

1. The icing rule has not stopped anyone from simply icing the puck on the power play.

2. The offside rule is not that big a deal.  The good teams are regrouping back through their D.  Once in a while there is a whistle off a bad bounce, etc. 

3. The competitive contact rule has led to more contact off the puck.  Many of the T1 teams were using a lot of man-to-man D, with position battles everywhere.  Was not expecting this at all.

Interested to see how this goes over the next few weeks.   Don't think it's time to reject the changes just yet.  Need another 4-6 weeks to see what happens.  Same reaction occurred when the Standard of Play was first introduced and all the obstruction penalties were added.

number 2 is spot on its a great teaching rule for sure... parent love to complain  when in reality it is good but daddy coach can't teach a simple re group so they complain about a rule 

 

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On 9/22/2021 at 11:40 AM, Jack Handey said:

You can have a 50-50 battle at the blue line, or you can have a 50-50 battle behind the opponents' goal line.  If you want to see more offense and more scoring and just as much creativity, let them have the battle behind the goal line.  The new offsides rule forces a puck carrier at the blue line to turn back and re-group into traffic.  On occasion I have seen as many as 8 or 9 skaters between the blue and the red line because of the turn back.  Yes some creativity will be required to keep possession.  But the rule forces more play and more time spent in the neutral zone with high traffic.  Is this really what we want to see and where we want to play the game?

Hey Jack,

Go find some footage of the old Russian red army team. They were better skaters and  more skilled than most of the NHL players and more than held their own vs NHL teams until the Flyers literally gooned them into submission with ~AHEM -COUGH COUGH PUKE~ "tough physical Canandian Hockey" and the game has been worse off ever since. They would turn back and regroup anywhere on the ice - including taking it back out of the offensive zone if they saw fit. They maintained possession and puck control while they looked to set up specific plays. It was not the familiar "get the biscuit to the blue paint and crash the net with your stick down" game that is all too often played today.

I grew up playing immediate offsides in the 70's....  I coached and officiated during both tag up and immediate offsides rules periods as well as through the multiple transitions between them. It's not that big of a deal and the players will figure it out.... The problem is more likely that few of the active coaches have any notion of how to coach\teach puck possession from an individual player or a team perspective - let alone have experience playing any way but tag-up dump and chase.

As for the less skilled\younger players, by definition they have always had issues with that pesky blueline. 

Edited by GrumpyOldPucker
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On 9/22/2021 at 11:40 AM, Jack Handey said:

You can have a 50-50 battle at the blue line, or you can have a 50-50 battle behind the opponents' goal line.  If you want to see more offense and more scoring and just as much creativity, let them have the battle behind the goal line.  The new offsides rule forces a puck carrier at the blue line to turn back and re-group into traffic.  On occasion I have seen as many as 8 or 9 skaters between the blue and the red line because of the turn back.  Yes some creativity will be required to keep possession.  But the rule forces more play and more time spent in the neutral zone with high traffic.  Is this really what we want to see and where we want to play the game?

 I see your point.  So I paid a little more attention to the neutral zone play in my games this week.   Rustin vs. Downingtown - Puck comes out of zone, D to D and right back on the attack; either a quick pass to a forward cutting through the middle, pass opposite to a wing on the blue line or skate it in.  In a rare instance of a clogged zone or a line change, it's a pass back to the D partner to change a side of the attack and try it again.  So, it is really not a 50/50 battle in the neutral zone because you never give up the possession to begin with.  Still plenty of cycling and play below the goal line. 

Reminded me of a game last year when Bishop McQuid(?) from Rochester came through.  It was maddening how they would never dump the puck, ever.  They would cycle all the way back into their own end if they had to.  If they could not generate a clean zone entry, they would reset and do it over.  Sometimes 3-4 times.  Crazy.   When you do it like that, it is actually easier to maintain possession.  You are spreading play out over 2 zones, instead of jammed in one.

I watched the NHL teams do it on the powerplay last season and it would drive me crazy.  I now see the value in it.

Edited by carroll81
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