Hockey checking is getting out of control
Recently Detroit Lakes' hockey player Brandon Olson got checked and was knocked out for two minutes. The guy who caused this slammed Brandon's head into the board with his elbows. Brandon had to get an MRI, have heart monitors, and was diagnosed with brain bleeding. I have only read about this, but this injury sounds really bad.
Last year, another hockey player, Jack Jablonski, got checked and was paralyzed. That's two really bad checks that have severely injured our guys in Minnesota, and there's probably a couple more that I haven't heard about.
I played U-10 hockey from third to fifth grade. I really enjoyed playing the game, but all the practices and games started taking up my life, and I had no time for anything else. During my first year on U-10, I don't think we won a single game.
Nevertheless, it was still really fun. Our second year, we actually became a competitive team and won a lot of games. Sadly, a lot of our best players went to U-12 the next year, and my last year we won about half the games we did the year before. I loved the feeling of skating out on the ice.
I stopped playing in sixth grade, because hockey took up all my time. Only once did I end up in the penalty box, and at first I didn't even know what I did, but I learned that apparently my stick had touched someone else's skate. It didn't cause the other player to trip, and I remember not recalling doing it. I had no clue what I was doing, but I still got a penalty.
The player who took his elbows and slammed Brandon Olson's head into the board so hard that he got knocked out for two minutes and had brain bleeding, however, got off clean. That's because in boys' hockey clean checks are allowed.
And the refs are the one who decide if a hit is clean, and the guy who was the ref at the Crookston game thought that check was.
I believe that checking being allowed in boys' hockey is getting out of control. The Minnesota State High School League has really been cracking down on concussions. They forced cross country runners who just run to take confusing concussion tests.
I know that they care as much about concussions in boys' hockey as they do for cross country runners. They still allow boys to check, though, even though the chance of getting a concussion is much higher when checking is allowed.
The purpose of penalties in hockey is to keep the game safe and under control. When I got a penalty in elementary school, I may have deserved it, I don't know. But I didn't cause anything bad to happen or hurt anyone. However, when that Crookston player slammed Brandon Olson's head into the boards that was very unsafe. The ref let the game get out of control.
We are getting too many injuries because of checking in boys' hockey. When boys play, the game can get a little rough, but no one should have to get a MRI.
If someone knocks a player out for two minutes and causes him to have brain bleeding, he should definitely spend some time in the penalty box.
Holly McCamant is a freshman at Frazee-Vergas High School.