Rule crackdown elevating hockey skill

The Terrace B.C. Adult Hockey League has cracked down on the rules and it is drawing out more skilled play, says its president.

The men’s rec hockey league started cracking down on the rules two years ago and its president, Steve Smyth, said it is drawing out more skill on the ice and making play more even.

“Some of the teams can beat any of the other teams, and it is because of skill rather than the physical aspects of the game,” said Smyth.

The popular league, also known as the Terrace Adult Hockey League, has eight rec teams and six oldtimers (age 35+). It includes players of all skill levels, from minor hockey graduates to recreational players to players who have competed at the junior level.

Smyth said the rule crack down was partly because of that mixed-level dynamic and was driven by an aim to “restore more of the recreational aspect of the league.”

The main shift was with referees ramping up the penalties for players slamming each other into the boards. Under the CARHA rules which the league follows, any physical contact into the boards is a four-minute penalty.

“For the first year there was a bit of dissatisfaction with that, because we haven’t really called it before,” said Smyth. “But those are the rules. Now we are consistently calling that and the play has adjusted itself accordingly.”

Goaltender interference was another focus. Referees have made a point to call it right away when players knock into a goalie, before the teammates start shoving each other around the net.

“When the referee called goaltender interference by the rule book, and called it immediately, it tended to eliminate the jockeying back and forth afterwards,” Smyth said.

Smyth says it has taken a while for players to adjust to the crackdown, but they are seeing the benefits of the shift now.

It makes for faster and smoother games, and better competition as teams battle based on skill rather than physicality.

The crackdown was prompted two seasons ago in 2014 by league executives and team representatives due to concerns about things getting carried away, Smyth said.

“It’s really the players in the league that drive where the league goes, and they wanted to see a crackdown [on the rules], he said.

They also wanted to be more strict about the yapping and chatter and verbal abuse of referees and players.

The league has made good strides with that and Smyth said there were very few incidents this last season.

“Its a long road to eliminate that from recreational hockey. Everybody seems to think they have the right to question the calls… it’s a bit of a challenge, but the players have responded to the challenge,” he said.

Teams will hit the ice in mid-September, and one of the rec teams is shifting into the oldtimers’ ranks, opening up more spots and hopefully cutting down the waiting list of players, Smyth said.

Last year the league started the season with 15 players on the waiting list, down to four by the end of the season.

“We had a great year, we had a fabulous playoff and all the teams were very close,” Smyth said, noting that most of the playoff games went to overtime.  “Teams were very evenly matched. The games were played on the ice and not in the penalty box. It was fast and it was exciting and we actually had fans out other than just wives and moms,” he laughed.

Players can register online and any interested officials can contact Dave Scott at 250-635-3716 or Steve Smyth at 250-638-1143.

Just Posted

College buys a yurt to boost student success

Round tent-like structure part of college instructional shift

Soup kitchen sees “groundswell of community support”

Donations toward looming tax bill push non-profit back in the black

Terrace husband and wife honoured for saving each other’s lives

BC Ambulance presented each a Vital Link Award for separate incidents of CPR

Council supports lobby for fair share of cannabis tax revenue

The City of Terrace is throwing its support behind a West Kelowna… Continue reading

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Airport registers modest passenger increase

Manager anticipates further growth in 2018 as expansion project nears completion

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

B.C. woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Princeton Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Most Read