How I became a believer in Half Ice Hockey and Hockey Canada
When it was announced 3 years ago that my son was going to be playing 1/2 ice hockey after his first year of hockey playing full ice, like most parents I was upset. Why is my son being disadvantaged?
Yes, I thought my son was going to be disadvantaged by not playing full ice, not learning the rules, only one referee, scores not being counted and no tournaments, just Jamborees.
I could not have been more wrong.
1/2 ice hockey has been a blessing to my two youngest kids. My son, who I was convinced was getting the short end of the stick, still loves hockey even though he does not play full ice. Loves hockey is an understatement. He LOVES hockey. When he plays the game I watch a boy that can stick handle with the softest hands because he is use to traffic. I see a boy that “touches” the puck multiple times each shift. I see a boy that smiles playing the game.
Ultimately he did not care how much ice he played on. It was me. It was me that did not like the fact there was not score kept. It was me who did not want to “watch” 1/2 ice play. It was me who was bias against change.
Today, my youngest child played her very first hockey game as a 7 year old. She was very unsure about starting hockey at all because she is having a difficult time learning to skate. She is the definition of an ankle burner. She touched the puck a ton in this hockey game even with her lack of skating skill. The only reason was 1/2 ice. The smaller surface gave her the opportunity to be involved in the game. You should have seen the smiles on her face and the smiles of all the girls involved in this game. They just plainly had fun because they were all involved in the game, not just the strong skaters.
So, Hockey Canada, you were right, so right in implementing 1/2 ice. I know you took so much heat doing so but it was right for the kids. And I thank you! On January 15th of 2020 both my kids will be moving from 1/2 ice to full ice. My son is ready for that transition but now I truly wish my youngest daughter would continue playing the smaller ice.
If your kids are starting hockey, give the 1/2 ice a chance. You will be impressed!