Youth hockey board retains stricter penalty rules

Checking from behind, like the illegal hit that paralyzed Jack Jablonski last December, will continue to trigger an automatic 5-minute major penalty in Minnesota youth hockey for at least another year. The Star Tribune reports the board of Minnesota Hockey voted 18-6 on Sunday to continue the rule change that elevated the penalty from two minutes to five. An ad hoc committee recommended going back to the original penalty structure while stepping up "education and accountability" of coaches, game officials and players.
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Checking from behind, like the illegal hit that paralyzed Jack Jablonski last December, will continue to trigger an automatic 5-minute major penalty in Minnesota youth hockey for at least another year. The Star Tribune reports the board of Minnesota Hockey voted 18-6 on Sunday to continue the rule change that elevated the penalty from two minutes to five. An ad hoc committee recommended going back to the original penalty structure while stepping up "education and accountability" of coaches, game officials and players.

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Minnesota Hockey's board of directors is expected to vote Sunday whether to drop the tougher penalty structure that added more minutes for the most dangerous illegal hits. The rules were adopted soon after Jack Jablonski of Benilde-St. Margaret's was paralyzed by a check from behind. The Star Tribune reports the recommendation to undo the changes at the youth level stems from concerns the stiffer penalties take players off the ice for too long and hampers their ability to learn.

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