Press Releases
April 2014


March 2013

Survey: 87 per cent of Canadians feel that hockey carries a “significant risk” of head, neck and brain injury

Click to read article from the Globe and Mail

April 2012

Interesting article from the website
Best Player of the World
Click here to read

April 2012

TNC Bantam Blue Sharks beat TNC White Sharks to win PLC SPORTS NO BODY CHECKING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS tournament
The TNC Peewee Lightning and Wolverines finish 3rd and 4th

February 2012

TNC Peewee Hornets win
Burlington Tournament
The TNC Peewee Hornets beat in the final the TNC Redhawks to win the Burlington Tournament.
The TNC Bantam Wolverines finish 2nd and the Bantam Sharks finish 3rd with the RedHawks finishing 5th.

March 3, 2012

Teenagers Are More Vulnerable to Sport Concussions
Research results published in "Brain Injury" by Université de Montréal neuropsychologist Dave Ellemberg - Feb 2012

May 4, 2011
OHF bans bodychecking at the Select level for ALL ages
Click here for more

New study of concussions
among NHL players

Monday April 18, 2011
Syd Johnson, a bioethicist from Dalhousie University in Halifax calls for the elimination of bodychecking in all but the most elite levels of youth hockey, where players are at least 16 years old to reduce concussions and other serious injuries:
Her analysis article was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Watch report from Global News National where Phoenix Tashlin-Clifford one of TNC players is interviewed

2011 TNC Hockey
Final Fun
Hockey Night
2011 TNC Peewee
Champs 2-5 Allstars

2011 TNC Bantam
Champs 1-2 Allstars

click here for more...

No Body Checking
Hockey Championships
in Barrie Ontario
TNC Peewee Sharks
win Bronze
with a 4-0 record!

Ryan Harrs
wins Peewee Goalie

and Clark Schlesinger
wins Peewee player award!

click here for more...
-New Study published
Tuesday March 15, 2011
in Open Medicine
proves the obvious:
"Bodychecking is the major contributor of serious injuries in minor hockey" and that "hitting younger is not better".
Read more in the Globe

Our own TNC
win GOLD

-New Season starts
Sat Sep 11, 2010
Read more

-Wolverines Win
The 1st TNCHL Champions Cup

Read more

-The Death of a Canadian Institution:
Barely on Life Support!

By Emile Therien
Read article

Brad Dalgarno
talks about TNCHL

Letters to TNCHL/
Richard Wennberg, MD,FRCPC
Neurologist, University of Toronto

Scientific studies have clearly indicated that injuries, including concussions, occur more frequently among 11 and 12 year old players in leagues that permit body checking compared to non-contact leagues ...
Read More
Testimonials /
Parents talk
Doreen Ng-Bell
A true hockey mom
talks about TNCHL and
her 12 yr old son
Kelly Lyons and Don Hay
Talk about TNCHL and their
14 yr old son

Read Neil Clifford's



The Death of a Canadian Institution: Barely on Life Support!


The Death of a Canadian Institution: Barely on Life Support!
February 22, 2010 - by Emile Therien

Over the last few weeks, many Canadians have been glued to their television sets following the progress of Canada's hockey teams as they embarked in search of the gold medals at the Vancouver games.

Win or lose, Canadians have been overjoyed, and rightfully so, year in and year out with the successes enjoyed by the country's hockey teams at the international level. The roster of those teams consists of men and women with outstanding skills, which far exceed the norm. They consist of an elite few in a pool of literally hundreds of thousands of players. That said, this international success for years has long masked the problems confronting minor hockey in Canada: injuries, primarily due to body checking, registration and participation costs, the gapping and unfair age differential (advantage for players born in January, February, March) , elitism, lack of equal opportunity, and the apathy and unaccountability exhibited by Hockey Canada and the hockey establishment. To deny these problems exist is to deny reality!

Allowing young hockey players to body check at such a young age as young as 11, along with the other factors, as the statistics clearly indicate, is driving young players away from the game. The main reason kids play any sport is for fun and recreation. Hitting and the risk of serious injuries, including concussions, remove the motivation. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 8,000 people were treated for hockey related injuries in the 2002-2003 season. Based on this rate, more than 25,000 people were injured across the country. In 93 cases of the 8,000, the casualty was admitted to hospital, 15 directly to critical care. It is shocking to hear that enrolment in Hockey Canada approved teams is currently about 550,000 players, down more than 200,000 from its peak. Any other business/industry experiencing such a large decline in market share would either be bankrupt or on the verge of bankruptcy! As this pool of talent continues to dwindle, it will have a serious impact on the quality and talent level of those who will go on to represent Canada internationally, to the disappointment of Canadians. Simply put, liability and insurance issues aside, many parents are just not exposing their children to the perils of hockey.

In correspondence received from Hockey Canada on the issue of body checking, it is stated, "this issue will never go away nor should it". From this, one can easily conclude that the high injury rate caused by body checking in minor hockey is acceptable to Hockey Canada, a publically funded organization, and will continue unabated and 'unchecked'. There is a solution to this major public health and injury prevention issue, namely, the age at which it should begin and the zones on the ice surface where it should be permitted. In Quebec, players do not bodycheck until bantam, and even then it is only introduced at the elite levels of the game. Peewee, ages 11 and 12, is when bodychecking begins in Alberta. A Canadian study found that peewee players in Alberta were 2.5 times more likely to get hurt and 3.5 times more likely to suffer a concussion than the peewee players tracked in Quebec. The joint University of Calgary, McGill University, and the University of Laval tracked 2,200 peewee players from both provinces for the entire 2007-2008 season to measure injury frequency.

The decision to allow bodychecking in minor hockey is unquestionably jeopardizing this wonderful sport and favorite pastime by turning it into our most dangerous game. This practice borders on child abuse. It certainly flies in the face of public health, safety and injury prevention; it trumps medical science, commonsense and civility.

Concerned with the injury factor, a group of parents took on the challenge to save the game, establishing the Toronto Non-Contact Hockey League (TNCHL). The league provides competitive, high-level skilled hockey without intentional bodychecking. Rather than supporting these efforts, according to the league’s director, Hockey Canada has declared the TNCHL an ‘outlaw’ league, imposing sanctions on any child who chooses to participate, including suspensions.

For the record, bodychecking is prohibited in women's hockey.

There are, as mentioned previously, over and above the issue of body checking,
serious problems/issues in our game at the minor level. These problems must be fixed. I am sure there are others.

It is mindboggling to hear "horror" stories of the significant costs associated with having a child involved in competitive hockey. Put plainly, it is rapidly becoming a game for the rich. This runs contrary to the strong historical and cultural roots which has been part of our hockey legacy.

There are remedies to these challenges confronting the game. Regarding the costs factor, I strongly recommend this concern can be partly addressed by increasing the age at which competitive hockey begins. It should not begin until at least 12 years of age. One remembers the despicable, on-ice brawl, captured on video, involving 8-year-olds in a competitive tournament in Guelph, Ontario in November, 2007. Allowing young players as young as 8 years of age to participate at such a high level of competition and pressure, it is easily argued, borders on insanity and is despicable! The unfair age differential is a blatant form of discrimination. It also, and unfairly so, places an additional financial burden on those players who do not enjoy this age advantage. These players are essentially financially subsidizing those born in January, February, and March, namely, the majority of whom go on to higher and more competitive levels...junior hockey, college hockey, the NHL. This issue is easily solved.

Hockey Canada considers the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), a professional league in its own right, to be its business partner. The CHL consists of the three major junior leagues in Canada, the OHL, the QMJHL, and the WHL. This relationship has been described by Hockey Canada's President with words to the effect that this is one of the better partnerships in all of sports. Questions must be asked. What benefit does this partnership have for the well being and development of minor hockey in Canada? What is the nature of this relationship? Is there a signed agreement in place between Hockey Canada and the CHL which legalizes this partnership?

The sad and harsh reality is that violence in hockey has been an integral part of the game as long as Hockey Canada and its predecessor organization, the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, have been in existence. It can be easily argued Hockey Canada, through its relationship with the CHL, has been a willing participant in promoting and condoning violence in the game for years. The CHL is one of the few remaining leagues in the world that still allows fighting, which in itself is an extremely violent act. In our justice system, it is regarded as a criminal act. What does this say about a publically funded organization, namely, Hockey Canada, responsible for the development and well-being of the game, partnering with an organization that condones and allows violence. Hockey Canada has evolved into nothing more than a shill for the CHL, and its multi-million dollar franchises across the country, most of whose member teams play in municipally owned buildings and which sells and markets its product as "family entertainment". Almost 500 Canadians are currently playing division one hockey at U.S. universities. Yet, not one of these players was "considered" good enough for Team Canada at the recent World Junior Championships in Saskatoon. The U.S. gold medal winning team had 11 U.S. collegians on its team. Go figure! Having not one Canadian on our team smacks of favoritism and cronyism on the part of Hockey Canada in favour of CHL players and a serious conflict of interest, in light of its partnership with the CHL. It is about time the role and function of Hockey Canada, including its financial integrity, is re-examined. A public enquiry is in order. Canadians should demand that a federal public enquiry be held. This decision resides with the Federal Minister of State for Sports, the Honorable Gary Lunn.

The problems, indeed, are challenging, but achievable. The consequences of failing to address and resolve them are scary. What is at stake is the future of the game itself!

Emile Therien,
Public Health & Safety Advocate,
326 Frost Avenue,
Ottawa, Ontario.

February 22, 2010.

Note: The author played (albeit many years ago) major junior hockey at St. Michael’s College School in Toronto and collegiate hockey at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. He has been a long time advocate for greater safety in all sports. His son Christopher, played college hockey at Providence College in Rhode Island, was a member of the 1994 Canadian Olympic hockey team and played many years in the NHL.

If you have any comments or suggestions please

in the News

About this publication
Should body checking be
eliminated from youth hockey ?
73% said YES
27% said NO
November/December 2013

Winnipeg Free Press

Winnipeg to add non-contact league
December 21, 2013

Bill Robertson
President, TNC Hockey

talks Online Parenting Community
March 9, 2011

Non-contact hockey:
It�s becoming a hit
Read the Globe article

From the front page of
Monday's Globe and Mail
Published on Monday, May. 03, 2010

CTVNews Toronto Sports
Watch the video

March 12, 2010

Hits to the head
CBC TV "connect with
Mark Kelley"
Watch the interview

January 27, 2010

New league offers
competition without fear
By: Lois Kalchman
Special to the Star
Read full article

Apr 14, 2009

CBC Toronto
Evening News
View video

Apr 14, 2009

Parents Want No-Hit
Hockey League For Kids Staff
Read full article
and watch videos

Monday April 13, 2009

Non-contact hockey
gathers steam
In this league,
hitting's a no-no

Read full article
and watch videos

14th April 2009, 8:31am

640AM -John Oakley
Listen to the interview

March 31, 2009

TNCHL in an article
Special to The Globe and Mail
March 28, 2009
Read full article

CTV Toronto Sports
March 27, 2009
Watch Video

Metro Morning
Listen to the interview

March 24, 2009

Watch the video of
the ordeal of this 11 yr old

Bodychecking a leading cause of injury in youth hockey: study (2009)
"We reviewed nine studies from Canada, nine from the U.S. and two from Finland, and the findings from all but one support recommendations that children should play in non-contact hockey leagues until they are at least at the bantam level", said Alison Macpherson, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York.
Commentary: Should bodychecking be allowed in minor hockey?
W. James King and Claire M.A. LeBlanc
Jim King is Chief, Division of Pediatric Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, and Claire LeBlanc is Head of Rheumatology and Sport Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.
Bodychecking is 'detrimental to children': Doctor
Article from
Body-Checking Rules and Childhood Injuries in Ice Hockey
2004�2005 season in minor hockey in Calgary, Alberta
Injury Rates, Risk Factors, and Mechanisms of Injury in Minor Hockey
Study includes children's ice hockey injuries from September 1995 to the end of August 2002

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Ontario Trillium foundation
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario

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