Good growing pains for youth ball hockey

 

“We have about 90 kids,” said a very pleased Ben Macpherson as the 2012 South Dundas Minor Ball Hockey League hit the floor at the arena here last Wednesday night for week two of action.

“We only had 26 kids last year, so this is a big change,” said Macpherson of the success of the program in its second season,

The 90 kids are divided into two age groups, eight to 11 years in the junior and 12-16 in the senior. There are four teams in each category. Two half-hour games are played in each division on Wednesday nights with the first starting at 5:50 p.m. The program will run for 12 weeks and will wrap up with playoffs.

Macpherson says he is extremely pleased with the turnout and “the parents have been great, very helpful. A number have stepped up big time to coach and run the game clock.”

Macpherson is also thankful for the support of the community. “The jerseys were done through Sports Fix here in Morrisburg and he was very friendly with the price. And Canadian Tire has been very helpful with the goaltending equipment.”

Also along for their weekly runs are high school volunteers Andy Hunter and Drew Gillard who will benefit by getting their community service hours from their refereeing at the junior level.

The two are also playing at the senior level which Macpherson is refereeing.

“We still have a few spots left. They are limited but there all spots. All the kids require is a helmet with a facemask, hockey gloves and sticks. We recommend that they wear soccer shin pads, but they are not mandatory.”

Light elbow pads could also be worn.

MacPherson says the play is competitive in that the kids are playing actual games and standings are being kept.

“It is competitive, but that is not the be all of it. It’s to get the kids out and be active.”

“We are playing regular hockey rules, but it’s more relaxed. It’s summertime, and we want them to have fun with it.

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