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Please Click here for 2006 Development Weekend

Hockey Drills

Message from Development Director for all parents & coaches...Dated Nov.5/05 In honor of National Hockey Parent Day & Hockey Canada Week.

Thanks Graham
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ORR URGES TIME OUT FOR BOORISH PARENTS
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Canadian Press - 11/4/2005 9:03:41 PM

CALGARY (CP) - Hockey legend Bobby Orr says minor hockey should be prepared to ban out-of-control parents from the rink.

Orr says it's important for local sports organizations to set - and enforce - codes of acceptable behaviour for parents, coaches and officials. And he says a recent decision to bar a Winnipeg mother from the arena for boorish behaviour is on the right track.

"Maybe that's what we've got to do: if they're that off base, don't (let them) come to the rink," Orr said Friday after helping unveil a giant quilt of pledges from parents and officials promising to keep the game fun and respectful.

Saturday is National Hockey Parent Day.

Orr's mastery as a rushing defenceman with the Boston Bruins transformed hockey. But he's been horrified in recent years by the behaviour he has seen on and off the ice, including a fight after a pickup game between two hockey dads that left one dead.

"Anyone who think we don't have problems, get your head out of the sand," said Orr. "Because we do."

Since 1998, Orr has worked on a national community program aimed at countering the negative forces from coaches and parents who put too much pressure on little shoulders.

More than 20,000 kids have taken part in the clinics, while 200,000 coaching and parenting manuals have been distributed with tips on fundamentals while reducing the stress on young players. Orr says there's still lots of work to be done to make the game fun.

"We have some great parents out there, we have some great coaches and we have some great officials," he said. "But frankly, we have some who shouldn't be around the kids."

Orr recently watched some midget and peewee hockey in Toronto and was appalled.

"I wouldn't have wanted my kid playing in that kind of hockey with the contact and foolishness," he said. "But the coaches and the referees and the parents in the stands have to work together to control what goes on. We don't have any control of what goes on at the NHL level. We're supposed to have some control over what happens in our kids programs."

Hockey Canada head Bob Nicholson said parents must become more balanced in their expectations of what their children can accomplish on the ice.

"We want hockey to be, first and foremost, fun," said Nicholson.

Orr said notes the additional pressure on winning at all costs is driving kids away from the game. And that means everyone who loves the sport loses.

"The more kids we have playing, the better chance we have of finding another Wayne (Gretzky) or Sidney (Crosby)," said Orr, who won two Stanley Cups with the Bruins and was named the National Hockey League's top defenceman for eight straight seasons from 1968 to 1975 before knee problems ended his career.

"And they're our future fans," he said. "If they get turned off in the game here, they won't want to go see your team play. Why would they?"

Orr says parents have to act like responsible adults and set out rules which will protect their young players from emotional or psychological hits they may endure.

"We're the ones setting the rules and we are the ones who are supposed to be looking after our kids," he said. "We can't sit back. If there's a problem, address it. Communicate. You can't let your son or daughter be hurt in any way and not do something about it."

"Winning With Wayne" for website click here

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