Helmet ruling sign now

2-28-06

We, the undersigned, wish to express our disagreement with the
legislation recently passed by Minnesota Hockey that states beginning
next season coaches are required to wear helmets while on the ice, and
ask that the rule be rescinded. While we are in no way minimizing the
importance of safety for all participants, we feel this rule does not
have enough quantifiable data to warrant implementing this rule at
this time.

The reasons we oppose the rule include (but are not limited to):

* We are volunteer adults and not paid employees of Minnesota
Hockey. Being volunteers we are fully capable of assessing the
safety/risks involved in a given situation, including being on the
ice during a youth hockey practice. If a coach wants to wear a
helmet, that is his right, but it should not be a requirement.

* There are limited statistics in support of their claims from the
Safety Committee that helmets are needed at all levels of
volunteer coaches.

* There exists a need for the "rank and file" to be heard on this
helmet issue. The only public effort MN Hockey has made to seek the
input of the general membership was through an online poll at
www.minnesotahockey.org...the result of that poll? 225 against, 46
for. 83\% opposed the rule, yet the rule still passed.

* 8,000 coaches do not have access to a venue for response.

* Our representatives are the ones that need to get the word out.
This was not done.

* It is inherently the job of the Coach-in-Chief to seek the input
of those whom he represents. There exist a conflict of interest
with the Coach in Chief and the Safety committee. Since the Coach
in Chief and Safety chair are one in the same.

* The rule will drive out current coaches and will deter future
coaches from becoming involved. Mounting rules and regulations
will erode the number of non-parent coaches willing to not only
sacrifice their time, but also weed through the mass of red tape
that is involved with coaching youth hockey in Minnesota (CEP
classes, Helmets, HEP, etc...). Other sports in Minnesota do not
require helmets, certification, or anything other than a desire to
teach. Why does hockey?

* As for the argument that kids are traumatized by seeing their
coaches get injured on the ice...first, kids see far worse on TV
every day.

* Second, injuries such as broken backs, concussions, pucks to the
face, etc... will still happen. This won't be a cure-all for
traumatized kids.

* Cost - who will pay for the helmets? It is not fair to require
volunteers to shell out more money just so they can volunteer
their time.

* Fair and equal enforcement - Who is allowed to report a violation?
What proof is required? A picture? What due process will be
granted to a coach charged with offending? Clear as mud - equal
and consistent enforcement of this rule is absolutely impossible.

There exist too many question marks as to implementation.

Therefore, it is our request that the Board Members of Minnesota Hockey
listen to their constituents and reconsider the helmet rule, and instead take one of the following actions (again, the list is not
all-inclusive):

* Let cooler heads and smarter minds preside, and overturn the rule
outright

* Temporarily put the rule on hold until further study can be
completed (gather the statistical evidence that the original
presentation lacks)

* Find a middle ground - for example, offer a waiver for coaches to
sign if they don't wish to wear a helmet


Thanks for respecting and acting upon our requests,
The Undersigned

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Hannah KellerBy:
TelecommunicationsIn:
Petition target:
Minnesota hockey

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