Is the Fair Play Points Program Effective?

HEP_PostThe following article offers a detailed look at the effectiveness of the Fair Play Points program over the last several years. The results of the program seem to be encouraging as we work together to make hockey safer for our players.

Fair Play Points Earned
Overall 80% of teams earned Fair Play Points this past season (2008-2009). Squirts, Bantams, Junior Gold, Girls under 10 and Girls under 19 all improved in the % of points earned. Pee-Wee players earned about 5% fewer points this year while girls under 12 and girls under 14 were unchanged-earning  between 94% and 96% of their available points. This is an excellent validation of an important outcome and indicates the success of HEP’s Fair Play. Girl’s under 10, according to our sample analyzed, earned 100% of Fair Play points- for the second time during five years of data collection. Go Girls!

Checking From Behind
Checking from behind penalties called decreased substantially this past season in Pee-Wees, Bantams and Junior Gold. Concerning is an increase in checking from behind calls taken by Squirts, a level where checking of any kind has not yet started. Perhaps officials, concerned about concussions and related neurotrauma took action to hold these nine and 10 year olds accountable for their actions. Although, the number of CFB penalties in Squirts were only about four per 100 games, it is important that this trend not continue. Furthermore, based on this sample, Bantams only took about 3 CFB penalties per 100 games.

Head Hits
Head hits/head contact was 12.4 per 100 games in 2004-05; two per 100 games in 2005-06. No calls were made for 2006-07 or 2008-09. Youth hockey is likely the only level of hockey where this trend is being observed and we applaud the players, coaches and parents who are helping to make sure these dangerous penalties do not occur.

Major Penalties Overall
As readers can see on the major penalties graph, all major penalties have decreased. Importantly, these observed decreases in fighting, spearing, roughing, high sticking, CFB, head contact, kicking and disqualification (DQ’s) are all at fairly low levels compared to previous years.

Since all major penalties can result in injury, it is gratifying to think that the game is being played in a more respectful manner. Knowing that a lack of discipline leading to aggressive acts might cause a team to lose a Fair Play point seems to be a powerful reinforcer of the desired sportsmanlike on-ice behavior.
Chart_1_MN_HockeyChart_2_MN_HockeyChart_3_MN_Hockey
Editor’s Note: Thank you to Aynsley M. Smith, Andrew A.  Link and Dave Margenau for this informative article.

    blog comments powered by Disqus
    Minnesota Hockey is a trademark of Minnesota Hockey. The Minnesota Wild is a trademark of the Minnesota Wild. NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. Copyright © 2009. Minnesota Hockey. All Rights Reserved. This webite and its associated newsletter was prepared as a service to Minnesota Hockey. Neither Minnesota Hockey, the Minnesota Wild, nor any of its employees makes any warranty, expressed or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe on privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Minnesota Hockey or the Minnesota Wild. The opinions of the authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Minnesota Hockey or the Minnesota Wild and shall not be used for advertising or product endorsement purposes.