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Participation in hockey at the amateur level in the United States has increased significantly over the past decade. This strong base of youth hockey players has provided more talent for college coaches striving to build competitive teams. This study investigated National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey coaches' perspectives on some of the issues impacting the game of hockey. To obtain data on current issues, a questionnaire was sent to all NCAA hockey coaches. Academic progress of the student-athletes, officiating, recruitment of hockey players, and the amount of physical play were the four most pressing concerns expressed by coaches. Although some efforts are being made to address the concerns raised in this study, the authors believe a comprehensive, reeducative approach of the entire sport community is needed to bring about a lasting change. Game officials, coaches, athletic directors, and league commissioners must take the initiative and all work together to address these important issues and act as change agents in their struggle to make the game safer and more enjoyable for all student-athletes competing in intercollegiate hockey.
college hockey, coaches' perspectives, current issues, fair play, recruiting
Associate professor, University of Ottawa, School of Human Kinetics, Ottawa, Ontario
Associate professor, Ithaca College, School of Physical Education, Ithaca, NY