"It’s a better skill to teach while kids are all relatively the same size and skill level – and when they are too small to hurt each other – than to open it up in their early teens when size varies and aggression is considered funny. If you teach hitting from the beginning, by the time the kids turn 12, 13, 14, bodychecking isn’t something awkward or new and ‘Johnny 6-foot-2’ doesn’t have something to prove."
Interesting piece by Rory Boylen at THN. I've wondered about this before
, as I think players arrive as adolescents and adults with wildly different definitions of what a clean check is. But god knows it's a tough sell to make things more dangerous
for the children -- even if that's just a misperception.