01/23/2012 01:04 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Bodychecking banned from house league hockey

Bodychecking will be banned from minor hockey house leagues in Vancouver and the rest of the South Coast next season, but the new rule will not apply to rep leagues.

Officials with the Pacific Coast Amateur Hockey Association say concerns over a rising number of concussions led them to decide to ban bodychecking in house leagues for children aged 17 and younger.

The move follows the release of a report that indicates the risk of concussions increases when bodychecking is allowed.

Trevor Bamford, president of the Abbotsford Hockey Association, which voted in favour of the ban, says it was the responsible thing to do.

"Minor hockey, as part of the community, has to ask, 'How do we support our community, and our youth and what's good for them?' And ultimately this was the decision that had to be made," said Bamford.

Bamford said all other leagues around the rest of the province already banned bodychecking. It has also been banned in Ontario for most house and rep leagues.