05/22/2013 11:16 EDT | Updated 07/22/2013 05:12 EDT

Peewee hockey bodychecking faces national ban

Hundreds of delegates arrive in Charlottetown Wednesday for the Hockey Canada annual general meeting, where they will vote on whether bodychecking should be banned nationally in minor hockey.

Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia have already banned bodychecking for peewee players, who are 11 and 12 years old.

Delegates at the Charlottetown meeting, which starts Thursday, will vote on a ban across the country.

Researchers at the University of Calgary have found that bodychecking in peewee hockey triples the injury risk for players. Proponents of bodychecking argue it is an important skill in the game that needs to be taught early.

Hockey Canada president Bob Nicholson is expecting a good debate.

"Checking is a skill that we have to teach," he said.

"We'd love to have consistency coast to coast on where bodychecking can be introduced."

"There'll be a lot of debate, not everyone supports it," said Rob Newson, executive director of Hockey PEI.

"I think it's probably due time that Hockey Canada and the branches take a real serious hard look at that topic."