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Michael A. Robidoux

In March 2001 a minor hockey league in southern Alberta (Foothills Hockey) voted in favor of banning a local First Nations Hockey Association (Kainai Minor Hockey) from league play as a result of various violations committed by officials, players, and parents over the course of the season. Since that time hockey and recreation officials from Kainai have been attempting to get Kanai Minor Hockey reinstated into the league but have, up until this point, been unsuccessful. This article explores the exclusionary practices that led to the removal of Kainai from organized youth hockey and examines the racialized discourse that permeates First Nations–Euro-Canadian relations in southern Alberta. The article attempts to communicate these meanings in the same way the author encountered them, as unfiltered personal reactions reflecting how First Nations and their neighbors perceive and talk about each other.

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Corliss Bean, Tanya Forneris and Michael A. Robidoux

Ice hockey is one of the most played sports by youth in Canada, and over the past twenty years, female participation rates in hockey have increased by nearly 900% (Hockey Canada, 2005; 2009). However, despite female involvement in the sport, much controversy still remains for women crossing the gender line of ‘malestream’ (Hall, 1996) hockey. The goal of this paper is to use a case study to offer information about the dynamics of female youth hockey in terms of team play, parental interaction in the stands, and youth and parental commentary about their experiences. Through video and researcher observations, extensive field notes, and interviews, the context of female hockey was examined. Results revealed that female hockey may indeed be an environment that provides a unique experience for players. Four overarching themes emerged: 1) rule differences; 2) seriousness; 3) positive parental support; and 4) emphasis on team play and social relationships.

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Stephen Adams, Courtney W. Mason and Michael A. Robidoux

Ice hockey is known for its speed, skill and aggression. This paper uses an analyses of injuries in boys’ minor leagues and primary documents to examine competing discourses that surround participant safety which give meaning to broader hockey practices. We problematize a prevailing discourse that preserves the physicality of Canadian hockey and an emerging reverse discourse that prioritizes player safety. Theoretically informed by Foucault’s concepts of discourse, knowledge and power relations, we interpret the relationships between these two competing discursive streams which have created a public controversy, particularly concerning body checking, and intensified a polarizing national debate. Ultimately, we argue that these discourses impact the implementation of progressive injury prevention initiatives in minor hockey and youth sport.

Le hockey sur glace est réputé pour être rapide, technique et violent. Cet article utilise une analyse des blessures et documents de ligues mineures masculines afin d’examiner les discours qui circulent à propos de la sécurité des participants et qui sont reliés aux pratiques plus générales du sport. Nous mettons en évidence un discours dominant qui préserve la physicalité du hockey canadien et un discours contraire émergeant qui priorise la sécurité des joueurs. En nous appuyant au niveau théorique sur les concepts foucaldiens de discours, savoir et relations de pouvoir, nous interprétons les relations entre ces deux courants discursifs en compétition qui ont créé une controverse publique, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les mises en échec, et intensifié un débat national polarisé. En bout de ligne, nous avançons que ces discours influencent l’implantation d’initiatives progressistes de prévention des blessures dans le hockey mineur et le sport pour les jeunes.