I spent last Saturday doing some work for Canal Flats Minor Hockey during their tournament for Initiates, ages 4-6. My mind is now in a good place.
Watching the kids at this age was great. Horn goes off every three minutes and 12 on the ice go off, while 12 go on. Watching this utter chaos every three minutes got me once again thinking outside the box.
Air traffic controllers at a busy airport have a very stressful job. One mistake could cost multiple lives. A great training ground would be to wire up all the helmets of these kids and the coaches and from upstairs have air controllers practise guiding the kids on and off every three minutes. From what I observed it would sound like this:
Blue #12 and White #6 you are headed for a head-on, both veer right. Blue #2 slow down or you’re into the boards.
Blue coach prepare to catch your #2 now. White #5 you have Blue #22, thirty pounds heavier then you bearing down on your blind side, slow down and let him by. White coach, you have blue #16 coming to your gate, please direct him to the proper gate.
Blue coach, hold your player, #4, from entering the ice, Blue #9 is approaching the gate and is out of control. White #15 and White #27 forget about high-fiving each other, two hands on the stick for control please. Blue #7 and White #22 wave at your parents when and if you get to the bench, focus please.
White coach, hold your #12 and #14 from entering the ice, you have a two player pileup with Blue #5 and White #18 on the ground by your gate.
White #26 circle at centre ice until the mess in front of your gate is clear. Blue #14 put your gloves back on, we don’t drop them yet. White #26 proceed to your gate now, stay well clear of Blue #14.
Blue #1 goalie and White #33 goalie, I see you both lying down, you hurt? Or is this a new way to stop the puck? Thumbs-up to show me you’re both ok. Good to go. White #8, you’re eating up the clock, little after-burner please.
Blue coach your #26 has had enough instructions from his father, get him on the ice please. All set to drop the puck, hold on, Blue #15 and White #9, both of you are facing the wrong way, change places. Ok, 12 players off and new 12 on. We are clear to drop the puck and we’ll do this all over again in two minutes.
Now if a traffic controller can handle 24 kids ages 4-6 at the same time on the ice, no problems in the sky.
Note to self: Blue #14, get his name and recruit in 9 years.