Michael Messner Examines Youth TBI in ‘1st Year Checking’

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Documentarian Michael Messner Examines Youth TBI in 1st Year Checking available now On Demand.

Award Winning Documentarian Michael Messner Examines Youth TBI in 1st Year Checking available now On Demand.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) was something that was not discussed often in contact and combat sports until Muhammad Ali developed Parkinson’s Disease. Even that didn’t get as much notice as it should have until recent years retired NFL players sued the league to bring attention to those that have suffered severe concussions.

Michael Messner is quite familiar with concussions himself as a former ice hockey player and confesses that he had a few himself.

When Messner’s daughter turned 12 and decided to continue to play youth ice hockey in the all boys league, Messner learned quickly that what was once taught as having mental toughness was actually detrimental to the health of these children.

In 1st Year Checking, Messner examines how at 12 years old, children learn how to check in ice hockey, along with some kids hitting puberty early, while others are later bloomers. Unlike wrestling, where we have weight classes, ice hockey does not. So a child who still has a youthful body at 4’6″ and 95 lbs, stands on the ice with another player his/her own age and already at 5’11” and 160 lbs.

Official Synopsis:

Director Michael Messner’s award-winning documentary 1st Year Checking, exploring the violence of check hockey to young players, is now available On Demand.

There is a lot of debate as to when is the right age to introduce the violence of check hockey to youth players in the United States. I have coached players going into their first year of checking for three years and at first I thought it was just unfair, but when my daughter played it for a year with boys, I realized how dangerous it really is.  So when my son, Grayson, an undersized 12 year old was going to into his first year of checking, I decided to document the year. We interviewed experts from The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and shot in Pennsylvania, California, Detroit, Buffalo and Toronto as Grayson and his teammates faced their fears. motion picture film youth hockey sports courage heart.

Messner and I discuss our own issues of living with having had a few concussions, if financial pressures in more expensive sports, like ice hockey could be a factor in parents forcing their kids to forge on and what we can learn from his documentary and for the sport of youth ice hockey as a whole.

Follow 1st Year Checking on Instagram @1styearchecking and on Facebook at 1st Year Checking.

Visit 1st Year Checking official website at 1styearchecking.com.

1st Year Checking is now available On Demand.

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