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USA Hockey launches campaign to ease pressure

Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- USA Hockey released a public service announcement Wednesday aimed at curbing inappropriate conduct by coaches, parents and fans at youth games.

The 30-second TV spot originally was part of a campaign called, "Relax, it's just a game,'' which was launched by the Canadian Hockey Association in November.

USA Hockey executive director Doug Palazzari said it is "imperative to curb the increased pressure that some parents and coaches -- albeit the minority -- place on children who participate in youth sports.''

Hockey, like other sports, has been grappling with the problem of overbearing adults at youth games. In one prominent case, a man was convicted of beating another man to death at their sons' hockey practice in suburban Boston in 2000. He was sentenced to six-to-10 years in prison.

The public service announcement is tied to the start of the 2003 USA Hockey National Championships, a series of nationwide tournaments. It has been shown at several college hockey tournaments in recent weeks.

The video features the tag line, "What if kids pressured us the way we pressure them?''




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