Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Canadians like their hockey with a lefty slant

with one comment

Canadians are no more left-handed than Americans. Yet in Canada, the New York Times notes, 60 to 70 percent of hockey sticks sold are left-handed, and the same percentage sold in the United States are right-handed.

The Canadian journalist and author Bruce Dowbiggin noted the Canadian-American handedness split in his 2001 book, “The Stick: A History, a Celebration, an Elegy.” On Dowbiggin’s Web site, a reader named Kent Mayhew suggested the difference may have to do with how old a player is when he first picks up a hockey stick.

“The top hand on a hockey stick has to be able to handle the torques of a stick while the bottom hand just has to handle the weight with no torques,” he wrote. He theorized that American children, who tend to take up hockey when they are older and bigger, can afford to put the stronger hand, generally the right, on the lower part of the shaft for more precision.

Even Canada’s conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, shoots lefty.

However, Americans have another argument for why their way is better — because having the dominant hand on top makes for better control and stick-handling. Among those promoting that view — U.S. Olympic women’s hockey coach Mark Johnson, as in the leading scorer of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team that drained the piss out of the Evil Empire. Right-handed! Right-handed! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

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Do you believe in right-handed miracles? YES!

The Times story notes that Europeans, including the Russians, tend to shoot left-handed. That explains why they are so comfortable with left-wing, Communistic notions like national health care, gay marriage and speaking French, while America is more comfortable with KICKING YOUR ASS!

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Written by rkcookjr

February 16, 2010 at 11:40 am

One Response

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  1. Reading the NYT article, I think Mark Johnson is advocating for the Canadian way of shooting, with the dominate hand on top. So for right handed player, they’d be using a lefty stick.

    ‘The United States Olympic women’s hockey coach, Mark Johnson, is in that camp, but he said: “Whether you’re living in a hotbed hockey community or you live in a naïve place where you don’t really know hockey, and you’re a mother or a father taking your daughter to a hockey shop, you’ll ask, ‘Which way do you write?’ If she says right-handed, well, she’s going to be right-handed.

    “That’s generally not the way you want to do it. You want your dominant hand on top of your stick. But you look around and there’s a lot of right-handed female players, more so than with men.”’

    Charles Kubota

    February 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm


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