By Chris Lingebach

A Maryland legislator has gained attention for her plan to introduce a controversial bill, barring children younger than 14 years old from playing tackle football, checking in lacrosse, or heading in soccer.

Capitals forward Jay Beagle says a similar bill is being proposed — pertaining to hockey — in his native Canada. During his weekly 106.7 The Fan appearance — ‘The Morning Skate with Jay Beagle,’ sponsored by Sport Automotive — Beagle stated his belief that children should be taught how to check in hockey as early as possible.

“They were talking about in Canada banning checking until, I think it was bantam,” Beagle told The Sports Junkies. “So I think that’s like when you’re 14; 14, 15 would be the first time you’d be allowed to check.”

“I am not a fan of that,” he said. “I think it’s stupid, just because when you’re 14, 15, the guys are like five-foot-one or six-foot-one. There’s a huge range of kids, obviously [who] have hit puberty and kids that are developing later. To introduce something like checking when a kid’s already behind the eight ball, to me, seems stupid, just because the earlier you introduce it, the better I think it is, because everyone’s on the same playing field.”

“Everyone’s around the similar height and weight when you’re younger, 10, 11,” he said. “I don’t know. For me, to learn to check is a crucial part of the game, and then to learn to take a check is a crucial part of the game, so I’ve always thought opposite. I’ve always thought introduce them as early as possible, and that’s just what I think. I don’t know if that’s right, but that’s what I kind of believe.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter

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