Rule 48 change could aid short players 

July, 29, 2011
07/29/11
2:15
PM ET

When the NHL Board of Governors expanded the parameters of Rule 48 last month -- a tweak that banned any check in which the "targeted and principal point of contact" is an opponent's head -- they were rightly lauded for (finally) making the health of their athletes paramount and addressing the growing, deeply concerning rash of concussions across the league.

This welcome change in policy could also have a seldom-discussed potential side effect: Creating even more room for small, speedy, highly skilled players.

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.

SPONSORED HEADLINES