If you are a parent or a teacher you may have a certain image of what it means to say, “time out!” This is a phrase that has come into use in a major way in child discipline. Often misused, time out is a way of separating the child from the situation which is causing a problem and to give time for all to calm down.
Do you remember back when calling, “time out!” meant a break, a respite in the midst of heavy action in order to catch one’s breath, help an injured kid, clarify rules and the like? Time out was the saviour of many smaller children about to be run over by a big kid in a game of tag! It was a way of calling a stop when play started to really hurt, physically or emotionally.
In hockey, and some other sports, we have two uses of time outs. The first is calling “Time” which is like the old style, giving a breather and a chance for the coach to set plays. Coaches are very strategic in their use of time outs in the game. The other is actually called a penalty, in hockey served in the time out chair called the penalty bench. This is an enforced time away from the game, a consequence of some illegal action, a punishment.
Next time you feel the pressure building up and the high-speed tether-ball headed toward your face, call a time out, step back and recover your wits before entering into the game renewed!