Hockey Canada has approved national policies that mandate all Initiation-aged players receive age-appropriate programming on cross-ice or half-ice surfaces (effective for the 2016-17 season) and Novice-aged players for the 2019-20 season. A key aspect of each policy is that each of Hockey Canada’s 13 branches can develop a provincial model that best meets the needs of its participants.
Click here for more information on the Intro to Hockey Program
There is a lot of push back from parents/coaches/community members about this program. Why should we be on board with this? Contrary to what a lot of people might believe, this program is NOT about creating more ice time for larger centers. In fact, this will very well put more pressure on ice time allocation for everyone since team size must shrink to accommodate this new format. This change has been mandated and WILL happen come the 2019 playing season. We have compiled some information regarding this new program to maybe help ease your concerns regarding the implementation of this new program.
Why would parents not want these improvements for their own kids?
1. 6x more shots on goal per player
2. 5x more passes received per player
3. 2x more puck battles per player
4. 2x more puck touches per player
5. 2x more pass attempts per player
6. 2x more shot attempts per player
7. 2x more change of direction pivots
8. 1.75 shots/minute vs. 0.45 shots/minute playing full ice
9. Turns out the actual stats of the U8 game resemble those of an NHL game
10. Simply put by Bob Mancini, Manger of USA Hockey Athlete Development Model: "The numbers show what is good for the child"
And remember folks, back in the day wasn't always better! There are always improvements to be made in this great sport of ours! Our kids perceptions reflect our own. Remember, what your kid hears at the supper table is his/her viewpoint also. Give your kids a chance to play without imposing your beliefs and see what happens!
Would you like your child(ren) to play hockey but are unable to afford it? Below are some links which can help you:
If you are new to hockey, these links are perfect for you!
If you are a seasoned Hockey Parent, please fell free to check out the following links:
Warning: Video quality is terrible.
To demonstrate how a full sheet of ice looks to a child, USA Hockey put adult players on an extra large rink with giant nets to simulate what a child sees. The players found the games tiring, difficult and said they would lose interest quickly in the sport if that was what they faced. See how adult players opened their eyes to what is being taught by the American Development Model of cross-ice hockey and small-area games.