The Association has had a number of inquiries in regards to the rumour that we are moving to cross-ice hockey at the Novice level. Small area games as well as half ice or cross-ice programs have been gaining momentum over the last few years. There is a lot of research and study that have gone into the benefits of such programs at the younger levels on the development and enjoyment of young athletes. Our junior directors and our hockey improvements directors have spent a significant amount of time reviewing our current program in order to look for areas and opportunities of improvement. We firmly believe in the benefits of cross-ice hockey.
In regards to the cross-ice programs, many jurisdictions, such as BC Hockey, Sask Hockey and USA Hockey have already made the move to cross-ice programs of some sort for Novice age kids. Recently, Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors has approved that for the 2017-2018 and the 2018 – 2019 seasons that it is “recommended” that all games at the Novice level be either cross-ice or half-ice games and that beginning in 2019-2020 it will become mandatory. Hockey Edmonton is also looking at adopting cross-ice for the 2018-2019 season.
I would encourage anyone who is interested in what this means to spend a few minutes researching cross-ice hockey. There is lots of information that is available on the internet as to how these programs work and the benefits. Below are just a few of the sites with great information on this program:
Our Association has made the commitment to work towards implementing a cross-ice or half-ice Novice program for the 2018-2019 season. We will spend the current season reviewing the various models that currently exist to create the best program possible for our Association. Our goal is by the end of the current 2017-2018 to have a solid framework in place at which time we will an information session for interested parents.