Change is in the air across the game of hockey and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) is leading that change while navigating the growth and future of the game post-COVID, in order to provide a safe fun and inclusive environment for all participants.
Over the past three years, the AAA Committee of the OMHA has engaged in a comprehensive review of AAA hockey across the OMHA.
AAA Zone restructuring has been one of the items addressed by the AAA Committee with the dual goal of ensuring meaningful competition and providing the appropriate level of play for players.
Our guiding principle throughout this process is to have more players, playing longer in the best environment possible.
In 2022-23, the AAA program in Brampton Hockey was restructured to form a new AAA Zone, the Credit River Capitals, comprised of feeder Associations and players from Brampton Hockey, Caledon Minor Hockey and Orangeville Minor Hockey.
Earlier this year, the Hamilton Huskies and Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs announced a three-year pilot project within the City of Hamilton. Effective the 2023-2024 season, the project will form a single new AAA association under the name Hamilton Steel Hockey Club. The program will offer teams from U10 – U18 at the AAA level in the OMHA.
The OMHA can confirm the next step in its AAA Review.
Effective the 2023-24 season, the Richmond Hill Coyotes AAA Zone will be dissolved and Players resident to Richmond Hill Minor Hockey and King Township (Nobleking) will become feeders to Markham AAA Zone effective 2023-24. This is in addition to the current feeder Association to Markham AAA Zone, Whitchurch-Stouffville Minor Hockey.
Families that are impacted by this decision and have additional questions, please contact your local minor hockey associations who will be working with our Regional Directors during this transition.
In addition, the OMHA has recently announced two other programming initiatives for next season.
The OMHA will offer a Non-body checking Representative level of hockey from U14 effective 2023-24.
For players 8 years of age and younger, we have introduced opportunity-based programming where all players regardless of skill level must have the same access to ice time.
A key philosophy in the Canadian Player Pathways at U9 and below is to provide equal opportunity to programming based on the desire of the player versus the skill of the player. Meaningful competition - like-skill players playing against like-skill players continues to be a foundational goal/building block of programming.
The overarching goal of all these initiatives is to provide additional opportunities for players and attract new participants to our game.
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