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Initiation Program

Associations Embracing Modified Ice Programming

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 11/01/18, 2:15PM EDT


Gameplay designed to be age and size appropriate

With a new season now fully in gear, many of the game’s newest skaters are hitting the ice for their first season.

There are many associations who have shared with us the fun and engagement that their players are having in their cross-ice and half-ice programming. By using the boards to divide the ice, more players are able to participate at the same time. Limited whistles and rules emphasis in the programming has allowed players to stay involved and engaged in the play. It puts the focus back on the physical literacy part of movement skills while introducing the basic, fundamental technical skills specific to hockey.

Practices and gameplay have been designed to be appropriate to the age, size and skill level of the participant and offer many benefits. An increased emphasis on skating skills boosts agility, balance, coordination and quickness while the number of puck battles rises. Players receive twice the amount of puck touches and double the number of pass attempts, shot attempts and changes of direction.

The OMHA and Hockey Canada will continue to provide resources to assist coaches and associations in the delivery of age-appropriate programming. The OMHA strongly believes in the benefits that cross-ice and half-ice hockey have to offer and look forward to continuing to ensure the best hockey experience for players.

Designed specifically for the game's youngest players, the Programming Novice and Below curriculum introduces players to the fundamental skills of the game. Skating, puck control, passing and all taught in an in age-appropriate setting so players can have fun and want to continue to play the sport.

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