OHF supports cross-ice and half-ice hockey for IP

OHF supports cross-ice and half-ice hockey for IP

Date: Mar, 27, 2017 12:00 PM EDT

CAMBRIDGE, ON. – The Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) is proud to support a new mandatory Hockey Canada policy giving five-and six-year-old players a chance to learn hockey on a scale appropriate to their age.

Starting this fall for the 2017-18 season, Initiation-aged players across the country will all receive programming on cross-ice or half-ice surfaces. This has always been a suggestion of the Initiation Program (IP), but there has been a variety of delivery models. The new Hockey Canada policy moves to reconcile the different deliveries and ensure every initiation-level player is receiving similar programming.

“We want to make sure that when kids are introduced to our game, they are given every chance to learn and love it,” said Tony Foresi, OHF President. “We want five-and six-year-olds touching the puck and being engaged in the play as much as possible. Putting them on a smaller surface is the best way to achieve that.”

Playing on cross-ice or half-ice provides IP players exponentially more chances to develop. They receive five times more passes and take six times more shots. The smaller playing surface is proportional to the players’ size, allowing them to grow with the game, rather than growing into it.

In addition, the OHF will be requiring all IP instructors to have completed a Coach Level 1 clinic. This is to ensure all coaches are familiar with best practices for introductory programming.

The OHF will act as a support for its five Members who administer Initiation Programs: the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario (Alliance), the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA), Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA.) There are resources available at ohf.on.ca, in addition to this video, produced by the OHF, explaining the benefits of IP.

About the OHF
The OHF has been in existence since 1989 and is comprised of seven Members: the Minor Hockey Alliance of Ontario (Alliance), the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA), Ontario Hockey Association (OHA), the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) and the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA.)