a. Rationale: It is very important to provide coaches with the opportunity to develop and improve their players skills prior to getting into organized games. The progression should be skills before tactics and tactics before systems. This will eliminate or reduce pressure and or focus on winning.
6. Fair/Equal Ice Time in U9 (Novice) game play.
a. Rationale: Fair and equal ice time is designed to ensure that all players get the same
opportunity to contribute to the outcome of games, regardless of skill or ability. A coach’s responsibility is to develop all players to contribute. Shortening of the bench in an attempt to win games is not permitted. All players should receive fair and as close to equal as possible ice time, including equal opportunities on special teams.
7. There will be no full-time goalies in U9 (Novice).
a. Rationale: Early specialization of a position hinders the overall development of a Player.
Allowing for all players to rotate through all positions prepares the player for playing multiple positions or on special team plays by learning the fundamentals at an early age.
8. U8/U9 (Mixed Age Programming Novice) and U9 (Novice) will be played at half-ice or a maximum
size of 100x100 until Jan 15.
a. Rationale: Allowing players to play cross-ice hockey in U7 (Initiation) provides the
base for a clear progression in the programming allowing for players to then transition to full- ice January 15 in U8/U9 (Mixed Age Programming Novice) and U9 (Novice) and then for a full season in U11 (Atom)
9. U8/U9 (Mixed Programming Novice) and U9 (Novice) game play will be 4 on 4 until Jan 15.
The Policy and Recommendations for the U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) Pathways have been identified with the parent and player in mind; allowing families to have their summer break back while still providing on ice opportunities ahead of evaluations, giving players key seasonal breaks to allow for holidays and the chance to play other sports throughout the year and establishing consistent age appropriate programming that is in line with the Long-Term Player Development.
Furthermore, moving from Spring to Fall evaluations at these age groups, allows the opportunity for Female hockey associations to provide Member sanctioned non-traditional hockey programs, 3 on 3, 4 on
4, or skills clinics beginning any time after the conclusion of the OWHA Provincial Championships
and completing no later than June 30.
The OWHA and female hockey associations will work together to ensure that the policy outlined throughout this new programming are administered to provide players with the best possible experience within hockey. As such, please find attached the Player Pathway Policy and Rationale for U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) divisions. Please review these sections of the Player Pathway for clarity and consistency in the documents and return any feedback or questions to the OWHA office.