Beginning in the 2017-18 season, Hockey Canada is implementing a new policy that mandates cross-ice/half ice hockey for players at the Initiation age division (age 5 and 6 years old). While the policy making it mandatory is new, half-ice/cross ice hockey has been part of the Initiation Program in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association since it was developed more than 35 years ago. The purpose of the Initiation Program is the introduce the basic skills of the game, and make a child's first introduction to the game one that is safe, enjoyable and fun:
* Make it a positive experience for kids and their families-focus is on fun, learning and playing in a team atmosphere, not on structured games
*Build the player's confidence and give them a sense of accomplishing a skill while developing as a young player
The program is based with the player's development in mind, starting with the basic, technical skills. The program will mainly be conducted during Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as some additional ice times during the week when available. All teams will participate at the Lindsay Recreation Complex with no scheduled travel to other minor hockey centres. The season will initially begin with skill development practices, which will include the use of a skating instructor and that will be designed to be appropriate to the skill level of the participants. Later in the season age appropriate modified informal games will be introduced that will match Players of similar age, size and skill level. Parents will not have to travel to other arenas to have their Players participate in this program thus reducing the cost to play hockey as well as having an established timetable to aid in scheduling of other family activities.
To show LMHA's commitment and the Cross-Ice Program the LMHA Board of Directors has approved the purchase of the Cross-Ice Rink Divider Boards and appropriately sized nets which will create the cross-ice profile with the look and feel of a full-sized rink.
For more in-depth information on both the Initiation and Cross-Ice programs go to the following OMHA link:
LMHA recognizes that there will be some Players at the Future Muskie (3 and 4 year olds) age whose skill levels are advanced for their age division. To assist with placing these Players at the appropriate skill level to provide the needed challenges and continued improvement LMHA will be conducting a Player assessment for Players whose parents are of the belief that this type of advanced placement may be warranted. The assessment will be conducted by an independent panel of experience hockey Parents from LMHA. For those that either do not wish to participate at the older level or after assessment are deemed not to benefit from participating with the older division the Future Muskies program will be once again be conducted to provide a format for Player development more suited to their present skill level.
The LMHA Board of Directors looks forward to seeing you at the arena enjoying the game we all love to watch or play.
Yours in Hockey;