Novice hockey will have a new look in PEI this coming season.

Beginning during the 2017-18 minor hockey season, Novice hockey will use a modified ice surface that will encourage and promote development. This change will improve and assist with the development of young players by getting them more involved with the game through increased puck touches, shots, completed passes and transitions.

At the Hockey Canada Spring Congress in May 2017, the Hockey Canada board passed a motion starting for the 2019-2020 season it will be mandatory that all games played at the Novice age level be cross or half-ice games.  The same motion was also passed as a recommendation for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 seasons.

Many branches, including Hockey PEI have decided to start to introduce a modified half-ice hockey program for Novice beginning this season.

‚ÄúHockey PEI is committed to continuing to improve the delivery of minor hockey within our communities to ensure every player is getting the best possible experience they can,‚ÄĚ said Jeremy Pierce, Chair of Hockey PEI Development Council.¬† ‚ÄúThese changes are about developing players in a positive way and creating a fun and positive atmosphere for kids in this age category‚ÄĚ.

From the beginning of the minor hockey season to November 15, 2017, Novice teams will focus solely on skill development through their team practices.

Between November 15, 2017 and January 15, 2018, Novice teams will only be allowed to play half-ice games. The half-ice formats are proven to get young players more involved in the game.

After January 15, 2018, teams will be allowed to play full-ice games.

All Novice tournaments or jamborees will be played using full ice surface.

Hockey PEI has developed a Novice Hockey Guide for the upcoming season for parents and Minor Hockey Associations to assist with this transition. The guide further outlines specific details, rationale and the benefits of the Novice hockey program for the upcoming season.  Link to Novice Hockey Guide 2017-18 Season.

Hockey PEI will also be offering Novice hockey information sessions in the fall for volunteer coaches and administrators outlining the changes and assisting volunteers through this new transition.

For more information, contact Hockey PEI at 902-368-4334 or by email at