Novice hockey will have a new seasonal structure in PEI this coming season.
The entirety of 2018-2019 Novice season will use a half-ice game model that will encourage and promote development for players of all skill level. The half-ice model was introduced last year but only for the first half of the 2017-2018 season. The change to a full season of half-ice games will improve and assist with the development of Novice players by getting them more involved with the game through increased puck touches, shots, 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.
With this change Hockey PEI is aligned with many other branches in the country who have decided to introduce modified half-ice full time for the upcoming season, including Hockey Nova Scotia and Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador in the Atlantic region.
“Hockey 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,” said Jeremy Pierce, Chair of Hockey PEI Development Council. “These changes are about developing players in a positive way and creating a fun and positive atmosphere for kids in this age category”.
From the beginning of the minor hockey season to November 15, 2018, Novice teams will focus solely on skill development through their team practices.
Between November 15, 2018 and March 15, 2019, Novice teams will play half-ice games only. All Novice tournaments or jamborees will be played using the half-ice game model.
This new format continues age appropriate modifications into the Novice Program with the Long Term Player Development model and philosophy as the fundamental basis for change. Players at the Novice level require a continued focus on physical literacy while also beginning to develop some of the more advanced individual skills inherent in the game. By moving from cross-ice at Initiation to half-ice at Novice, we increase the size of the ice surface in accordance with the increase in the size of player. This modified ice will continue to provide players with an environment that is more inclusive, competitive and conducive to skill development through more playing time, more puck touches and puck control, more shots, more passes completed, more transitions, more decision making, more puck support & protection, more involvement in play…and tons of FUN!
Hockey PEI is excited to be on the leading edge of this change. We believe these modifications will benefit every player as they grow in our game and we will do everything we can to support players, coaches and administrators with a well structured, consistent program. We ask members, parents and hockey fans alike to approach this new progressive concept with an open mind to allow our young players to learn, develop and enjoy the game.
Hockey PEI has developed a comprehensive Novice Half Ice guide & instuctional video to assist our Minor Hockey Associations in the preparation, implementation and execution of half ice hockey in the Novice age category. This will ensure a consistent, organized delivery model across the province. Please note the purpose of the document & video is to provide a clear understanding of the program for MHA’s, coaches & parents.