TO:   All Minor Hockey Associations and Leagues

FROM:   Gonzo Bennett, Chair, Minor Council Executive Committee, Hockey NL

Cc:   Hockey NL Minor Council Executive Committee

DATE:  December 20, 2023

RE:  Mid-Season Update

U7 and U9 Season Structure  

Nothing has changed and we continue to follow the U7 cross ice and U9 half ice hockey model, respectively and the recommended practice to game ratio as per Hockey Canada pathways. The start date for the transition to full ice hockey for graduating U9 players has been set for March 1, 2024. The transition period is a maximum of 8 hours with 50% being mandatory practices. This transition program should not replace the regular U9 programming. Any association found to be running full ice hockey prior to March 1, 2024, will face sanctions.

Ice Allocation Policy

A document has been created to accompany the ice allocation policy. It outlines some possible line combinations for teams that don’t have 15 skaters. This document is located at the link below and teams should follow the recommended lineup formats.

Team Rosters and Scoring Site

A reminder that final team rosters with approved and qualified coaching staffs are due by the January 10th deadline and must be registered in the HCR. Teams are also reminded that all scores MUST be submitted through the provincial scoring site. Teams who fail to play the required number of games and submit scores risk being removed from the final grading report.

End Of Game Handshakes 

We have had some issues with handshakes following games that have led to suspensions for players and coaches. The decision has been made to eliminate the end of game handshakes. Instead, prior to the game starting the home team will go to their bench. The visiting team will skate by the bench and do a glove tap/handshake wishing the home team a good game. Following the game both teams will be directed to their dressing rooms by the officials. This should be in effect for all games following the Christmas break. Please ensure all teams are aware of this change.

I want to take this time to thank all volunteers for your work this season. The amount of time and effort that our volunteers put into ensuring an enjoyable experience for our players does not go unnoticed. Take a few days at Christmas to spend time with family and friends and recharge for the 2nd half of the season. On behalf of Minor Council, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.

Yours in Hockey,

Gonzo Bennett

Chair, Minor Council Executive Committee,

Hockey NL