The Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) is introducing a modified ice progression for the 2018-2019 season, which will align with the Hockey Canada modified ice mandate when it comes into effect for the 2019-2020 season.
Next season (2018-2019), OHF players born in 2011 will continue through a modified ice program, advancing them from cross-ice to half-ice games, with practices still focusing on station work and skill development. Currently, these players are part of the renewed Hockey Canada Initiation Program, which includes cross-ice games for players six-years-old and under.
The Ontario Hockey Federation Board of Directors has approved the following direction for the 2018-2019 season:
- The philosophy of cross-ice hockey for 5-and-6-year-olds is to make the beginner’s early impression of hockey a good one. Game play for 2012-and-2013-born players (5-and- 6-year-olds) in the 2018-2019 season is to be cross-ice.
- Game play for 2011-born players (7-year-olds) in the 2018-2019 season is to be half-ice.
- There are only two exceptions to this progression: 2011-born players who were granted the opportunity to play with 2010-born players in the 2017-2018 season may continue to play with the age group above for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 season or if a minor hockey association makes a request to its Member to allow an exemption due to registration numbers and the Member approves the request.
- Where possible, it is preferred programming is offered to individual age groups. The decision to offer mixed programming (7-and-8-year-olds playing on the same team and in the same league) will be at the discretion of the Member. Minor hockey associations who require this allowance are to contact their Member directly. Instances where mixed programming is offered for the 2018-2019 season, teams will start the season in half-ice programming and transition to full-ice for the second half of the season. This will be repeated in the 2019-2020 season for 2011-born players.
Details on the further progression of the modified-ice program into 2018-2019 season are available on our website: ohf.on.ca
The OHF is working diligently to produce materials which will be available in conjunction with items already created by Hockey Canada. For a list of all currently available support materials, promotional and technical, follow this link.
If there are any questions related to the implementation of this modified -ice programming, parents are encouraged to contact their minor hockey associations. To view the answers to some “frequently asked questions”, please click here.