Beginning in the 2017 – 2018 season, players in the Novice age category (7-8 yrs) will play on a modified ice surface –slightly over half the size of a normal hockey rink – until December 31st each season. Games after December 31st within each hockey season may be played on full-ice.
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 puck touches and puck control, shots, passes completed, transitions, decision making, puck support, overall involvement...and FUN! In addition, with the creation of the new Development Zone, kids will have up to 40% more ice time during games!
Hockey Manitoba 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.
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