Hockey Canada has come out with a mandatory program for
Instructional or Initiation Program (IP), Tyke, and Novice for this year. LSMHA
is still learning about it but in an effort to keep you informed, we can tell
you what we know.
The new age for IP is 5 and 6 years old, Tyke is 7 years old and Novice is 8 years old. Four year olds are considered “pre-school”. All ages are by December 31 of this year. The IP program will be half ice or cross ice, as per Hockey Canada’s mandate, we have no say in that. They will use a 4oz blue puck. Any minor hockey association that refuses to comply will not be allowed to roster any teams in any division.
The Tyke division will be full ice and will also use a 4 oz blue puck. We are still waiting for LMLL to decide if they are hosting a Tyke Division this year, but we should know soon. LSMHA is considering several options depending on LMLL decision, but all 7 and 8 year olds will have a place to play, whether it is on a tyke team or a mix 7 and 8 year old novice team this year.
The Novice division will be for 8 y/o, but OMHA has said they will allow 7 and 8 y/o on a Novice roster this year. No six year olds will be allowed on any Novice roster, as a player or Affiliated Player.
These ages will be consistent all across Canada, no hockey association will be allowed to vary from these.
We will continue to gather information, including LMLL decision on Tyke, and keep you informed as to what direction we are taking.
Hockey Canada, OMHA and LSMHA are all committed to giving your child the best opportunity to enjoy the game of hockey for life. The reason these changes were made, after extensive studies, was for the betterment of the game for your child. There are articles and videos on the OMHA website that explain the process, benefits, and thinking behind this decision. They include, sizing the game to meet the size of the players, 5 times more passes and 6 times more shots per game in cross ice. They can be found at www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Hockey-Programs/Coaching/Initiation/Cross-Ice-Hockey. Please watch the videos, they can answer a lot of questions you may have.
Please check back with the website for more information and we will have a parent meeting at the beginning of the season to try to answer all of the questions you may have.