Dear LMHA Parents,
In March of 2017, Hockey Canada imposed the mandatory introduction of cross/half ice for all IP programs. At the beginning of the 17/18 season, LaSalle Minor Hockey believed we were in compliance with this mandate; however, our association and many others within Bluewater and Ontario Minor Hockey misinterpreted the information provided to us. In addition to cross-ice, the mandate also requires all 6 year old players and younger to be rostered in IP programs. This is where our association was not in compliance with the mandate.
On November 2nd, Board Members attended a meeting with our OMHA representatives to get more information on and to discuss these new mandates, approved exemptions in other areas and the non compliance sanctions.
We learned from other associations and those involved in skills and development clinics, that they have seen the benefit of cross ice for the younger divisions. OMHA advised that statistics show "that players shoot the puck six times more, have five times more puck battles and passes received, as well as double the amount of puck touches, changes of direction and puck battles when playing cross ice hockey compared to a full sized rink." They also indicate that "with cross-ice hockey, players spend time developing skills for future success and enjoyment in the game. They are forced to make quicker decisions because the game area is smaller - which makes them better. More ice-time and more repetitions mean increased development."
References that were provided:
IP Experts discuss benefits of cross ice-
Reaching top speeds in cross ice -
We learned that we are not eligible for an exemption and that any association not complying will be suspended. A suspension for our association means that we would no longer be in good standing, would no longer be able to host tournaments, teams would not be able to participate in tournaments, no playoffs, and no playdowns. Essentially, it would affect our entire organization.
We learned and understand that it will not be easy to change the mindset of our members with regard to cross ice hockey for our young players; however, we hope to see the many benefits as they have been explained to us.
So, what does this mean for 6 year old Novice members in LMHA for the 17/18 season? We will be moving all 6 year old players from teams that were playing full ice. This directly affects 17 6 year old players within our organization. Removing these players from teams will also cause a necessary shuffle for other Novice teams while we attempt to re-balance players. A meeting is being set up by Directors with affected coaches to get their input on changes to be made.
It is understood that this reorganization will certainly cause upset with our members and players and wish to apologize for this. We are doing our best to make these changes with the least amount of disruption. We know you will have questions and hope to make ourselves available to answer them in a face to face meeting in the future.
Thank you in advance for your understanding.
LMHA Board of Directors