Beginning in the 2017-18 season, Hockey Canada is implementing a new policy that mandates cross-ice/half-ice hockey for players at the Initiation age level (traditionally 5- and 6-year-olds).
While the policy making it mandatory is new, half-ice/cross-ice hockey has been part of the Initiation Program in the Ontario Minor Hockey Association since it was first developed more than 35 years ago.
The purpose of the Initiation Program is to introduce the basic skills of the game, and make a child’s first introduction to the game one that is safe, enjoyable, and fun:
- Make it a positive experience for kids and their families – focus is on fun, learning, and playing in a team atmosphere, not on structured games
- Build the player’s confidence and give them a sense of accomplishing a skill while developing as a young player
Learn more about the Cross-Ice Hockey Mandate.