Effective for the 2020-2021 season, minor hockey associations, including those in the Ontario Hockey Federation’s Member Partners: OMHA, ALLIANCE, GTHL, NOHA and the OWHA will be following the U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) Player Pathways.
Player Pathways, as we have seen with U7 (Initiation) and U9 (Novice) programming are progressive, learn-to-play development guides that support the player development continuum from U7 (Initiation) through to U11 (Atom). The pathways outline optimal seasonal structures and age appropriate development guidelines.
With the implementation of the U11 (Atom) Player Pathway in the 2020-2021 season, key changes have been made to the Player Pathways at U7 (Initiation) and U9 (Novice). This will create consistency in all programming across the country and a seamless transition for players from U7 (Initiation) through to U11 (Atom) based on the Long Term Player Development model.
The Player Pathways provide local minor hockey associations a framework of age appropriate development guidelines which includes an optimal seasonal structure.
The Policy and Recommendations for the U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) Pathways have been identified with the parent and player in mind; allowing families to have their summer break back while still providing on-ice opportunities ahead of evaluations, giving players key seasonal breaks to allow for holidays and the chance to play other sports throughout the year and establishing consistent age appropriate programming that is in line with the Long-Term Player Development model.
The transition from Spring to Fall evaluations at these age groups allows the Local Hockey Associations to provide Member sanctioned non-traditional hockey programming (i.e. 3-on-3, 4-on-4, or skills clinics) beginning any time after the conclusion of the OHF Championships and completing no later than June 30th.
The OHF and its Member Partners will continue their support of Local Hockey Associations to ensure that the policy outlined are administered consistently across the OHF to provide players with the best possible experience within hockey. The implementation of the U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) and Player Pathways are a step towards creating a long-lasting love for the game for all players within Hockey Canada Programming.
More information on the full U7 (Initiation), U9 (Novice) and U11 (Atom) Player Pathways policy and recommendations can be found at the OHF Website.
Download the U7 (Initiation) Player Pathway Policy
Download the U9 (Novice) Player Pathway Policy
Download the U11 (Atom) Player Pathway Policy