|NEW THIS SEASON:|
Starting with the 2013/14 fall season, AHAI will no longer have printed rosters that require the signature of players and coaches. AHAI is going fully electronic with our Official USA Hockey Rosters! As in previous years, players, coaches and managers must register on line with USAH to obtain their USAH Confirmation number. The Registrar of your organization will need the confirmation number to create the official roster in the Cybersport Program which is the official registration software of USA Hockey. The roster will be electronically be generated, and then certified and available to the organization's registrar, and also to team managers and coaches on the AHAI webtool. So do not be alarmed if your player is not asked to sign the official roster. This is no longer a requirement for a certified roster.
|ASK THE COACH|
My 14 year old daughter has asked to become a Student Coach for her younger sister's Mite team. What is a Student Coach and how does my daughter become one?
USA Hockey and AHAI have a Program for players between the ages of 13 and 17 to become Student Coaches. Click HERE
for the 2013-14 Coaching Education Program Student Coach Policy.
Editor's Note: Readers may email any questions they may have to ASK THE COACH to be answered in future issues.
CEP CLINIC SCHEDULE
All coaches are required to be certified at the appropriate level for the upcoming season. All 2013-14 AHAI CEP Clinics are open for registration ONLY on the USA Hockey website.
Click HERE for full listing of AHAI/USAH CEP Clinics
Dates & Locations.
|LEVEL 4 CEP CLINIC|
DATES & LOCATION
Saturday, August 24 ~ 8am-7pm
Sunday, August 25 - 8am-4pm
Renaissance St. Louis Airport
Click HERE for full Level 4 Clinic Flyer. Click HERE to register.
In its continuing effort to safeguard our children who participate in this great sport of hockey, AHAI in conjunction with USA Hockey, will oversee the integration of the newly developed USA Hockey SafeSport Program
More than 18 months ago, USAH began working on the SafeSport Program. SafeSport is mandated by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as a requirement of all National Governing Bodies (NGB). In other words, the USOC considers SafeSport compliance when evaluating funding and NGB status or certification.
For quite some time, AHAI and USAH have had systems in place to protect its participants from physical abuse, sexual abuse and other types of abuse and misconduct that can be harmful to youth hockey players. These include without limitation: Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Screening, Locker Room Supervision and Hazing Policies, in addition to Codes of Conduct applicable to administrators, coaches, officials, parents, players and spectators. The USA Hockey SafeSport Handbook is intended to update and collect USA Hockey's various policies to protect its youth participants from all types of misconduct and abuse. Click HERE to read full article.
2 AND 2 CHALLENGE DEADLINE APPROACHING
There are only three weeks left to register for this season's 2 and 2 Challenge! USA Hockey's goal is to have 500 youth associations committed to their comprehensive growth program. Committed associations participate in:
Welcome Back Week
Try Hockey For Free Days
(November 2 & March 1)
By committing to participate in these programs, USA Hockey will recognize the local association for their leadership and reward them with free starter equipment packages. Click HERE for the 2 and 2 Challenge Program Guidebook.
Admirals Hockey Club
Decatur Youth Hockey
Evanston Youth Hockey
Hoffman Estates Park District
Jaguar Hockey Club
Rinkside Maulers House Program
Rolling Meadows Renegades
Springfield Youth Hockey
St. Jude Hockey
Ready to accept the challenge? Click HERE to sign up!
|SKATE AT THE|
Hey Coach, want your team to skate at the home of the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions? Juniorhawks is your chance to skate on the United Center Ice prior to a Blackhawks home game. The 2013-14 lottery form is now available so ENTER
your team now!
Ever wonder what it's like to skate in front of 20,000 Blackhawks fans?! ENTER
your team now for the Intermission Lottery to skate during a 2013-14 home game.
|EARN $2500 FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION!|
YOU can be the next USA Hockey organization to earn $2,500 from the Responsible Sports Community Grant program! Starting on September 1 you can register your organization to participate in the Fall 2013 Community Grant.
Not familiar with the Responsible Sports Community Grant program? Click HERE
to learn more. On November 30 fifteen organizations with the most points earn the $2,500 Grants.
The Sabre Hockey Association in Naperville, IL was one of the 15 organizations who received Community Grants in the Fall of 2011. To date they are the only hockey club in Illinois that has earned a Community Grant! Sign up today! It's easy....YOU CAN BE NEXT! Want to participate in the Community Grant program and need tips on how the Sabres came out on top - Contact Gretchen Cockey.
|TRY HOCKEY FOR FREE|
USA Hockey announced Monday that rinks and organizations can now register to host Try Hockey For Free events for the 2013-14 season. The first Try Hockey For Free Day will be Nov. 2, 2013, as part of Come Play Hockey Month. The second opportunity will occur March 1, 2014, during Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by CCM. Try Hockey For Free Day, supported by the NHL and its member clubs, is a program designed to provide youth hockey associations and local ice hockey rinks a national platform to introduce new kids to the sport.
Over 16,000 kids ages 4-9 tried hockey for the first time during last year's events, and USA Hockey is looking to build on the excitement of the upcoming Olympic Winter Games to host a record number of participants this winter. Liberty Mutual Insurance and Total Hockey are the official sponsors of Try Hockey For Free Days.
To register to host a Try Hockey event, click here.
With the mite landscape changing a bit this year, our mite parents have a lot to think about this upcoming season. With change comes confusion and misinformation. I want to touch on a few areas that hopefully will help parents find the best development opportunities for their player.
Let me start by saying, the future path of any hockey player or athlete is not totally determined by what the athlete did at a young age. It is well researched and documented that athletes, as well as students, develop differently and usually at an older age. What I'm trying to say is, from my experience, there is nothing stopping a U8 house player from playing AAA midget. My son is an example. He played house league until 2nd year squirt and Travel A and AA until U16 where he then made a AAA team as a 16 year old. He worked hard, had good coaching and played Tier II Junior Hockey before going on to school. There is no sure path, and there is really no need to rush to play at a level that the player is not quite ready for. With that in mind, a few questions have come up recently regarding mite players.
Can a U8 players play on a non-USA Hockey team? The answer is Yes.
The catch is that no registered USAH/AHAI Association (club) can utilize any of the Association's assets to support a team outside of the club - that means ice, registration, fee collection, referee scheduling, practices and things like jerseys and socks must not be provided by the Registered Association/Club. The largest issue we have had in the past with teams or players that play outside of USAH is Governance. By Governance I mean oversight. Who is overseeing the screening of managers or coaches? Who is handling the training of coaches? Who is going to handle an issue between players, coaches or parents? Who is certifying or training referees? Governance is a very important consideration.
Can a U8 player go to a new Association this year? The answer is Yes.
Here are the qualifications that parents need to know before moving:
At the travel (Tier II, NIHL) level Associations/Clubs can only add 2 new players from outside the association to each team at the mite level. New to the Association means the player played for another Tier II club. Players moving to Tier II from Tier III (house) do not count against this rule.
At the Tier III (house) level, players can move, but the Tier III leagues have rules that are similar to the Tier II. Only so many players from outside the club can be placed on the same team. Understand what the Tier III league rules are before moving.
The Tier II (travel) Two Choice Rule means that a player has two options (Associations/Clubs) that they can play for until the age of 15. For instance, a U8 player who at age 7 plays for club "A" then plays for Club "B" at age 8, can only play for those two associations until the player becomes a Midget (age 15). Also, do not let coaches or clubs tell you it is easy to receive substitute choices. That is a false statement and there is strict criteria used to gain a substitute choice. There is no "choice "rule at Tier III (house).
As I wrote in the last newsletter: For Mite families, when looking at programming, consider what is being offered at your local club. All of the Tier II and Tier III clubs offer what they consider to be the best development for the younger players. All U7 and U8 players will have the opportunity to play both cross ice and full ice games this season with their USA Hockey registered associations. The programs offered by each club should allow every mite aged player to develop, grow, and most of all have fun this season. Families should not need to seek other options for their mite players. Talk to your local program about their plans for the Mite levels for the upcoming season.
|New Mite Program for USA Hockey & Illinois|
Illinois Transitions to Red, White & Blue Hockey
This coming season some exciting modifications are taking place for our 8U-Mite hockey programs that will benefit children in this age group. USA Hockey affiliates are in the process of transitioning to a new curriculum for mite age players called Red, White & Blue Hockey, otherwise known as Mite Cross-Ice Hockey. Click HERE to download brochure. Red, White & Blue Hockey is a part of the American Development Model (ADM), which is a long-term athlete development program for all youth players from ages 4 - 20.
The ADM puts the development of the athlete above all else and provides optimal skill development at ages when those skills can be most effectively acquired. USA Hockey created the ADM through many years of studying the best practices of hockey development programs around the world, as well as general athlete development programs used by all sports. The ADM is fully endorsed by the National Hockey League and is a development model for players of ALL ability levels. The Red, White & Blue program builds a strong foundation of skills and the structure promotes an environment that is fun, yet challenging. Age-appropriate playing surfaces keep more players involved in the game and provides more opportunity for all players to develop their skills, handle the puck more, score more goals and have more fun. Click HERE to continue article.
|Concussion Q & A: Ways to Keep Your Skater Safe This Season|
by Elizabeth Pieroth, Board Certified Neuropsychologist
Kids across the country are back in school and back to sports. It's important to be educated on the ways to keep your kids safe when they play the sports they love. In particular, parents, coaches and young athletes should all be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion. We spoke with Dr. Elizabeth M. Pieroth, a Board Certified Neuropsychologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem and consultant to professional sports teams including the Chicago Blackhawks, about this important topic.
Q. What is a concussion? A concussion can occur with any blow or force to the head that causes mental status changes; disorientation, confusion, memory loss, slowness in thinking. Concussions occur in both boys and girls.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms? The signs are those things that are observed by others - such as coaches, parents or teammates. The symptoms are those things reported by an athlete. Click HERE for list of signs and symptoms.
Q. What can parents and coaches do to prevent concussions? It's impossible to completely prevent concussions, but there are steps parents can take to keep their children safer while playing sports. First, talk to your child's coach about how he/she handles safety issues. Has the coach been trained in concussion prevention? Does he/she know how to spot and respond to a concussion? If not encourage him/her to take the free, online Heads Up Course offered by the CDC. Additionally, make sure your child's equipment fits properly and that he/she wears the right equipment for every practice and game.
Q. What should parents do if they think their child has suffered a concussion? The first thing to do is to remove the child from practice or the game immediately. The saying goes, "When in doubt, sit it out." Next, call a medical professional to talk about the diagnosis and treatment.
Q. Why should kids play sports? There are so many wonderful benefits for children, including: physical activity, self-discipline, improved grades, friendships with teammates and increased self-esteem.
|New USA Hockey Helmet Rule: How Will It Effect Your Skater This Season|
Implementation & Enforcement
As you know, USA Hockey changed its rule about helmets, specifically regarding the expiration of the helmet "certification" based on the HECC approval ratings. At the outset, it is important for parents to know that this issue is one involving their children's HEADS. In this day and age, the medical information regarding the consequences of concussions and their long term effects upon someone who has suffered a concussion is enormous. The age old belief that a young player, or anyone for that matter, could simply shrug off a concussive hit to the head with absolutely no consequence is simply incorrect. Concussions are perhaps the most common form of injury to contact sports players yet only recently has the medical information regarding the long term effects of concussions really been brought to center stage. In this vein, the ability to lessen the incidence of concussions or perhaps lessen the severity of concussions is of vital importance. The first step in the process for accomplishing these goals is to identify the importance of proper equipment for the head, namely the helmet. According to the literature, helmets are not designed to last forever nor maintain their protective qualities forever. USA Hockey has identified that helmets have a "useful" life and has amended its rules to reflect the manufacturer's and HECC's recommendations. Now, turning to our dilemma as officials and the implementation and enforcement of this rule, we all can see the difficulty with the rule itself. First and foremost, the player and his/her parents are responsible for wearing the proper equipment. The onus for doing so rests squarely on the player. Now I recognize that the younger the player, the more the responsibility rests on the parents. And perhaps parents require more awareness of the concussion issues but I would like to think that the parents have their player's safety issue as a priority. Click HERE to continue reading.
|Hey Coach! The ADM Is More Than Just Mite Cross-Ice Hockey|
By Jim Clare, AHAI ADM Chairman
As the fall hockey season fast approaches we hopefully remind ourselves that every time the kids touch the ice we need to do our part to make it a fun and worthwhile experience. All coaches need to insure that we create an environment to which the kids want to return every week. Coaches, YOU need to have fun too regardless of age. So what is a good starting point, for any level, for an organization implementing the principles of the ADM? From my experiences within my own club and having traveled to many others both here in Illinois and throughout the country, I would start with making your practices more active. This is a key component of the ADM. If a coach or hockey director were to honestly evaluate how "active" their team practices are they may be surprised. I spend a lot of hours in the rink watching teams practice and what I see more often than not is a lot of empty ice not being used and kids standing in lines. A key piece of having an active practice is the saying, "No Lines, No Laps, and No Lectures". With the price of ice, why would we want to waste it standing around or talking? One suggestion, at the younger levels particularly, if it takes more than 30 seconds to explain a drill, it's probably too complicated for them anyway. Get them moving quickly and correct them as they are doing the drill. Statistics tell us that in any typical 60-minute youth practice, players are moving for no more than 12-15 minutes. Click HERE to continue reading.
|AHAI Foundation Golf Outing Huge Success|
Indian Lakes Golf Resort
The AHAI Foundation golf outing was a tremendous success. Our thanks to all who took the afternoon and night off from their busy schedules to help out with this worthwhile cause. Your participation helps fund hockey for some very special people who otherwise would never experience this great game, lifetime friendships and fellowship. This is truly a special sport for everyone. The event was marked by superb weather; a golf course in immaculate condition and a staff who couldn't do enough for us. This was our largest outing ever, 146 paid golfers. A special thanks to the people you can count on anytime you need help, Paul Jakubowski, Jim Clare (Sabres), Gretchen Cockey, Mike Mullally, John Dunne, Geoff Schlender (IHOA) and the always present glue that holds us together "Lone Feather" Smith. Mark your calendars for next year's Golf Outing scheduled for Friday, August 15, 2014 and will again be held at the Indian Lakes Golf Resort in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Thanks again and have a safe and fun season!
Benevolent AHAI Golf Dictator and Chairman of the Weather Committee
View All the Golf Outing Photos by Sully on Facebook!
|So Long & Good Luck, Eric|
The Chicago Blackhawks want to extend a very heartfelt "So Long" message to Eric Dumais, Sr. Account Executive, Youth Hockey Sales. Eric and his wife, Lindsay and daughter, Claire, have taken on a new adventure and moved to E. Grand Rapids Michigan. Eric was with the Blackhawks for 5 years and was responsible for youth hockey ticket sales, including programs like the JuniorHawks program, Intermissions, and the Illinois High School Hockey State Championships. We will miss Eric dearly and wish him the very best of luck with his new journey!
Left to right back row: Nick Rocca - Chicago Blackhawks, Matt Brooks - Chicago Blackhawks, Eric Dumais - Chicago Blackhawks, Jim Smith - USA Hockey, Mike Durkin - AHAI, John Dunne- AHAI Left to right front row: Annie Camins - Chicago Blackhawks, Paul Jakubowski - AHAI
|6 IL Skaters Make Final USA Hockey National Team Rosters|
USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, which enters its 17th season on ice in 2013-14, announced the roster and schedule for its U.S. Men's National Under-18 and Under-17 Teams. The squads are comprised of some of the top American-born players in the 1996 and 1997 birth years. The Under-18 squad will compete against teams from the United States Hockey League and NCAA Division I and III schools. The Under-17 will compete against teams from the Minnesota Elite League, North American Hockey League and United States Hockey League. Both squads will also take part in three international competitions during the course of the season. The U.S. Women's National Under-18 Team will participate in the 2013 Women's Under-18 Series vs. Canada later this week in Lake Placid, NY. The Under-18 Series is a three-game competition vs. Canada that began in 2007.