Volume 1 Issue 9                                                                       July 28, 2014

Mite NIHL Update: 2014-15 Season, 2 Choice & 2-4-6-8 Rule

REGISTER NOW: Tier I Mite ADM Program Filling Up Quickly!

3 Associations Receive USA Hockey's Grow the Game Award

The Reality of Mite Right Sized Hockey

Take 5 with USA Hockey's Roger Grillo & Kenny Rausch

Just for Coaches: On- and Off-Ice Practice Plans


NIHL Mite Update:

2014-15 Season, 2 Choice & 2-4-6-8 Rule

Last Monday evening's NIHL meeting gave us our first look at preliminary team counts for the upcoming travel hockey season. AHAI was encouraged to see 5 more clubs commit mite teams to the upcoming NIHL season: Rockford, Chiefs, Pekin, Blackbirds, and Yellowjackets. In all there are 19 clubs that are placing mite teams in NIHL this season. Those clubs represent about 38+ mite teams. Each metallic level (Gold, Silver, Bronze) will have 10-15 teams participating this season. A special shout out to the Admirals and Irish who have decided to go 100% half-ice/cross-ice with all their mites this season. The Admirals are looking to become a model association with USA Hockey.


As many have heard there are several clubs looking to move their mites out of USA Hockey in order to allow these 7 and 8 year old skaters to play more full-ice games than what has been granted AHAI through the USA Hockey exception process. Based on several emails I have received regarding what this alternative option will consist of, I want to include a section of correspondence that has been sent out by each organization in this league...


"The new league will offer a full season of 24 full-ice games, plus round robin playoffs (minimum of 3-4 more games), from September to March. Tournaments for Mite Travel teams (probably 6-8 more games) will also be organized in addition to the regular season games."


As has been stated in the past, AHAI is not eliminating full-ice hockey as some have suggested. We (AHAI and USA Hockey) are working under the well founded premise that mites playing upwards of 35-40 full-ice games in approximately 6 months is not the optimum way to develop them for the long-term. READ MORE>>>







The Tier I Mite ADM Program is filling up fast! AHAI is excited about this unique program and the opportunity these young skaters will have to develop their skills in a fun and energetic environment. If you have not thought about the Tier I Mite ADM Program for your 7 or 8 year old Mite skater, take a moment to learn more about it by clicking HERE. Evaluations for this program will be held August 23 through August 30, 2014. Exact dates and times during that time frame will be set individually by each of the Tier I Organizations participating this year.


With enrollment still open, dates and times during this 7 day window cannot be set until each Tier I Organization knows the number of skaters for which to set ice. All skaters registered will receive an email with exact dates, times and locations for the evaluations by mid-August. Please contact Jim Clare at MiteADM@ahai2.org with any questions.



Three  Associations Receive USA Hockey Grow the Game Award


 By USA Hockey  


The Charlotte Metro Hockey Association (Indian Trail, N.C.), Homer Hockey Association (Homer, Alaska) and Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association (Kirkland, Wash.) have been selected as the recipients of the USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, presented by Total Hockey. For the sixth consecutive year, the award recognizes youth hockey associations for their efforts to create new and innovative ways to grow the game of hockey.


The three winning associations were voted as this year's top submissions. Total Hockey awards the first-place finisher (Charlotte Metro Hockey Association) with 30 sets of starter equipment, second place (Homer Hockey Association) with 20 sets, and third place (Sno-King Amateur Hockey Association) with 10 sets.


As a result of these nationwide initiatives, participation in youth hockey around the country continues to grow thanks to volunteers and the new programs they are implementing.



The Reality of Mite Right Sized Hockey


By Keith Andresen, VP, Dallas Stars


Every season there are folks who think that full ice hockey for the 8U age group is good for their development. What the real experts are saying from the NHL, USA Hockey and the IIHF is that these full ice hockey proponents are wrong.


I prefer to call -ice hockey "right sized" hockey. If you think about it, what sport puts 8U players on a professional size fields. I don't see 8 year olds on 90 foot base paths or hitting home runs over a fence 400' away. I don't see 8 year olds kicking a soccer ball or running with a football on 100 yard fields. I don't see 8 year olds shoot a ball at a basket 10 feet in the air. Why on earth would anyone think that teaching an 8 year old to play hockey on 200 foot hockey rink is the right way to teach. None of these sports call their 8U version of the game -field or -court, they just play on a right-sized field. With the purchase of proper boards and right sized nets, 8U kids can flourish on a rink that fits them just like a right sized field for soccer and baseball.





Take 5 with USA Hockey's
Roger Grillo
Take 5 with USA Hockey's
Kenny Rausch

Victory is won on and off the ice when youth athletes strive to achieve their personal best. Encouraging kids to set individual goals and focus on maximum personal effort benefits both the player and the team in a variety of ways. In this month's TAKE 5 series, we sat down with some of the world's top athletes and coaches to get their take on stats, records, and personal bests.



There's nothing like the elated feeling your children get after winning a game they've practiced for day and night. But that good feeling can quickly dissipate when faced with bad sports-manship. Youth sports are a great opportunity for kids to build self-esteem and learn the essentials of playing a game.  




As we have learned over the course of implementing the ADM across the state, it is all about increased puck touches and constant activity on the ice for the 8U skater.  Good, quality station based practices vastly increase the amount of both for the player. 


Having tracked players in both full-ice practices and ADM style practices, the amount of added touches and movement for any one skater is 4 fold.  So if we are to give the parents their moneys worth and the skater the development they deserve than station based practices is the best way to do both.



USA Hockey provides an abundance of material to help coaches design efficient and fun dryland training for the 8U age group. We will highlight some of those exercises here each month.


Ask your coaching coordinator or hockey director where you can get the dryland deck of cards, or contact AHAI's Coach- in- Chief. 






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