Novice Program Information, News (CYO Minor Hockey)

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Novice Program Information
Submitted By Nikki Chubaty on Saturday, June 15, 2019
Novice level hockey (ages 7 and 8) is a crucial piece in building the skills of house league and rep team players alike. Novice is a structured, learn-to-play program designed to introduce beginners to basic skills. It also enables young players to build a solid skill base and become contributing members of a team effort, develop self-confidence and experience a sense of personal achievement – goals achieved in an atmosphere of fun and fair play.

Half-Ice Games

Research has proven that putting young players into a competitive environment too early will compromise their development. Children should only be placed into competitive situations that suit their skill level and abilities.

It is important to fully understand and appreciate the benefits of cross-ice and half-ice hockey and why Hockey Canada has a national policy ensuring all Initiation and Novice hockey is played in smaller, modified spaces. The Novice half-ice program means more fun, more puck touches, more passing, more shooting, more time playing ... and more opportunities for young players in MHAs across the country to develop!









Season Structure for Novice Programming


Development Phase (25% of the season)

During the development phase, coaches are focused on skill development. The ideal practice to game ration has been identified as 3:1, or three practice sessions to one game played. With a series of well-crafted practice plans (ice sessions) Coaches will focus on developing fundamental movement skills like striding, turning and stopping, manipulation skills like shooting, passing, puck control and the very important motor skills of agility, balance, coordination.

Regular Season Phase (60% of the season)

The practice to game ratio shifts to 2:1 or two practices for every game played. Caches will continue to focus on skill development during practice sessions as well as drills that will assist in the delivery of practices that will meet the skills development needs of young players.

Game Play Phase (15% of the season)

This phase has a practice to game ratio of 1:1, or one practice to one game played. This will provide coaches with the opportunity to continue to reinforce individual skill development elements in practices in addition to introducing players to game-play concepts.
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