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Rule changes for next year!
  USAHockey Rules change for upcoming season- Bantam and...
Coaching Education requirements update!
FYI Coaches-- This is from our District 9 Registrar   Hi: USA...

Girls U10, U12, U14 and U18 Team Registration now OPEN. CLICK...
Hey Coaches.......
Bourque named Head Coach at Dover Sherborn
  On May 24th, Dover Sherborn High School announced...

10 Ways to Boost Development This Offseason By Jamie...
Rule changes for next year!


USAHockey Rules change for upcoming season- Bantam and below are NOT allowed to ice the puck when playing shorthanded. Please read below from USAHockey for an explanation of the rule. 


USA Hockey Playing Rule Changes Summary

06/15/2017, 3:15pm MDT
By USA Hockey

Every four years USA Hockey’s playing rules are evaluated and have the opportunity to be changed. With this being a rules change year, the USA Hockey Board of Directors voted on a number of proposed modifications during Annual Congress.

Perhaps the most notable rule change gaining approval was the elimination of the ability to ice the puck when shorthanded for age classification 14U and below. The Board also voted to strengthen language around the game misconduct penalty in Rule 601, with the new verbiage stating that a game misconduct penalty shall be issued to any player or team official who uses language that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game.

“I believe overall everyone feels our game is in a really good place,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “The most important thing we need to focus on is our current rules in place. Our officials play such a big role in the overall safety of the game and we appreciate their efforts to fully enforce the current standard of play that exists in the book.”

Modified Shorthanded Icing Rule Delivers More Skill Development

USA Hockey has modified its playing rules for the 14-and-Under age classification and all younger age classifications (youth and girls) to no longer legalize icing while a team is shorthanded. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, if a team ices the puck while shorthanded, it will result in a whistle followed by a defensive-zone faceoff. The team that commits an

icing infraction will be allowed to change lines and/or players prior to the defensive-zone faceoff.

The rationale behind this rule change is twofold.

First, and most importantly, the change will encourage greater skill development for 10U, 12U and 14U players. These young athletes are in their prime skill development windows and will benefit greatly from the increased emphasis this rule change places on promoting puck possession, puck protection and play-making (as opposed to merely firing the puck down the ice, which is a low-skill tactic). Second, the change prevents a penalized team from gaining an exception to a rule (icing) that is in effect while teams are at even strength.

“We want to encourage players to get their heads up, think and make skillful, intelligent plays,” said Ken Martel, the technical director of USA Hockey’s American Development Model. “To develop problem-solving skills, we need rules that encourage players to think. Modifying the shorthanded icing rule will accomplish that. Rather than just blasting the puck down the ice, they’ll now be encouraged to skate or pass their way out of trouble, use greater touch to chip a puck out, or even take advantage of a lazy power play and go on the attack.”

Data collected from nearly 200 games played under this modified rule showed that the average number of shorthanded icings per game was only 1.81. Therefore, there were fewer than two stoppages per game due to this rule, which dispels the myth that it will ruin the flow of games and make them dramatically longer.

USA Hockey has successfully used this modified rule for more than 10 years at its National Player Development Camps. Players adapt almost immediately and more shorthanded scoring opportunities are created by the play-making mindset that it nurtures.

“Skill development and play-making is an emphasis at the professional level and it should be an absolute priority at the youth levels, so I support USA Hockey’s decision to change the rule,” said Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and back-to-back Stanley Cup champion. “It will encourage kids to make more skill plays with the puck, and that will help develop their full potential as players.”

by Board posted 06/19/2017
Coaching Education requirements update!

FYI Coaches-- This is from our District 9 Registrar



USA Hockey passed rule changes regarding
Age Related Modules and Safe
Sport Training. For the 2017 - 2018 season. No coach will be allowed to be placed on a USA Hockey roster who has not completed an Age Related Module for the level they are coaching and who have not completed Safe Sport Training.

 The USA Hockey Registry will not allow them to be placed on a team's roster. There is no appeal of this matter.
These coaches are not allowed to conduct practices, coach in games or perform any other USA Hockey activities. until they have completed the
Age Related Module and the Safe
Sport Training.

TheAge Related Modules and Safe Sport Training courses will be available online this summer.
Please forward this information to your program's executive board and your program's registrar.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

Felix Costanza
District 9 Registrar

by Board posted 06/12/2017

Girls U10, U12, U14 and U18 Team Registration now OPEN.







by posted 06/08/2017
Hey Coaches.......



There are many phrases that exist in the sports world about what it takes to create a successful team. While expressions like how a team is only as strong as its weakest link or that everyone has to pull equal weight are true, developing a strong coaching staff goes a lot deeper than that.

It is important to remember that every coach behind the bench serves a unique purpose on the team and each brings different viewpoints, ideas, experiences and perspectives that shouldn’t be wasted or ignored.

While it may seem useful to have each coach focus on a specific area of the game, it is extremely important to be familiar with all aspects of it. In practices, coaches can divide players into smaller groups to allow for more reps and then rotate between stations. This will also allow for a more focused approach and give the ability to pay attention to every player. Remember to reconvene at the end of practice and review any notes that may have come up.

Try and get the coaching staff together early in the season for off ice team building exercises. Build teamwork and communication early on. Remember that delivering the same message, whether it be to parents or players, saves from dealing with confusion from different answers. Schedule meetings at set intervals during the season to evaluate and review what’s happened to that point. Set goals you want for the team to reach and track their progress.

For the head coach, feedback is important to help improve your team. Coaches should feel comfortable sharing opinions with each other. Always keep the lines of communication open with the rest of your staff. Let them know what they’ve done, good or bad, and trust and value their opinions. Let them lead at the appropriate times and give them responsibility. It will make your job a whole lot easier by letting others take charge when needed.

If you are looking for a coaching resource sheet to help you click the link below; 

1. Coaches Checklist  http://assets.ngin.com/attachments/document/0048/4235/GAME_OBSERVATION.pdf 


by Board posted 06/07/2017
Bourque named Head Coach at Dover Sherborn

Coach Tom Bourque
On May 24th, Dover Sherborn High School announced Tom Bourque as the new Boys High School Hockey Coach.  He had served as the assistant coach for the past two seasons and has been involved with the team for over ten years. Tom is a lifelong resident of Waltham and a long time Coach in the Waltham Youth Hockey program. Tom has been a head hockey coach at the Mite, Squirt, PeeWee, Bantam and Midget level as well as a Board member for the last 7 years. In his variety of roles within Waltham Youth Hockey Tom has been the fundraising committee chairperson running such things as the 10K raffle and calendar programs. 

by Board posted 06/02/2017

10 Ways to Boost Development This Offseason

By Jamie MacDonald, 05/16/17, 2:00PM EDT


In the eyes of Ken Martel, a man largely responsible for USA Hockey’s American Development Model implementation and operation, players who specialize in hockey too young may be setting a ceiling on their development.

Does USA Hockey love to see kids playing hockey: Absolutely.

Does USA Hockey think that’s all kids should be doing? Absolutely not.

In fact, USA Hockey prefers well-rounded athletes who aren't sport-limiting until their late teens. As such, the governing body encourages young athletes to play multiple sports – particularly at younger ages. 

In the eyes of Ken Martel, a man largely responsible for USA Hockey’s American Development Model implementation and operation, players who specialize in hockey too young may be setting a ceiling on their development.

“We’ll get kids who have spent a lot of time specializing in hockey, and, in the short run, it might make a difference – but, in the long run, their athleticism is really capped,” Martel says. “They're not growing as players, and you can see it. It's like they can't get any better.”

Martel, who as a player won an NCAA title with Lake Superior State and has worked as a coach and staff member at USA Hockey for a quarter century, is a firm believer in playing … anything.

“It matters less which sport,” Martel says. “We just want you to go and be more physically active. However, there are certain sports where you can definitely see transference.”


So many kids play soccer these days, and, in some ways, it’s the ultimate entry sport, beginning at ages 3 and 4 in many towns.

“They get agility and they get to learn tactics that are very similar to hockey,” Martel says. “How to support, how to create 2-on-1s and those types of things.”


While not many would associate hockey with tennis, the mostly outdoor racket sport certainly has application when it comes to the mostly indoor ice sport.

“Tennis is fantastic,” says Martel. “The lateral movement and the side-to-side explosiveness have a lot of transferability to what we need in ice hockey – for skating, it’s huge. And it’s about developing coordination and tracking.”


Swimming? Yes, swimming.

“Absolutely,” Martel says. “Swimming is fantastic. One, there’s obviously water safety for your kids. But there’s also ambidextrous movement – movement on both sides of your body. That's really, really good, to do things with your non-dominant side.”


One of the most side-dominant sports is golf, but, again, there is application.

“You see a lot of hockey players who are good golfers,” says Martel. “There's some weight transfer in the golf swing, and in your lower body. And there’s the striking skill. I know a lot of hockey players who are darn good golfers.”

Track and Field/Running

Not all running is created equally, and, for hockey players, not all running is good running.

“For our sport,” Martel says, “I would keep away from the distance running – it’s basically slow-twitch.”

Martel, along with so many strength and conditioning coaches, suggests picking up the pace for something more useful when it comes to hockey.

“Explosive sprinting would be good,” he says.

Flag Football

As flag football rises in popularity, Martel sees its merit.

“I would have kids play flag football all day long,” he says. “And it's a big push from USA Football. It's running, jumping and evasion skills – it’s all of the skill position type stuff. That will make you more productive as an athlete. Guys can transfer into football later on if they're good athletes because they can teach you some of the simpler movements.”


In Canada, it’s a pastime. Lacrosse is also a rapidly growing sport in some parts of this country, too.

“In Canada, it's box lacrosse,” says Martel. “In a lot of communities, the ice goes out in the offseason and they play lacrosse indoors. What I like about lacrosse is that you pick up the ball and you run with it, and you're trying to survey the field. With hockey and soccer, you tend to look down. That's where the ball or the puck is in those sports. Lacrosse is really good and helping our kids survey. But, there is also the agility and tactics.”  


Who would benefit from gymnastics?

“If I had my way, every kid that plays ice hockey,” Martel says. “Gymnastics is full of foundational skills movements for all sports. All that kinesthetic awareness and strength and agility and power. It's phenomenal.”

Martial Arts

Sports such as Taekwondo and karate can also be great for kids.

“It's body control, and it's movement skills,” says Martel. “It's control of your body. It's coordination. We've done some boxing, and it's more about the combination of upper-body and lower-body movement, and it’s about how to move your body efficiently.”

Anything to Get You Moving

There are dozens more athletics to get involved in, of course, including sports as structured as basketball or volleyball to something a little more casual, such as skiing or flying disk games. And all of them have something in common: For young hockey players, they’re worth trying.

“Do everything,” says Martel. “Kids are getting too sedentary. That’s the bottom line. And we see it when we go to a country like Finland, where they have a sporting lifestyle they cultivate. Part of it is culture.”

Oh, yes, and one more thing: Go outside.

"Ride your bike, play tag, go play kick the can in the neighborhood,” Martel says. “Those, in some ways, are even better than turning to another organized sport where everything is programmed. Let kids get out with the neighbors and sort something out. And it's not just physical skills. It's social skills, and it's how to cope in society.”

It’s also, perhaps counter-intuitively, about hockey.

by Board posted 05/30/2017
New Icing Rule explained