Welcome, for the upcoming 2017-18 season, Hockey Canada has mandated CROSS ICE hockey for age-appropriate players at the initiation level. Within the province, we had mandated CROSS ICE hockey for this age group a year prior. We are looking forward to the NEW season and welcoming the NEW wave of hockey players into our great game. Take the time to read over the information available provided by the Saskatchewan Hockey Association's staff and other personal who are implementing cross ice hockey. Also included on this page is information on coaching, staff requirements for your team, equipment and officiating information. If you have any questions, please fee free to contact the SHA office at (306) 789-5101.
The Saskatchewan Hockey Association along with Hockey Canada believes that hockey should be, first and foremost, fun for all participants. A big part of delivering that is ensuring the programming is age-appropriate. Cross ice/half ice hockey at the Initiation age ensures the playing surface is altered to an appropriate size for young players:
- For development, you likely won’t put five-and six-year-olds on a full-size soccer pitch, or expect them to play basketball on a full-sized court with no height adjustments – hockey is no different.
- Cross ice/half ice hockey allows young players the opportunity for more puck-touches which promotes greater opportunity for skill development (puck-handling, shooting, skating, coordination) and decision-making.
- Players on cross ice/half
- ice have been shown to receive five times more passes and take six times more shots than when they are on a full-sized rink.
- Small-area games are used at all levels of the game – including Senior hockey with National Teams and in the NHL.
The benefits of cross ice/half-ice hockey go beyond player development; the special boards and bumpers allow minor hockey associations to alleviate the pressure around scheduling and ice-time availability by safely allowing multiple practices and games to take place on one rink simultaneously.