Hockey Northwestern Ontario has adopted program guidelines and resources to support and provide direction for our Minor Hockey Associations to implement and operate a skill development program for players six years of age and younger -- the Initiation Program.
Based on Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model, players who are six years old and younger should be focusing on having fun, learning skills and developing physical literacy. The ultimate goal of this level of hockey is to make the first impression of hockey a positive one for all players and parents.
Aligning with the LTPD model, HNO is developing a formal set of guidelines for Initiation-aged players based on the following principles:
The technical curriculum should focus on physical literacy and having fun.
The official playing surface for practices and games should be reduced to cross-ice or half ice size.
The equipment should be amended to fit the size and skill level of the players.
Registration and regulation should not be the same as for higher levels or older age divisions.
Instructors should be trained in an appropriate manner to teach players of this age and level of development.