Initiation Program

Jun. 13 - 2016

Initiation Program

Hockey Edmonton

To:Initiation Program Stakeholders
From:VP DevelopmentCC:HE
Re:Re-focused Initiation Program Summary

Introduction and Background

This communique is intended to provide stakeholders with the details of the recently re-focused Initiation Program. This re-focus was sanctioned by Hockey Edmonton’s (HE) Board and was guided by Hockey Alberta’s Initiation Program Guidelines which too was sanctioned by the HE Board. The design principles for this refocus were developed by a committee of Initiation subject matter experts from each of the five operation districts. These design principles have incorporated feedback received from the recent survey we conducted with Initiation stakeholders. These design principles were approved by each operating District President prior to the June 1st registration commencement date.

Initiation Program Details

The Initiation Program will not be a division of play per se, but rather a development program for two age categories:
Junior Timbits (Jr.T) - 5 year olds as of December 31Senior Timbits (Sr.T) - 6 year olds as of December 31
Jr.T is an introductory program intended primarily for 5 year olds or those who have development needs that can be accommodated in one ice time session per week.
Sr.T is also an introductory program intended primarily for 6 year olds or those who have development needs and show maturity to be able to mix with 6 year olds in team sessions that can be accommodated in two ice time sessions per week.
Discovery, is a development program for 4 year olds as of December 31, which is separate and distinct from the Initiation Program described in this communique.

Ice Session Delineations

Jr.T will have 1 60-minute ice session per week scheduled into two 10 week sessions, 1 before and 1 after Christmas, each culminating in a skill application game session event (E.g. Jamboree; Festival etc)Jr.T ice sessions will follow the HC progressive skating and puck control development curriculum available in ProSmart
Sr.T will have 2 60-minute ice sessions per week scheduled into two 10 week sessions, 1 before and 1 after Christmas, each culminating in a skill application game session event (E.g. Jamboree; Festival etc)Whereas Sr.T ice sessions will be split each week where one Sr.T ice session will follow the HC progressive skating and puck control development curriculum available in ProSmart for the first session. The second session will be rink end situated, cross ice round robin game sessions, with active rest sessions in the center focused on free form alternating skill challenge based activities while waiting for game session shift changes. Skill challenge designs will be as per HC Initiation skill challenge drills.
Jr.T and Sr.T ice sessions will strive to have 40-45 skaters per ice session. Districts/OAs with Jr.T and Sr.T enrollments that prevent this skater density to be achieved consistently should consider combining on-ice programming with other OAs in the same or other districts. While players are still registered with their home association, it's encouraged to combine participants within your district for maximum ice use.If not possible in the first year of the refocus of Initiation, ice session densities should not exceed 48 or fall below 35 skaters per ice session. Ice allocations will be made based on this ice session skater density.
It is recommended that OAs combine their registrations to enable District ice allocations to create numbers to satisfy the recommended per Ice session player densities of 40 per session. The goal would be to eventually achieve city quadrant ice allocations, however, for the 2016/2017 season, District ice allocations was agreed by the committee as a recommendation.

Curriculum Content

Jr.T ice sessions and Sr.T first ice session per week will follow the Hockey Canada Initiation Program skating and puck control skills development curriculum. The details for which are available for digital retrieval in the ProSmart system.
Sr.T second ice session per week will follow the HE round robin game session format. The middle ice active rest section will be guided by the HC four skill challenge drills, rotated equitably for the first 8 sessions and then at the instructors’ discretion for the last 2 ice sessions based on the observed need for development progression enhancement. Equipment required for the four skill challenge drills shall be set up in the middle zone and players should be encouraged to practice those drills on a free-form basis and should be encouraged to play unstructured small area games in the middle area as well. 3 to 4 instructors should be in the middle zone to encourage players to have fun and to assist them in any skills the players are choosing to work on. Instructors in the middle zone should refrain from implementing structured drills, the intent of the middle zone is to permit players to rest and have unstructured ice time for personal skill development of choice.
The first Sr.T game event at the end of the first 10-week schedule will follow the HE game festival design. The festival’s intent is to take the1/3 cross ice round robin game session to involve all teams in a District.
The second Sr.T game event at the end of the second 10-week schedule will follow the HE game jamboree design. The Jamboree’s intent is to take the 1/3 cross ice round robin game sessions to involve all teams in the city.

Progression Assessment

The HC skill challenge drills are to be included in a practice session at the beginning, middle and end of the hockey season for both IS and Sr.T.
The drill results for each player participants for each of the 3 progress assessment practice sessions are to be recorded and sent to HE administration for collection and use for year over year comparison.

Instructor Organization and Support

Jr.T and Sr.T first week ice sessions will require 1 lead drill instructor and multiple player instructors ideally at the 1:5 ratios.Lead instructor is responsible for the planning and implementation of the Initiation drill stations. As well as ensuring the player instructors are prepared to transfer the skating and puck control techniques that the drills are designed to enable the players to practice.Player instructors are responsible for viewing the skating and puck control skills on ProSmart and transferring this knowledge to their assigned player group during the Jr.T or Sr.T first week sessions.
HE will secure the ProSmart licenses to enable the Initiation instructors to gain access. HE will also arrange for drill, skating and puck control instructor mentorship. Including the leverage of the Edmonton Oiler’s Alumni assigned to work with HE in the mentorship of instructors.

Registration and Team Design

Jr.T age players will not register into teams but rather on masse as a program in their OA.Sr.T age players will not register into teams but rather on masse as a program in their OA. After the first three first week ice sessions, groupings based on all skill levels will be created and different sweaters sets assigned. The grouping size should be ideally 10 per group and be balanced so low, medium and high levels of skills are represented in each grouping.

Season Schedule

The first half season schedule will commence in time to ensure a 3 full week break during the Christmas break. This will include play through the stat holiday weekends, given that most hockey families have players in higher age categories that already play during these weekends.The second half season schedule will commence as soon after the Christmas break as possible.The schedule for the 2016/2017 season is attached for reference as Appendix A.

Program Fees

Since this is an Edmonton wide hockey program that is to be implemented in all districts, it stands to reason that fee equity achievement is a desirable goal. However, for the 2016/2017 season, unanimous agreement by District Presidents was not achieved. As such, each District has reserved the right to strike a fee schedule that is appropriate for it’s own district for the 2016/2017 season but will work toward equitable fees across the city for the next season. The basis for fee equity is cost coverage recognizing that all costs (Fixed and variable) should be the same in all districts given that the program is to be the same in all districts. The recommended fee equity rates were determined to be: Jr.T - $165 and Sr.T - $250 per registered player respectively, for which, some districts will be utilizing for the 2016/2017 season.


Will rely on existing resources for implementation, however, HE will have a coordination role to marshal the City to provide smaller nets, bumper boards etc.Also, HE will arrange for free ProSmart licenses for all participants to utilize and act as the administrator.

Implementation Next Steps

This summary communique will be distributed to all stakeholders of the Initiation Program via email.The design committee members will be asked to transition into an implementation committee responsible for collaborating in working out the details of their respective OA implementations of the implementation plan. In some cases, due to enrolment numbers and the Ice session delineation parameters, OAs within districts and across districts in similar city quadrants should plan together to achieve the ice session delineation parameters. The new Development Coordinator will lead this implementation committee who in turn will be directed by HE’s Executive Director and will be sponsored by the VP, Hockey Development. An implementation guide book will be created by this committee that includes all of the pertinent details that each HE district will utilize in the implementation of the new Initiation Program design. Discovery program information and materials will also be developed and rolled out in the same manner at that for Jr.T and Sr.T.

Sincerely,VP Hockey Development

Posted on 06/13/2016


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