Initiation Program Cross Ice /Half Ice Hockey
The GTHL & OHF launches IP Cross Ice Hockey for 5 & 6-year-old hockey players.
This season the Thornhill Community Hockey League will be participating in the Initiation Program for the Mites and Tykes House League.
The Initiation Program, and cross-ice/half-ice hockey specifically, is designed to introduce players to the game in a fun, safe, and positive way by creating an environment more suited to their physical capabilities at six-years-old and younger. The differences in skill-development opportunities with cross-ice or half-ice hockey are significant: players receive five times more passes and take six times more shots. They’re called on to have to make more decisions more quickly and are overall more engaged in the game.
Cross-ice/half-ice hockey allows young players to experience more puck-handling, shooting, skating, coordination, and decision-making. Small-area games are used at all levels of the game – including senior national teams and the NHL.
The Initiation Program environment is one of fun and fair play which goes beyond player development. Dividing the ice gives the minor hockey associations options around scheduling and ice availability and allows for multiple practices and games to take place on one rink at the same time. Special boards and bumpers have been developed to easily divide a regular-sized rink into two half-ice surfaces or three cross-ice rinks and create different small-area configurations.