Younger Players playing half-ice and cross-ice games has become a reality.
Beginning in the 2017-18 season, Hockey Canada is implementing a new policy that mandates cross-ice/half-ice hockey for players at the Initiation age level (traditionally 5-and 6-year-olds). The program is based with the players’ development in mind, starting with basic, technical skills. By designing practice and game play that is appropriate to the age, size and skill level of the participant, cross-ice hockey offers many benefits. An increased emphasis on skating skills boosts agility, balance, coordination and quickness while the number of puck battles rises. Players receive twice the amount of puck touches and double the number of pass attempts, shot attempts and changes of direction.