For questions about the Initiation Program, please email 

U7 - Initiation

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First Impressions of Hockey

The main goal is to make the beginner’s first impression of hockey a good one! When players get started on a positive note, they automatically enjoy the game and usually go on to have fun playing hockey for many years.

The NOHA supports the delivery of the Initiation Program throughout our Minor Hockey Associations. This is the foundation of the NOHA Player Development Pyramid and ensures that a family’s first contact with the sport of hockey is a safe and positive experience.


What is The Initiation Program?

The Initiation Program is a structured, learn-to-play hockey program designed to introduce beginners to the game's basic skills. It enables participants to become contributing members of a team effort, develop self-confidence, and experience a sense of personal achievement. These goals are achieved in an atmosphere of fun and fair play.

Cross-Ice/Half-Ice Hockey – Hockey Canada Mandate

Beginning in the 2017-2018 Season, the Initiation age group shall only use Cross-Ice or Half-Ice for all games played. Full-Ice games shall not be permitted. This was a motion that was unanimously carried by Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors in January 2017.


For more information on Cross-Ice and Half-Ice Hockey, please visit the link here


The focus in on the development of physical literacy. Fundamental movement skills should be mastered, motor development emphasized, and participation in many sports/activities is encouraged. For optimal skill acquisition, the basic hockey skills of skating and puck control are introduced through the Initiation Program. FUN competitions are also introduced in a team environment. Learn all fundamental movement skills and build overall motor skills. Skill development in the FUNdamentals stage should be well-structured, positive, and FUN!


The skill of skating speed can be developed quickly with players this age. Coaching should focus on developing skating speed in repetitions of less than 5 seconds. The ABCs of agility, balance, and coordination should be emphasized through the teaching of skills and small games to emphasize the ABCʼs. Ensure that the skills the player acquires during the FUNdamentals stage will benefit them when they engage in recreational activities, enhancing their quality of life and health.


Hockey Canada recommends in the initial stages of FUNdamentals that players spend 85% of their time on the introduction and development of technical skills.

The focus of the Initiation age group should be the following: