top of page

Player Pathway Implementation 2020-2021

Effective for the 2020-2021 season, minor hockey associations, including those in the Ontario Hockey Federation’s Member Partners ALLIANCE, GTHL, OMHA, NOHA, and the OWHA will be following the U7 (IP), U9 (Novice), and U11 (Atom) Player Pathways.

With the implementation of the U11 (Atom) Player Pathway in the 2020-2021 season, key changes have been made to the Player Pathways at U7 (Initiation) and U9 (Novice). This will create consistency in all programming across the country and a seamless transition for players from U7 (Initiation) through to U11 (Atom) based on the Long Term Player Development model.

The Player Pathways provide local minor hockey associations a framework of age-appropriate development guidelines which includes an optimal seasonal structure.

U11 (Atom) Player Pathway Policy (must be followed for the 2020-21 season): View HERE

  1. Player Tryouts

  • No tryouts prior to or during the first week of school.

  1. No tryouts during the off-season phase (previous season, including March through August).

  2. No tryouts during the first week of school where school starts the week after Labour Day.

  3. Where school starts prior to Labour Day, there must be 4 skates/practices starting the week following Labour Day before tryouts commence.

  • Must offer a minimum of 4 practice/skill sessions prior to formal evaluation starting.

  • Must have a minimum of 3 formal evaluation sessions:

  • Players should not tryout based on a specific position, but should be encouraged to play both forward and defense in tryouts.

  • Players should be selected for teams based on skill, not positional preference.

  1. Fair and Equal Ice Time

  • Positional Rotation:

  1. All players play all positions

  • Goaltender Rotation:

  1. Full-time goaltenders allowed.

  2. Goaltenders rotate for equal amount of playing time throughout the regular season and playoffs.

  3. Seasonal Structure

  • Preparation Phase (up to 4 Weeks)

  1. See Player Tryouts above.

  • Development Phase (up to 4 weeks)

  1. Teams must have a period of development time following tryouts prior to the start of the regular season.

  • Development and Regular Season Phase (Up to 24 weeks)

  1. Recommended maximum of 45 games per year (includes exhibition, league, tournament, and playoff games).

  2. Seasonal Breaks

  • Playoff Phase (up to 4 weeks)

  1. Tournament style.

  • Offseason Phase (end of season to August)

  1. Position-Specific Training

  • Small-area games in practice/station-based practices/skill-focused drills

  • Only 15% of practice time should be spent on team play and strategy/systems with 85% of practice time spent on skills and tactics.

  • Limit position-specific specialization (except for goalies).

U11 (Atom) Pathway Recommendations (Members should encourage and support):

  1. Season should allow for 2 seasonal breaks (not including Christmas/long weekends).

  2. Seasonal break would be a minimum of 5 days without a scheduled game or mandatory practice.

The key amendments to the U7 (Initiation) and U9 (Novice) Player Pathways are:

U7 (Initiation) Player Pathway: View HERE

  1. Playing Surface - All U7 (Initiation) will be played at cross-ice or a maximum size of 100x60.