CROSS ICE & HALF ICE HOCKEY

Beginning in the 2017-2018 Season, the Initiation age group shall only use Cross-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.

 

This transition to age-appropriate programming for the Initiation age group mean that skills, drills, and game play will best meet the needs of the players.

Benefits of Cross-Ice/Half-Ice Hockey

 

It is important to fully understand and appreciate the benefits of cross ice hockey and why Hockey Canada has a national policy ensuring all Initiation level hockey is played in smaller, modified spaces.

  • Increased emphasis on skating skills including agility, balance, coordination and quickness.

  • The number of puck battles increases significantly.

  • Puck control and puck protection skills are enhanced resulting in more confidence with the puck.

  • The fundamentals of skating, puck control, passing, and shooting are reinforced.

  • Less time and space increases the frequency and speed of making hockey decisions.

  • Offers a more challenging environment to improve ice awareness and elevate hockey sense.

  • Increased intensity of competition results through the progressive skill improvement of players.

  • The increase in incidental body contact requires players to play with their heads up.

  • Players improve in the areas of contact confidence and body contact.

More of a team game is apparent in the smaller area games, players are observed passing and attempting to pass the puck more often. This happens because all players are close enough to pressure the puck more frequently and teammates are in close support of the puck carry at all times.

All players are close to the play always and have much more opportunity for puck touches. Regardless of the skill level or the ability of each player, their opportunities to be engaged in the play increase by double when the playing area is smaller.

All players are close to the play always and have much more opportunity for puck touches. Regardless of the skill level or the ability of each player, their opportunities to be engaged in the play increase by double when the playing area is smaller.

There are 6 times as many shots on goal or at goal in a cross-ice or half-ice game. Players are closer to the puck always and the puck finds its way to the net more often.

Short, quick passes find their mark more frequently as more passes are attempted and most of these passes are 5 to 10 feet in length. When passes are shorter, accuracy improves and players tend to have more success receiving the pass. Players also start to understand the important of team puck possession.

HALF ICE / CROSS ICE SETUPS

There are many ways to "Shrink the Rink"

In the setup above, Cross-Ice Hockey is played in both end-zones, while the neutral zone is used as a rest area. The players in each zone should be split up based on player ability (higher skilled players playing against higher skilled players and vice versa). This allows all players to develop at a comfortable pace. Modifications can be made to the above diagram to include a “skills” area in the neutral zone where players that are not playing a cross-ice game can work on individual skills such as shooting, skating, or puck control with a coach.

In the setup above, the rink is split in half using the redline. Half-Ice Hockey is played, with the one net at its normal position in the end-zone and one net at the centre ice faceoff dot. Benches are used as a rest area. The players in each zone should be split up based on player ability (higher skilled players playing against higher skilled players and vice versa).

NOHA Support

 

The NOHA will be supporting the Minor Hockey Associations in the transition to Cross-Ice/Half-Ice through a subsidy. For more information on this subsidy, please see below:

 

IP Subsidy - July 19, 2017

BP Rink Divider Info

The Optimizer Rink Divider

 

 

Cross-Ice/Half-Ice Resources

Benefits of Cross-Ice Hockey

Hockey Canada Master Messenger Program Presentation

Hockey Canada Master Messenger Program Presentation Guide

IP Recommendations