past your Convenors Jane, Scott and myself travelled to Strathroy to attend a
LMLL Rep meeting. During the meeting, we
discussed the mandated changes to ages/divisions and programming for our
upcoming season. Most if not all centres
are in a similar position to us having completed registration prior to the
notification of pending changes.
After much discussion and information sharing, it was decided (by a unanimous vote) to suspend the Tyke Division for the upcoming 2017-2018 season. Most centres do not have enough 7 year olds to roster a Tyke team and if they did, it would leave their Novice rosters short. LMLL will allow us to blend 7 and 8 year olds to assemble a Novice roster for this upcoming year however, our Regional OMHA Rep was very clear this will not continue to be the case. Beginning 2018-2019 Tyke will be 7 year olds – only and Novice will be 8 year olds – only. He also made it abundantly clear Hockey Canada is looking to implement “cross ice play” for both Tyke and Novice by 2019 as well. There is a “town hall” meeting in Sarnia if anyone is interested in hearing how they are managing this shift. Details can be found on the SMHA site.
Our Initiation Program will be 4-5 year olds sharing the ice on Saturday am’s 9-9:50 am and Sunday 12-12:50pm. The ice must be divided in order to keep the 4 year olds separate – in accordance with Hockey Canada policy. The drills and skill development will be “cross ice”. There is good information on our OMHA website about the philosophy behind “cross ice” player development.
Our 6 year olds (former Tyke roster) will be utilizing the former Tyke ice time. Tuesday evenings 7-7:50am and Saturdays 10-10:50. The Tyke coaching staff will remain intact. They will be allowed to schedule exhibition games against other centres from LMLL and surrounding area (ie: Mooretown, Petrolia). OMHA dictates – Games may begin after Dec 1 and Tournament play can commence in January. This age group MUST use blue pucks. All Initiation Program games must be played “cross ice”. This change in programming comes with an inherent cost to all associations. We must purchase the dividers as well as pay for travel permits and referees for the exhibition games. Our Novice roster/coaching staff will not be impacted by these changes. Players may however, end up spending an additional year in Novice with the 8 year old age chart.
We are very fortunate to have strong and creative leadership within our organization as well as amongst our Tyke Coaching staff. Please continue to be patient, flexible and understanding as we work to adopt the changing landscape. We realize this year will be a bit challenging however, we are excited about making it as much fun and as exciting as we possibly can!.
If you have any further questions or concerns, please direct them to a Convenor through our website. We will do our best to respond in a timely fashion.