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MOGHL Novice Half-Ice Program Outline

The future of hockey lies with today’s youth. Because of this, Hockey Canada has developed age-appropriate programming as a way to encourage the growth of foundational skills. Minor hockey associations and coaches lead the implementation of the Initiation and Novice programs with the assistance of volunteers, parents and others associated with hockey. The programming must provide opportunities for a wide range of people to get involved in order to improve the quality of the hockey experience through sound instruction and enjoyable play.
The goals and objectives of Novice hockey programming are to:
Teach all basic skills of hockey so players can enjoy the game.
Assist in development and enhancement of physical literacy and basic motor patterns.
Develop and encourage the concepts of being a team member through player participation in both on-ice and off-ice activities.
Encourage aspects of fitness, fair play and cooperation while having fun.
Sort-Out Phase: (Sept 7 – Sept 15)
As in all previous seasons, the association will have 2 weekends of sort out to make every attempt possible to ensure balanced teams. These 2 weeks will also give tier 1 coaches an opportunity to evaluate players for the tier 1 program.
1. Development Phase (Sept 21-Oct 27) – 6 Weeks
During the development phase, coaches should be focused on skill development. The goal of the association is to set aside a window of time where young players have more practices than games. The Hockey Canada Novice Skills Manual provides coaches with a series of well-crafted practice plans (ice sessions) that focus on developing fundamental movement skills like striding, turning and stopping, manipulation skills like shooting, passing, puck control and the very important motor skills of agility, balance, coordination. All of these components should be a part of player-centred skill development in a fun and safe environment that promotes self-confidence.
2. Regular Season Phase (Nov 2 – Jan 26) – 12 Weeks
The regular season phase represents the bulk of the season in the Novice Seasonal Structure. The practice to game ratio shifts to 2:1 or two practices for every game played.
It is important that coaches continue to focus on skill development during practice sessions. Hockey Canada has developed additional resources to support coaches in their efforts to deliver practice plans. The Hockey Canada Network, Drill Hub and the Initiation Program all contain age-appropriate and skill-specific resources to meet the needs of young Novice hockey players.
Even though the regular season phase has a lower practice to game ratio (2:1) through the months of November, December and January, there are still up to 16 possible practice sessions to support and encourage young players through this skill acquisition phase of the season.
3. Game Play Phase or Transition Phase (Feb 2 – Mar 28) – 8 Weeks 
The transition phase has a practice to game ratio of 1:1, or one practice to one game played. It is important to ensure practice sessions continue through the Transition Phase. This will provide coaches with the opportunity to continue to reinforce individual skill development elements in practices in addition to introducing players to concepts attached to the full-ice game.
Hockey Canada Novice resource Guide