In the continuing effort to foster player development, provide for the safest possible environment both on and off the ice as well as providing a positive experience for all participants, a number of enhancements are being made for the 13-14 season. Here is a quick look at what’s new with Minnesota Hockey and USA Hockey.
A/AA Classification for Region and State Tournaments
The Bantam and Peewee A/AA classification was added as a pilot program in the fall of 2012 to allow more teams to qualify for state tournaments. As a result of the pilot, more teams from smaller and developing associations qualified for region and state tournaments than ever before, including teams making their first tournament appearances, or ending long droughts since their most recent appearance. The A/AA classification has been approved as an official Minnesota Hockey program starting with the 2013-14 season. More details
New Seeding Process for AA Region Tournaments
As a part of the A/AA classification program, there will be a new seeding process implemented for the AA Region Tournaments in the 2013-14 season. The new process will use rankings formed by a panel of coaches to seed teams to the South, East and West Regions. Each district will be guaranteed at least one seed. This format will preserve a state-wide flavor at the State Tournaments while improving competitive parity in the Region Tournaments. More details
Expanded Game Limits
For Squirts/10U, there will now be a 35 game day limit instead of a 35 game limit. This will allow teams to play two games (league/tournament/exhibition) on the same day and only be counted once towards the limit rather than twice. While this rule is intended to promote more flexibility for teams and associations when it comes to planning their competition schedule, Minnesota Hockey continues to emphasize development at the Squirt/10U level and maintains its support of a 3:1 practice to game ratio.
Standings Now Permitted
Another significant change at the Squirt/10U level is the elimination of the rule prohibiting league standings. Districts will now have the authority to maintain standings on their website and through other mediums.
Mite/8U Teams Allowed Up to 10 Full Ice Games
As a part of this rule change, Mites will now be divided into two classifications: Mites/8U and Mini-Mites/6U. Mini-Mites/6U shall now play half ice or cross ice games only. At the Mites/8U level, teams will be restricted to half ice or cross ice games for the first half of the season but will be allowed to play up to ten full ice games after December 31st. More details
Sanctioned Cross Ice Tournaments for Mites/8U
Beginning this season, cross ice tournaments will now be sanctioned for Mites/8U. This will provide associations an alternative to hosting or attending jamborees which have more stringent restrictions on keeping score, brackets and travel. No fee will be charged by Minnesota Hockey, but associations will still be required to apply for sanctioning to ensure they follow the Tournament Committee’s guidelines for cross ice tournaments. More details
Simplified Process for Team Rosters
Players and coaches will no longer be required to sign the official team roster. As a result, they won't be required to sign in for tournaments either.
SafeSport is a USA Hockey initiative, supported by Minnesota Hockey, aimed at creating the safest possible environment for all participants in USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey programs. SafeSport further develops off-ice safety by instilling a mechanism that creates and centralizes policies prohibiting abuse, mandates education and awareness training, enhances screening protocols and establishes a method of reporting, investigation and response to violations that may occur.
The SafeSport training program is available at no cost and can be completed by any USA Hockey member. More details