All players in the Under-9 age category (Formerly Novice) will play on a half-ice surface for the duration of the season. Hockey Manitoba’s Under-9 half-ice model incorporates core elements and concepts from Hockey Canada’s Under-9 guidelines with a few modifications as outlined in the documents below.
The Under-9 half-ice format continues age appropriate modifications into the Under-9 Program with the Long Term Player Development model and philosophy as the fundamental basis for change. Players at the U9 level require a continued focus on physical literacy while also beginning to develop some of the more advanced individual skills inherent in the game. By moving from cross-ice at U7 to half-ice at U9, we increase the size of the ice surface in accordance with the increase in the size of player. This modified ice will continue to provide players with an environment that is more inclusive, competitive and conducive to skill development through puck touches and puck control, shots, passes completed, transitions, decision making, puck support, overall involvement…and FUN! In addition, with the creation of the new Development Zone, kids will have up to 40% more ice time during games!
We believe these modifications will benefit every participant and we will support our players, coaches, officials and administrators with a well structured program. Hockey Manitoba asks everyone to approach this continued change with an open mind and to support our direction in a positive manner to allow our players to learn the game in this exciting progressive direction.
Hockey Manitoba has developed a comprehensive Under-9 Half-Ice Guidelines document to assist our Minor Hockey Associations and Community Clubs in the preparation, implementation and execution of half-ice hockey. This will ensure a consistent, organized delivery model across the province. Hockey Manitoba has also created the Development Zone Seasonal Plan for all U9 coaches in Manitoba. This includes an outline of specific drills and small area games to be utilized during regular season games. Progressions and key teaching points are also included. The plan includes transitional drills at the end of the season to introduce concepts such as off-sides and icings.
HOCKEY CANADA UNDER-9 INFORMATION
We encourage everyone to view the videos, documents and information below that provide additional support for Hockey Manitoba’s Under-9 program.
SET-UP, GAME PLAY AND RULES FOR U9 HOCKEY
BENEFITS OF HALF-ICE HOCKEY FOR U9 PLAYERS
HOCKEY CANADA LONG TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
U9 HOCKEY PRACTICE PLANS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT U9 HOCKEY
*Please note, although we have incorporated many of the core elements of Hockey Canada’s Under-9 Guidelines, Hockey Manitoba’s model includes a number of modifications to enhance development, engagement and delivery in a consistent manner across the province.