Coaching Education Program Certification Clinic Requirements (Must be completed by Dec. 31)
Find, register and attend the required certification clinic. (Cost is $45 plus any lunch fees if applicable) You can only attend one clinic per season and all coaches start at Level 1. (The coaching clinic season for Levels 1-3 officially runs from September 1 to December 31).
Through the month of August, Massachusetts will be posting more and more clinic dates. Please be patient as the clinic dates posted will increase throughout the month.
In prior years, the SafeSport Training has been offered through the US Olympic Committee training platform. With the opening of the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the “Center”), the SafeSport training will soon move to a new platform operated by the Center, and this email is to let you know about the transition and how it will affect both first-time users as well as existing USA Hockey members.
The switchover date to the new platform is expected to take place between September 18 and October 2. After the transition date, anyone taking SafeSport training will need to create a new account on the new training platform.
After the transition date, the “refresher” training program will not be available. So, if you are eligible to take the shorter SafeSport Refresher training (which is approximately 35 minutes long), you should complete that training BEFORE September 18th, after which your training will be valid for another two seasons.
After the transition date, the new training will have a different format and content. Anyone needing to complete SafeSport Training after the transition date will need to complete the full course, which will be approximately 90 minutes long. Once completed, the new SafeSport Training will be good for two seasons and members will then again be eligible for the new refresher module.
Members who need a copy of their SafeSport Training or SafeSport Refresher Certificates should do so BEFORE September 18.
On behalf of the UMass Hockey Program and Head Coach of the Minutemen Greg Carvel, we would like to welcome all GSL players to join us this summer for our annual youth hockey school at the Mullins Center August 21st-25th. We are very excited about this year's camp. Unlike most other camps in the area, we are offering 5 Full Days of fun and excitement this summer. Also, we specifically scheduled the camp right before the start of school and the hockey year. This way players will be able to get ready for the approaching season.
Youth players will also have the chance to learn from the top coaches in the area and spend time with the area's top collegiate hockey players. We will also have a surprise guest appearance from a current NHL star!
Registration is easy and can be completed at https://baystatehockey.org. Don't miss your chance to get ready for the season and have some summer fun at the Mullins Center!
A Head of the Game has a mission to make ImPACT concussion baseline testing available to susceptible athletes regardless of age. ImPACT testing is a computerized neuro cognitive test taken before a sports season and again if a head injury occurs. The tests are then compared and used to diagnose a concussion or make further recommendations.
Through A Head of the Game, GSL is offering this optional service during evaluation weekend to all players in the league.I ask for your help getting the word out to all parents and players in your organization. Feel free to forward this email on or post to your website. I am also available to meet with members of your organization to personally discuss this important initiative.
Congratulations To Tim McMahon on Mass Hockey President's Aw
Congratulations to our own Tim McMahon for being presented with the President's Award at the Massachusetts Hall of Fame and Award Ceremony this past weekend.
Tim McMahon (District 6 Director) and Dave Moses (District 3 Director) were presented with the Massachusetts Hockey President’s Award. The award is presented annually by the Massachusetts Hockey president to an individual whose efforts are distinguished in the Massachusetts Hockey organization.
Every four years USA Hockey’s playing rules are evaluated and have the opportunity to be changed. With this being a rules change year, the USA Hockey Board of Directors voted on a number of proposed modifications during Annual Congress.
Perhaps the most notable rule change gaining approval was the elimination of the ability to ice the puck when shorthanded for age classification 14U and below. The Board also voted to strengthen language around the game misconduct penalty in Rule 601, with the new verbiage stating that a game misconduct penalty shall be issued to any player or team official who uses language that is offensive, hateful or discriminatory in nature anywhere in the rink before, during or after the game.
“I believe overall everyone feels our game is in a really good place,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “The most important thing we need to focus on is our current rules in place. Our officials play such a big role in the overall safety of the game and we appreciate their efforts to fully enforce the current standard of play that exists in the book.”
Modified Shorthanded Icing Rule Delivers More Skill Development
USA Hockey has modified its playing rules for the 14-and-Under age classification and all younger age classifications (youth and girls) to no longer legalize icing while a team is shorthanded. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, if a team ices the puck while shorthanded, it will result in a whistle followed by a defensive-zone faceoff. The team that commits an
icing infraction will be allowed to change lines and/or players prior to the defensive-zone faceoff.
The rationale behind this rule change is twofold.
First, and most importantly, the change will encourage greater skill development for 10U, 12U and 14U players. These young athletes are in their prime skill development windows and will benefit greatly from the increased emphasis this rule change places on promoting puck possession, puck protection and play-making (as opposed to merely firing the puck down the ice, which is a low-skill tactic). Second, the change prevents a penalized team from gaining an exception to a rule (icing) that is in effect while teams are at even strength.
“We want to encourage players to get their heads up, think and make skillful, intelligent plays,” said Ken Martel, the technical director of USA Hockey’s American Development Model. “To develop problem-solving skills, we need rules that encourage players to think. Modifying the shorthanded icing rule will accomplish that. Rather than just blasting the puck down the ice, they’ll now be encouraged to skate or pass their way out of trouble, use greater touch to chip a puck out, or even take advantage of a lazy power play and go on the attack.”
Data collected from nearly 200 games played under this modified rule showed that the average number of shorthanded icings per game was only 1.81. Therefore, there were fewer than two stoppages per game due to this rule, which dispels the myth that it will ruin the flow of games and make them dramatically longer.
USA Hockey has successfully used this modified rule for more than 10 years at its National Player Development Camps. Players adapt almost immediately and more shorthanded scoring opportunities are created by the play-making mindset that it nurtures.
“Skill development and play-making is an emphasis at the professional level and it should be an absolute priority at the youth levels, so I support USA Hockey’s decision to change the rule,” said Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh Penguins head coach and back-to-back Stanley Cup champion. “It will encourage kids to make more skill plays with the puck, and that will help develop their full potential as players.”
USA Hockey passed rule changes regarding Age Related Modules and Safe Sport Training. For the 2017 - 2018 season. No coach will be allowed to be placed on a USA Hockey roster who has not completed an Age Related Module for the level they are coaching and who have not completed Safe Sport Training.
The USA Hockey Registry will not allow them to be placed on a team's roster. There is no appeal of this matter.
These coaches are not allowed to conduct practices, coach in games or perform any other USA Hockey activities. until they have completed the Age Related Module and the Safe Sport Training.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING 8U (MITE) GAMES FOR THE 2017-18 SEASON AND BEYOND
For the past several years Massachusetts Hockey has requested and received an exemption from USA Hockey’s rule requiring use of age appropriate ice for 8U games. Each year the number of games has been reduced by direction of USA Hockey. It has become apparent that any further exemption request would be futile and if secured it would be basically meaningless.
Therefore, in accordance with USA Hockey guidelines for sanctioned play at the 8U (and younger) age group, Massachusetts Hockey will no longer sanction any game that is played using a full ice surface. The Board of Directors believes strongly that it is in the best interest of players to develop skills on an age-appropriate sized surface.
We are aware that some programs and leagues may choose to disregard the American Development Model requirements for 8U hockey in order to capitalize on possible member/parent demands. We consider that unwise and not in the best interests of our members. Mass Hockey will not sanction such play.
USA Hockey, of which Massachusetts Hockey is an Affiliate member, has issued guidelines pursuant to its authority under the Amateur Sports Act (36 U.S.C. s. 220501 et seq.) regarding non-sanctioned play. Those guidelines are available in the 2016-17 USA Hockey Annual Guide (available online at www.usahockey.com) on pages 41-44. It is expected that any and all programs registered with USA/Massachusetts Hockey will abide by these regulations.
Having said that, Mass Hockey cannot prevent a member organization or member from participating in non-sanctioned events provided certain requirements are met. USA/Mass Hockey registered teams playing in a non-sanctioned event or game must be part of a separate organization that is sufficiently distinct from the Mass Hockey sanctioned program. The non-sanctioned organization or team(s) should have a separate board of directors, the team cannot wear the same uniforms or have the same team names and all the rink or vendor contracts relating to the non-sanctioned team or activities must be in the name of the separate organization rather than the Mass Hockey member organization or team.
It is important that such distinctions be maintained for liability, governance and public perception reasons. A member of Mass Hockey may not simply send its Mite teams off to participate in unsanctioned play and expect that its other level teams remain members in good standing with Mass Hockey. Parents and individual members should be aware that important questions of insurance, discipline, officiating and the like are affected by not following Mass Hockey’s rules and participating in non-sanctioned play. It is important that you keep this in mind as Mass Hockey will take action against a program/member if it finds it/they are violating our rules and regulations.
A great majority of the hockey community in Massachusetts and around the country has enthusiastically endorsed age-appropriate sized playing surfaces. It is the future of development. Mass Hockey has committed to following this model. Most of our leagues in the state have committed to offering cross-ice/age-appropriate game solutions that will fit within the rules and regulations and not jeopardize their programs. We hope you will join us in the effort for the long range benefit of our members. It is our hope to provide a program for older 8U players transitioning to 10U full ice play next season.
Interested in being a Hockey Ref? Pioneer Valley Ice Hockey Officials Association is looking for new Refs! Start at the youth hockey age levels working with experienced Ref's and work your way to higher level hockey. If you are interested Call Steve Sady (413)335-8416