Under-11 Season Start Up – Message from LMHA Executive Director

Hello LMHA Under-11 Players,

I am very excited to write to you and welcome you to a NEW season. I look forward to the opportunity to help our organization grow and accomplish some great things over the years. We are preparing for a jam-packed season with as close to “normal” play as possible. We will continue to follow our PHO and viaSport guidelines regarding COVID-19. The projected next phase is hoping for great news in September 2021 regarding our season. We have planned our recreation & competitive beginning of the Season Assessments keeping the player’s best interest in mind.

Starting this season, our U11 Division will not start their evaluation process (Rep or House) with the rest of the divisions. The new U11 Pathway program developed by Hockey Canada recognizes that the start of a new game structure (full-ice), school, friendships, coaches, and teachers can be overwhelming for younger players. While the U13 / U15 / U18 divisions begin their Rep Evaluations at the end of August, U11 evaluations will be starting September 10, 2021. In the meantime, LMHA has two specific camps available for our U11 players to provide an opportunity to ease back into hockey before going back to school and prior to hockey evaluations. We are offering a U11 Rep Conditioning Camp for those players who are registered for Rep Evaluations and wanting a high-paced, full-ice practice to get ready for September 10th and for any recreational player who wants to push themselves in a Rep style camp. We are also offering a U11 Full Ice Concepts & Strategies for any U11 player who would like the opportunity to get more familiar with the full ice game. In this camp we will work on the skills and concepts needed to have a great start to U11 and beyond. I highly recommend your players sign up!

During the first phase of U11 Rep Evaluations starting September 10th, players and goalies will be scheduled for five on-ice sessions. Skaters will participate in a ‘Combine’ like session first. The Combine is a series of skating patterns players will go through, demonstrating their ability to execute the patterns efficiently. The players are timed, and scores are recorded for part of their overall evaluation score. Goalies will have a session designed and ran specifically for them to demonstrate their position specific abilities. Goalies will not participate in the Combine.  Following those ice sessions, both Skaters and Goalies will participate in an additional two practices and two games as part of Phase 1. Players will be divided onto four teams and will play a series of games. Goalies will be assigned to game ice times on a fair rotation. More details will follow soon!

Recreational players will start their assessments mid September. Players will have an opportunity to play several games demonstrating their ability to play the game at their level in the recreational stream.

Another feature of the new U11 Pathway Program means that both Competitive (Rep) & Recreational (House) will be assessed based on overall ability and not position specific skills, aside from goaltenders. It is fine to declare an interest in playing forward or defense, however players will be ranked based on overall ability. Coaches are directed to ensure players learn both offensive and defensive positions to aid in their overall ability and understanding of the game by being exposed to all skater positions on the ice. Specialization will come later in their career. U11 is an opportunity to build the foundations for the game in all areas, both skill & cognitive. Please help your athletes understand this and know they will be asked to play both forward and defensive positions through-out the season.

We have an opportunity in our U11 Recreational stream to have players declare interest in a part-time Goalie rotation. We are working to create more availability for young players to try new positions. LMHA is working to gain equipment that we can assign for players to use in their exploration of playing goalie.  If there are any U11 Recreation (House) players who are considering part-time goalie, please email executivedirector@langleyminorhockey.ca asap. I might have an opportunity to get you on the ice with some instruction before the season starts!

Thank you for being a part of Langley Minor Hockey. We are very proud of our members and the accomplishments they achieve along the way. Stay safe and enjoy the rest of the Summer.

In the Journey of Experience,

Whitney Juszkiewicz,

Executive Director,

Langley Minor Hockey Association

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