IP is a program within the ORMHA that involves all children between the ages of 5 and 6 (4yr olds if space permits) and new players being introduced to hockey.
The primary goal of the program is to provide every child with an opportunity to develop basic individual hockey skills in a consistent and progressive manner; all done in an environment characterized by fun, camaraderie and personal reward.
IP follows the Hockey Canada Skills Development Program recommendations for a progressive plan with the appropriate allocation of time spent to develop each skill. Both the player’s age and skill level will define the seasonal plan. All seasonal plans are based on the following Skill Development Pyramids.
Goals for the Initiation Program (IP) are:
· Introduction of basic skills
· Refining of basic skills
Initiation Program recommended practice time distribution:
· 85% Technical Skills
· 20% Scrimmage activity
Goals of IP at ORMHA
The program is intended to provide a balanced, progressive skills development plan that will help teach our young players their fundamental hockey skills. The goal of the program is to give the children an opportunity to learn and develop the core fundamentals of skating and basic hockey skills, regardless of who the coach is or what team they are on, and to ensure all skills defined in the program are delivered in the most efficient and effective manner possible. There will be a set season development plan that all coaches will be required to follow, thus ensuring each player is taught the same skills in the same progression at each level within the program.
Some of the highlights of the program include:
- Coaches will follow the IP skill development manual to ensure the players receive the best instruction
- The program encourages use of assistant coaches and on-ice helpers to optimize the instructor/player ratio of 5 to 1 as a minimum.
- Practices and drills are designed to maximize learning and skating time while reducing time spent waiting in lines and listening to instructions.
What about CanSkate?
The CanSkate program is an excellent complement to the IP Program and any child will benefit from learning to be a stronger skater. The IP Program will also be more fun for all participants if each child can move around on his/her skates.
IP Set up and Evaluation
Players will be grouped by skill level and players will practice a majority of the year with a few exhibition games (usually as a result of entering in an Initiation Program (IP) Fun Day) towards the end of the season. There are only slight differences between the programs designed for all Initiation kids. As one would expect, they are based on ability and will usually only vary based on the expected skill level and speed of execution.
The number of teams at each level may vary from year to year based on the ability of the kids playing. Regardless of the level of play, remember, no child is more or less important than any other. It's all about the opportunities we give them and experiences they take away that are the most important.
A player entering the program at age 5 must spend two years in the Initiation Program before they can advance to the two year Novice program; players entering the program at age 4 will spend three years in the Initiation Program.
Sort Out Process...
- All players will be evaluated to allow for proper placement at their respective IP level, regardless of age
- Example; A 6 year old, who is a first time player, may find himself on a team with a 5 year old who is also a first time player (within the Initiation Program).
- Per the ODMHA Rules and Regulations; an Initiation aged player cannot play on or be affiliated to a Novice team.
ALL levels of play MUST follow the equal ice time and equal opportunity.
As you can imagine, all players and parents will have different expectations of the hockey program based on previous experiences and motivation levels.
Expect that the coach will want your child to be there ready to go on the ice at least 10 minutes before your scheduled ice time begins. This time is used in the dressing room to outline drill instruction or basic concepts to skaters so that when they step onto the ice they are ready to go. During this time parents can also gain an understanding of what the upcoming practice will be about.
Players within the IP program will be encouraged to have fun more so than they will be challenged to perfect that next skill. The objective is to keep their interest in the game as they struggle to master the basic skills required to play. If it's not fun, their desire to continue will quickly diminish.
At the other end of the spectrum, expect that advanced players will be challenged continually, but not at the expense of having fun.
Expect that regardless of the level of play, your child's experience will vary significantly based on everything from their level of interest to the amount of help a coach gets running the team... so if you have great expectations, don't forget we can always use your help!
The ORMHA is a group made up from dedicated volunteers and we are always looking for new volunteers to help with the Initiation Program.
The Initiation Program is led by the IP Convener who is responsible for identifying, contacting and organizing all other volunteers at the IP level. Their goal is to put together the detailed plan for executing the evaluation sessions that will start the year. The convener along with the First VP or President, will identify, interview and select coaches and align them with the teams. They will oversee team selections, support coaches when required and will coordinate the practice ice schedules for the teams. Conveners are 3rd in the chain for problem escalation. You should first consult with the Coach, then the Manager before getting a Convener involved with a problem.
All teams will have one Head Coach. This person must be certified; IP coaches must have their “Introduction to Coaching/IP certification and Speak-Out”.
In addition, each team will require a group of on-ice helpers that will also be certified (Speak-Out and a Police Records Check). The IP plan requires a minimum of 4 on ice helpers for a practice to run effectively. The goal is to maximize the attention provided to each skater, so the more help a coach has, the more individual attention they may give players.
NOTE: Trainers are not mandated at the Initiation level. Therefore, monitoring and addressing medical issues is a role shared by parents, coaches and helpers. Parents should remain at the rink during the scheduled ice time. There will be a trainer at all IP Fun Days.
Another very important member of a team staff is the manager. This person will generally look after the off-ice details of the team. These details at the Initiation level include arranging IP Fun Days and a few games at the end of the season. The manager will also obtain the appropriate certification (Speak-Out and a Police Records Check).
Remember, we are all volunteers trying to do our best... If you are not happy with issues around the team, assuming they are not Risk and Safety related, please remember to exercise the 24 hour rule before approaching the head coach with your issue. Please contact the Manager if your issue is not being addressed by the coach.
Parents interested in volunteering with the program should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you promptly.
What is the IP Hockey Season?
The season generally starts the last weekend in September and wraps up the last weekend in March and this is based on ice availability for ORMHA.
For ice times it is generally Saturday 6am, 7am or 8am and Sunday 10am, 11am or noon. If you play the first ice Saturday (6am) you play the first ice Sunday (10am) and it rotates through this pattern. The practice ice is scheduled for the entire season and will be provided in the first couple of weeks.
What equipment does my child require?
In order for your child to play hockey at the IP level, they are required to wear “full equipment”. This protective equipment plays a crucial role in the prevention of injuries. As a parent you are responsible for ensuring that your son or daughter is properly protected. In some levels of the IP program we will also be providing the opportunity for children to try the goaltender position and the ORMHA will provide goaltending equipment to the appropriate teams. This will be a rotated position and no one should expect to play the entire season at this position. If you have any questions on equipment talk to your coach.
CSA certified hockey helmet with wire cage and chin strap
Important things to remember;
1. Kids cannot go on the ice without both a neck guard and a mouth guard.
2. Make sure the equipment fits properly. If it doesn't, it won't protect and your child will struggle unnecessarily.
3. A stick should come up to your child's chin on skates. If you don't know which way your child shoots, most stores offer straight sticks that will be sufficient until they decide for themselves.
4. Skates that are too small or too big may result in sore and cold feet.
5. Blade Sharpening:
o New skates do not come sharpened, so get them done before first ice.
o Frequency of sharpening depends on frequency of use. (~ once per 4-6 ice times).
o If your child walks on concrete without guards, their skates will need to be sharpened immediately.
Have a great season and if you have any questions along the way please ask!