Parent & Coaches Info
Minor and Youth Hockey coaches, executives, webmasters and other e-mail recipients,
if you have players or parents who might benefit from this information feel free to post it on your hockey website, or forward it to them, but please give credit to the www.HockeyMadeEasy.com website.
Hockey is a fantastic sport but in order to play it safely and enjoy the experience you should have good equipment that fits properly to protect your body yet still allows you a full range of motion to perform the required physical skill.
SKATES- skating is the most important yet the most difficult skill to master in hockey. If possible, try to buy a new pair of good quality skates. It will make a whole world of difference in your child’s hockey development and skating performance. If unable to, try to purchase the best quality used skates you can find that fit properly and still have stiff ankle support and good blade life.
Skates must fit snugly but not cramp your toes and have good upright ankle support.
–one pair of thin 100% cotton socks is all you should wear not 2 or 3 pair.
Skates are usually 1⁄2 to 1 size smaller than street/running shoes to provide a glove like
LACING- the criss-cross or “X” method is considered the most comfortable
- the bottom 3 eyelets should be semi- tight to allow blood to circulate to the toes
- the middle 3 eyelets should be semi- tight to allow an up and down movement of the top part of the foot when starting and stopping.
the top 3 eyelets should be tight to keep the ankle in an upright position and prevent the child from bending inside or outside over his/her ankles. There are no weak ankles!
-Do not wrap the laces around the ankle to tie then as this hinders the forward flex of the foot and ankle and will impair your child’s skating speed and turns. Just tie them in a bow knot at the front of the skate like you tie shoes. If the laces are too long get shorter ones.
BLADES- the skate blades must be sharp, but not razor sharp, in order for you to stop, start and turn without falling.
-if they are dull, your child will slip and slide all over the ice and have a hard time
standing up because there is no grip/cutting into the ice.
-if they are too sharp, they will dig deeply into the ice and prevent smooth stops and create a stutter when stopping and possibly cause him/her to fall.
If you get a deep nick or burr on the bottom edge of your blade you will fall. It should
be sharpened as soon as possible by an experienced skate sharpening professional.
-a good skate sharpening can mean all the difference between a great game or a poor hockey performance.
SHARPENING- you should not need your skates sharpened every game, but 4 to 6
times a season is average unless you are playing in a “AAA” league that practices and plays 4 to 6 times a week, or you get a nick or burr on the blade’s edge.
-a good skate sharpener will cut a hollow ground U shape in the bottom of the blade,
this provides 2 edges, an inside edge and an outside edge, both used at different times for stops, starts , turns, 180 degree pivots, crossovers etc.
-the depth of the cut should be based on your child’s height and weight
-a medium sharpening, not razor sharp is all you require. It will keep you in a stable upright position and allow you to just bite into the top layer of ice, to push and glide without falling.
STICKS- after skates, your stick is the most important piece of hockey equipment
because it is used for both scoring and preventing goals.
-the stick must fit properly, just like skates if you are going to develop you shooting, passing, puckhandling and stick handling skills
2 sticks should be taken to practice and games incase one breaks.
LENGTH –the sticks length when in an upright position, and while you are standing in
your skates should come up to between your chin (maximum) and your collar bone (minimum). If it is any longer or shorter you will have difficulty shooting or carrying the puck. Experiment with different stick lengths to find the most comfortable.
LIE- is the angle between the stick’s shaft and blade. The higher the angle 135% the further the puck is away from your feet. The lower the angle 110% the closer the puck is to your feet.
-it’s trial and error to see which lie is best for your child based on the way they skate, either bent over like Wayne Gretzky did or up right like Mario Lemieux does, as no stick manufacturer puts the lie angle on the stick. Once you find the right stick model keep buying it as no 2 models are exactly alike in lie, curve, balance and stiffness .
-youth size hockey sticks are now available which are lighter, shorter in shaft length and blade size and have a smaller shaft radius for a better grip by young children.
CURVE- sticks are made for Left or Right handed shots. The lower hand on the stick
when shooting determines whether you shoot Left or Right.
-a slight curve of about 1⁄4 inch is ok because a straight stick blade is very hard to find
and I don’t believe they are made any more.. A big curve on the other hand is out of the question until your child gets to Bantam and even then I don’t think it’s necessary.
NEW or USED EQUIPMENT- that provides solid protection is essential to prevent
-used shin pads, pants, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, helmet with visor or cage, jock or jill strap, garter belt and neck guard are all pieces of equipment that can be purchased second hand from Sports Shops or at the annual Minor/Youth Hockey sale at the start of the season. to help keep the high costs of playing hockey down.
However, having said that, the equipment purchased must fit properly so it doesn’t move or shift if your child falls, gets hit by the puck, gets body checked or runs into another player or the boards.
-the proper fitting equipment will cushion the blow or fall providing there is no space between the specific pieces of equipment.
UNDERWEAR- light cotton, or a breathable material, long john type, top and bottom underwear should be worn under your equipment.
HOCKEY BAG- a hockey bag large enough to carry all of your equipment is suggested. -several pockets are on the out side to carry your skates and wet/dry underwear
-keep an extra pair of skate laces, proper length in the bag for emergency and a small towel to dry your skate blades after the game or practice to prevent rusting.
GENERAL ORDER FOR GETTING DRESSED AT HOME OR THE RINK
1-light cotton socks
2-light breathable underwear, top and bottom
3-jock or jill strap
4-garter belt to hold up your hockey socks
7-hockey pants, use suspenders or a special hockey belt on some models to keep them up
8-skates, tie your skates, and use skate blade protectors if dressing at home, now tape your shin pads in place using Velcro strips or clear shin pad tape, below the knee cap & above the ankle.
13-helmet with full visor or metal cage
16-stick, you should take 2 sticks to the bench in case 1 breaks
Have a great game!
Hopefully these basic tips will help the new players and their parents get some idea of the equipment their child will need to have for an enjoyable, safe and rewarding hockey experience.
Author- Hockey Made Easy
Respect in Sport - PARENT is a mandatory program for the parents.
It is a 1 hour online program that is due no later than October 15th. It now has an expiry date. (4 years).
Please contact the registrar, Cathy Hosowich, for further details and the document to follow.
Respect in Sport - COACH is a mandatory program for all those on the bench for any team. It too has an expiry date.
Sorry coaches . . . if you had the old Speak Out . . . it is no longer valid. Contact Cathy to get updated.
This online program is closer to 2 hours long and must be completed by November 15th.
Please contact Cathy Hosowich for details on this program.
Although RHC does not require a volunteer bond or volunteer house to be tracked, for each games off-ice officials are required i.e. A timekeeper and a scorekeeper. Tips on these two positions are avalaible below. Coaches or team managers my find it useful to draw up a rota at the beginning of the season so that all parents can take a turn.
By logging into RIS, you can see your RIS number, when it expires, and check for all of your children, and get their Hockey Canada ID number for registration.
Having troubles with RIS usernames or passwords, here is their help line.
We recognize and value that everyone brings their own personal style, interests and skill sets to coaching. At the same time, we have found that certain approaches to coaching have gone a long way in supporting RHC's philosophy. We therefore ask that you support the spirit and intent of the following guidelines:
Encourage and support players to do their best, have a good time and to look forward to the next opportunity.
Be a positive role model by using positive talk and positive gestures in the dressing room, on the ice and on the bench.
Foster a sense of respect by showing it to the hockey players, their opponents, referees, parents and other coaches. Expect your team to do the same.
Exhibit principles of fair play. All players need to receive equal ice time, irrespective of their ability. Please roll your lines. Use of power plays, penalty killing units, shortening the bench, or offering rewards to players to run up the score are not in the true spirit of the league and send a bad message to all players.
Develop a sense of team by recognizing that there will be players of varying abilities and they can support each other.
Support skill development by offering constructive suggestions, commenting on a play you liked and seizing "teaching moments" as they arise.
The Value of Your Coaching:
Did you know that coaches can have a profound impact on young players in how they look at themselves, their confidence level and how long they stay in hockey? 83% of kids are out of hockey by age 15. 68% of players say that the coach is the most important element.
The feedback we received from the players in the Recreational Leagues last year indicated the number one "fun" factor was the lack of pressure they felt from teammates, coaches and their parents.
Coach's Operational Responsibilities & Expectations of RHC
There are a number of team organizational tasks that need to be completed as well as responsibilities that go with coaching.
Coaches/Assistant Coaches are asked to make every effort to support and implement the following. We believe this support will go a long way in making sure the players have a good time, help to minimize conflicts and injuries and encourage positive relations amongst the players, coaches, referees and parents.
1. At the beginning of the season (October):
- Distribute the team uniforms and organize the volunteers you feel necessary for the team to function efficiently.
- Contact players to introduce yourself and to let them know what team they will be on and their schedule.
Have a team meeting before your first game. This will help to "break the ice" and provide an opportunity for you to express your expectations and set the tone for the season.
Team conduct, volunteers, hockey rules and communication will need to be covered.
Contact and co-ordinate volunteers. The parental involvement will be limited in this league. However, it will still be your responsibility to ensure you have a score and timekeeper throughout the season. If you have other parents who help out on the bench on a regular basis, please let the Coordinator know and they will ensure they are registered on the team sheet so they qualify for Hockey Canada insurance as well as CPS security check.
2.Establish and Maintain Appropriate Team Conduct:
- The players need to be informed at the beginning of the season what conduct is expected of them in the dressing room, on the bench and on the ice. They may need to be reminded as is needed throughout the season.
- Conduct must be in keeping with RHC's philosophy: excessive physical play will not be tolerated...hockey should be played in the spirit of good sportsmanship, fair play, friendship and respect. Trash talking during and after games is therefore not acceptable.
3. Inappropriate Behavior.
Behavior deemed to be inappropriate or in contravention of the rules, needs to be dealt with quickly. The Coach should speak to the player; speak to the player and parents; or speak to the co-coordinator. Also you can have the player sit out the next shift, period or game. The Coaches choice will be a judgment call based on the nature of the infraction. If it is a game, please inform the coordinator. In addition, should a Coach see an infraction on the ice that is blatant and intentional and is not called by the referee, he should speak to his player about it being unacceptable. The coach also has the option of having the player miss his next shift as a "penalty".
Be cognizant of and inform your players of RHC's Discipline Policy: •There is a zero tolerance for unacceptable behavior.
4. Player Equipment
Ensure that your players are properly dressed for the game, including mouth guards & CSA Approved hockey helmets securely affixed & fastened to their head.
5. Maintain Supervision in the dressing rooms.
Although the atmosphere in the dressing room tends to be a little more relaxed than in mainstream hockey, the players must still be supervised in the dressing room and on the bench before and after the games. This not only ensures the players are treating each other with respect but it helps to protect RHC's interests in the event of a claim of damage.
If you have any female players on your team — Hockey Canada prohibits co-ed dressing for players aged 10 and older for risk management reasons. Please understand most arenas do not have a separate dressing room available for female players but alternative arrangements must be found. The coach should call all the arenas they will use and ask what arrangements may be made for your female players and advice what, if any, alternative dressing area are available. Please invite your female players into the dressing room for the pre-game talk 5 minutes prior to the start of the game. Any male player not completely dressed by this time must make other arrangements.
6. Work with your Referees:
All referees will be assigned by the Central Zone Referee Committee - the same referees that are assigned to mainstream hockey in Calgary. During the pre- game introductions, we would encourage you to "gently" remind the referees this is a Recreational League game and that body checking is not permitted. We do expect some incidental contact and bumping along the boards, however excessive physical play and body checks should be called. This does not mean telling the referees how to call the game; it just means reminding them it is a Recreational League game. As always, different referees will have their own discretion when calling penalties and you should encourage your parents and players to respect their calls. Please note that we are working closely with the Central Zone Referee Committee in order to identify Referees who seem to enjoy this style of hockey.
If a Referee did an exceptional job and seemed to have the spirit of this league at heart, please send an email to RHC.
Similarly, if a Referee seems bored or disinterested, he/she may be better suited to Community hockey and your assistance in identifying them would be appreciated. Referees are not perfect...they're learning just like
our players....most of them do their best and want to call a good game.
Do not engage them during or after the game! If you do, regardless of the issues, you will be disciplined by RHC because of our zero tolerance policy with "on- ice officials' abuse.
Do document your concerns in writing and do try to get the opposing team management to provide written support of the issue. If you're seeing a poor game being called, they are likely noticing the same thing. If they're not, you need to question your own view of what has transpired. The key point is it helps to get collaboration to substantiate your concerns. Documentation should then be forwarded to the RHC President (and in parallel, by the other team to
the President) who will then look at the issue. Then, and only then, will further action be taken. We have seen the above process work very well. If you fail to follow it, please do not expect your concerns to be dealt with effectively.
7. Communicate with your Divisional Coordinator:
Make sure you understand how your Coordinator will handle communication between yourself and him/her. Provide completed game sheets to your Coordinator, complying with his/her suggested process and timing — 12- 24 hour.
Provide necessary information, including contact information and e-mail addresses.
Report all suspensions and major penalties to him/her.
Contact your Coordinator when problems arise implementing our philosophy or rules.
8. Handle complaints in a professional respectful manner:
There are bound to be some disagreements between coaches, parents and players throughout the course of the hockey season. Problems may also arise in implementing RHC's philosophy or rules. RHC encourages open dialogue and an attempt will be made to reach a positive solution to the problem before it becomes serious. We are prepared to handle fair criticism when justified and intend to work hard to rectify problems within our power. However, it is paramount that each and every player and parent accept the responsibility that goes along with the privilege of playing in this organization. In addition, we need to ensure that there is positive support for our coaches from the players and from their parents, especially at times when things are not going well. Some parents often forget their role and resort to open criticism of the coaches, players or team, destroying much of what our program is trying to accomplish. Only with mutual cooperation, respect and open communication between the coaches, players, parents and the Council can our program be a success. Don't let problems simmer! It is in your best interest to respond to a problem as soon as you are aware of it. Should minor player issues arise, they should be worked out between the player and the coach. We believe that the relationship between a player and the coach is the responsibility of those two individuals. Encourage parents not to complain by making discouraging or disparaging remarks about coaches, referees, opponents, other parents or teammates at any time — especially in the presence of players. Realize that despite all your best efforts, you can't please everyone, but you can be calm and open with all parents. Contact your coordinator if you feel the need for assistance due to the scope of the problem or if you are not able to resolve it. Should the problem still remain, it can be referred to the RHC President.
9. At the end of the season:
Submit player evaluation forms to your coordinator as requested.
Return your teams' equipment at the end of season on the requested drop-off date & at the specified location.
Ensure that all jerseys are washed, hung on individual hangers, and placed in sequential order from the smallest number to the largest number in the jersey bag. Your co-operation on this matter will help to expedite collection and the next season's delivery to the coaches.
Submit completed equipment forms along with the equipment to the Equipment Coordinator. This will expedite next years order.
In RHC, an "Affiliate Player" is any other player who is registered in RHC in the same age bracket or in a younger age bracket.
Coaches may not use a player who is registered in Community Minor Hockey, except for a goaltender. A goaltender of the same age bracket that is playing in Community Minor Hockey may play for a Recreational Team. We do expect coaches to be reasonable in using this rule. The preferred affiliate goaltender is another goaltender in RHC. Affiliate goalies may be used any time the assigned goalie is absent.
Affiliate skaters may be used only when a team has fewer than 10 skaters. Affiliate skaters shall be identified on the game sheet with "A/P" following their name. (Timekeeper).
With the agreement of the Referees, team may "loan" their opponent a player or two when one team has a full bench and the other is short. The referee has the final say in this regard.
Teams may also choose to play "4 on 4" by agreement of the Coaches involved. The short team must have eight (or fewer than eight) skaters. The Referees are not obligated to agree to this type of play.
Affiliate players may only play a maximum of 5 times for another team.
When a team is short a Goaltender, the teams shall share playing time of the playing Goaltender on an equal basis.
If you have invited an affiliate player and the player you are replacing shows up, allow him to play and notify the Division Coordinator.
Affiliate Exception: Esso Minor Hockey Week and End of Year Tournament:
During Esso Minor Hockey Week (EMHW), the only affiliate you may use is a goaltender and he or she must be from another RHC team. There are absolutely no exceptions to this rule. EMHW is a tournament, and RHC wants the winning team to be the best team, not the team with the most aggressive recruitment policy.
Violation of this rule will result in the offending team forfeiting any victory obtained while using the ineligible player(s).
This rule applies as well to RHC's End of Year Tournament.
ALL coaches need RIS AL (coach), and an active police check.
1 Coach from each team MUST have the Hockey Canada safety course.
Head Coach from U13 MUST have Coach 2.