As the youth hockey season swings into full gear, there has been plenty of action in and around Chicagoland in the past few weeks. Between the Nike Bauer World Invite, and many teams traveling to Grand Rapids for the Big Bear Tournament, Cyclone teams have been very busy. That includes the little guys and girls too!
The Cylcone Amateur Hockey Association recently hosted a mite jamboree at Fox Valley Ice Arena. Nine teams were involved including the Cyclones with 3, the Sabres with 3, the Admirals with 2 and the Blackbirds (Dyer, IN) with 1. In total there were 100 kids from the U6 and U8 age groups involved! What a great morning of hockey!
According to Cyclones Hockey Director, Peter Rutili, jamborees are organized at different rinks, and hosted by different clubs. “The main purpose of this event is really to get our Travel Prep players together to have the opportunity to compete against other Mite Developmental programs from our friends at neighboring clubs. Each team got to play two 30 minute cross-ice games in a fun and competitive environment.” The Cyclones have been invited to participate in similar events by all the other clubs, so this afforded our club the opportunity to reciprocate. This proved to be a great opportunity to organize our own event, host our neighbors, and get the kids, parents, grandparents etc. together for a fun morning of hockey.”
These events are critical to the development of young players…they get a chance to feel the excitement of competition in a pressure free setting. Rutili added, “As I have said many times before, I am a big believer in developing players in small areas of ice. Especially at younger ages, repetitions and puck touches are of critical importance to a player’s development and more importantly, this adds to the enjoyment and fun factor. These cross ice jamboree events allow the kids the reps, the “game action” and the fun aspect all in one event. My feeling, at these U6 and U8 levels, is that it is more about creating an environment where the kids are learning by playing, doing and repetition rather than a whole lot of teaching and instruction. We want kids to have a good foundation of the skating basics, edges, stick skills, but we also want to encourage them to be creative and instinctive and do the things that come naturally to them while they are playing.”
Thanks to all who participated in a fun morning at the rink!
Dear Cyclones Mite Families:
As you may be aware, USA Hockey has been, for the past several years, promoting and working towards the implementation of the American Development Model (ADM). The ultimate goal of the ADM is to "provide age-appropriate guidelines and curriculum to the hockey associations across America to help more kids play, love and excel in hockey." There are many facets to the ADM model and there are objectives at each age level, but one of the most significant aspects of it is how it approaches development at the U6 and U8 levels. Specifically, the ADM encourages the implementation of cross-ice hockey for games and practices that are station based. This effectively reduces the size of the playing field and as a result the player receives more touches of the puck and is given more of an opportunity to develop all his fundamental skills.
Anticipating USA Hockey’s ADM guidelines would eventually become mandate, last Fall, we developed Travel Prep as our Cyclones ADM program for U6 and U8 mites. Travel Prep is structured based on the principles of the ADM; station-based skill development, small area competitive games and participation in Cross-Ice Jamborees. Below are the details of that mandate that the Cyclones, the leagues they participate in and all associations will follow.
1. All U6 players will only be allowed to play cross-ice games, no exceptions.
2. U6 teams will not be allowed to travel outside the state.
3. All U8 games prior to Dec. 1st will be cross-ice. These games can be played within an association or as exhibitions with other clubs or as organized Jamborees.
4. After Dec. 1st, U8's will be allowed to play 15 full-ice games followed by league playoffs. Additionally, U8 teams will be allowed to play in a full-ice Thanksgiving tournament.
5. AHAI, various associations and leagues will continue to host cross-ice jamborees throughout the full-ice playing season.
6. U8 teams will play a geographic based schedule with no more than 20% of their games outside their area of play.
7. U8 teams will only be allowed to play one out of state tournament.
8. There will be no State Tournament for U-8 teams.
9. No U8 player will be allowed to play up at the U-10 level, no exceptions.
10. All Associations must conform to the ADM practice program and game model and will be monitored by AHAI and Association Boards.
In summary, we are strong proponents of the principles behind the ADM and Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD), and support the mandate passed down by USA Hockey and AHAI. Station based skill development and cross ice games provides more opportunities for repetitions, puck touches and fun for beginning players, and provides the right foundation for player development. We also believe in a balanced approach and the benefit of U8 Mites building in to full ice games. We will once again be offering Travel Prep as our Mite ADM program, as well as a Monday night station based skill program for our Travel Mite players. Player Development is our top priority and we strongly believe in the Mite program we have in place this coming Fall. As always, please do not hesitate to contact either one of us if we can be if service.
Cyclones Amateur Hockey Association
Cyclones Amateur Hockey Association
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Mite Level Coordinator
Squirt Level Coordinator
PeeWee Level Coordinator
Bantam Level Coordinator
Midget Level Coordinator