U9 & Below Programming, News (Whitchurch Stouffville Minor Hockey Association)

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Mar 11, 2022 | webmaster | 4282 views
U9 & Below Programming
The WSMHA has received a number of questions re: potential changes to our hockey programming for next season- particularly as it relates to some of the younger cohorts. Hopefully what follows will provide some clarity as to our plans for 2022-23.




  1. It’s important to recognize from the outset that the basic structure of all hockey programming in this country is mandated by Hockey Canada and passed down to local hockey associations like ours through provincial branches (the Ontario Hockey Federation) and regional partners such as the Ontario Minor Hockey Association. Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development Model (LTPD) and what we commonly refer to as “Pathways” provide the basic elements for all current programming in Stouffville Minor Hockey and elsewhere. There is extensive information available on both components via the Hockey Canada and OMHA websites. This is highly recommended reading for all minor hockey parents.
  2. One of the more obvious features of the new Pathways program was a one-year deferment in the availability of “representative” hockey which in some jurisdictions (including OMHA centres such as Stouffville) used to start with the U9 cohort, but now begins with U10 in all regions.  We have received no indication that this is going to change.
  3. “Minor Development” (MD) programming is not classified as “representative” by any of our governing authorities.  On that basis, the WSMHA anticipates that we will continue to ice at least one MD team per cohort for both U8 and U9 in 2022-23.  These teams will follow the Pathways protocols for their respective age groups including games with other centres.
  4. Coaching staffs for U8 and U9 MD teams will be selected in early September with try-outs commencing around the middle of the month.
  5. The WSMHA will be making every effort to expand the player pool for our younger cohorts which have been particularly hard-hit by Covid.  More specifically, we will shortly be announcing an accelerated skills training and development program for interested players beginning this Spring.
For more information regarding the U9 pathways, visit the OMHA website at OMHA.net, the OHF website at OHF.ca and the Hockey Canada website at Hockey Canada.ca
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