Pond Hockey, a stream of Hockey Alberta’s Recreational Hockey Model, is an innovative program that focuses on participation in an unstructured environment with no defined rules or age categories. Players can join a team and enjoy the game regardless of their skill set or commitment levels. Players registered in a Pond Hockey Program can be registered simultaneously in Rec Hockey or a Minor Hockey program.
Pond hockey follows Hockey Alberta’s Intro to Hockey Model
Pond hockey for ages 5-8 is played under Hockey Alberta’s Intro to Hockey Model in operating on cross-ice/half-ice surfaces.
Pond hockey is unstructured
Pond hockey should be unstructured in the sense that programs are not arranged based on age, or skill.
Pond hockey programs are not registered in organized hockey leagues
Pond hockey is played in a fun, safe and non-competitive environment. Therefore, pond hockey programs are not eligible to attend minor hockey tournaments or play minor hockey teams.
Pond hockey is a low-cost option for players
Pond hockey is registered under Hockey Alberta, allowing all participants to access the Hockey Canada Insurance Program. All other registration fees are determined by each specific pond hockey program.
Pond hockey allows a relaxed time commitment
Hockey Alberta recommends that pond hockey participants under the age of 11 should meet once a week, while players aged 12 and over can meet twice a week.
Pond hockey focuses on skill development and game play
Hockey Alberta recommends that ice times should include drills that focus on basic skill development while also incorporating time for small area games, 3-on-3 games or 4-on-4 games.
Pond hockey programs do not travel for games
Pond hockey programs are not registered for organized hockey leagues; travel for games is not required.
Pond hockey has no defined boundaries
Pond hockey is not governed by association boundaries that state a player has to report to a specific program. Pond hockey participants are eligible to register and participate with any pond hockey program in Alberta.
Pond hockey has a flexible registration date
Pond hockey does not have a firm registration date. Players are eligible to register and participate at any point of the pond hockey season.
Pond hockey participants can play minor hockey
Participants are eligible to register in both pond and minor hockey for an additional fee.
Pond hockey participants can play with siblings
Pond hockey is not governed by age groups. As a result, participants are eligible to play with older or younger siblings with whom they normally would not be able to play.
Pond hockey has no starting age
Pond hockey is eligible for any minor hockey aged player in Alberta. However, Hockey Alberta recommends that players under the age of seven should have an emphasis on basic skill development under the watchful eye of a coach with national coaching certification, registered with the local Minor Hockey Association.
Pond hockey on-ice supervisors have Respect in Sport qualification
All pond hockey on-ice supervisors are required to have Respect in Sport Activity Leader qualification.
Pond hockey on-ice supervisors do not require coaching certification
Pond hockey on-ice supervisors are not required to have additional coaching certification. However, Hockey Alberta recommends that pond hockey on-ice supervisors take any of the eight instructional stream courses offered through Hockey Alberta’s Regional Centres. For more information about instructional programming, please click here.
Pond hockey is not governed by rules and regulations
Pond hockey should not be governed by the same rules and regulations that govern minor hockey. Pond hockey focuses on providing a fun, safe and non-competitive learning environment for all participants regardless of age or skill.
Pond hockey is not played under Hockey Canada Playing Rules
Pond hockey does not follow Hockey Canada Playing Rules. Pond hockey programs can modify the game in any way that supports skill development in a fun, safe and non-competitive learning environment.
Pond hockey does not use registered officials
Pond hockey is not played under Hockey Canada Playing Rules; therefore, Pond hockey does not use qualified officials to oversee games. Pond hockey needs to remain a non-competitive alternative for all hockey players.
Pond hockey does not keep statistics or records
Pond hockey should not keep statistics or records. Pond hockey should focus on keeping a non-competitive playing environment.