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RECREATIONAL HOCKEY Q & A

1. Would Recreational Hockey be separate from minor hockey or could Minor Teams take players from a Recreational Team to fill their roster spots?

Answer: Recreational Hockey would be under a separate ‘stream of hockey’, meaning that players would not be able to be affiliated or freely move between ‘Rec’ and ‘Minor’. Once registering for a season, the only way a player would be able to participate in the other stream is if the family quit the stream they were in and registered in the other.

2. Would the other teams we play also need to be willing to join Hockey Alberta’s ‘Rec Hockey’ program to continue to play against us?

Answer: Hockey Alberta is offering this ‘Rec Hockey’ model to any programs that wish to come on board. The Hockey Canada insurance program is only valid if teams participate against other teams that are also insured under that same program so working together as a group of programs to make the decision does make sense.

3. How would we ensure that travel is kept to a minimum?

Answer: Hockey Alberta has no requirements for scheduling or ‘league’ operations within the ‘Rec Hockey’ model. The program is open to any organizations that wish to come on board and those that are registered under this model will be able to work together to schedule competition.

4. Do we have to use the U8, U11, U14, U18 and Juvenile age divisions? Can they be modified a bit depending on registration numbers?

Answer: As in all streams of hockey, the age divisions are there as the standard and both overage and underage players can be registered as an exception to the standard. Within the ‘Rec Hockey’ model, Hockey Alberta wants to maintain more flexibility than the Minor Hockey model and would leave these decisions entirely up to the program. It is important to remember, however, that overage players could have an impact in the decision of other teams to play against you. Any programs planning to play each other should keep as much consistency in assembling their teams as possible to mitigate potential issues.

5. What is the actual registration cost per player that would have to be paid to Hockey Alberta?

Answer: Participant Fees for registration with Hockey Alberta are reviewed and set annually. Hockey Alberta’s standard registration fee for Rec Hockey is $36.80 per participant (players and Team Officials). Organizations not previously registered with Hockey Alberta that wish to register a Recreational Hockey Program may be eligible for a reduced rat per participant (players & team officials) for their first season. These fees provide medical, dental and liability insurance for all players and team officials and also provide Directors and Officers Liability insurance to the volunteers and/ or employees that are acting on behalf of the organization to implement the program.

6. Are ‘Rec Hockey’ programs going to be getting voting rights with hockey Alberta.

Answer: There is currently a Notice of Motion on the floor for our upcoming Annual General Meeting (November) that would change the definition of Membership. The change would provide full Membership status to recreational hockey groups, school groups and sledge/ para hockey groups that are currently eligible to register with Hockey Alberta but do not have voting rights. It is important to note that ‘voting rights’ provide the opportunity for an organization to vote on elections for the Board and Bylaw changes only. All other decisions made regarding the structure and regulations of the game are made by committees of volunteers in consultation with the registered organizations (whether a member or not) within that specific stream of hockey.

7. Do coaches need to complete certification courses?

Answer: Coaches within all levels of hockey that include the participation of minor aged players have to complete the online Respect in Sport – Activity Leader program. Additionally, one coach (Team Official) from each team must have completed the online Hockey Canada Safety Program certification. The ‘Rec Hockey’ model does not require any other training/ certification for coaches, however the Coach 2 course is recommended for coaches to complete.

8. Is the two official system mandatory for all games? Do officials have to be certified every season?

Answer: The Two-Official system is recommended for all games, however a One-Official system can be used provided the official has enough experience to officiate the specific age division. It is recommended that all Officials be at least one year older than the oldest permitted age within the division of hockey they are working. All officials must be certified in accordance with Hockey Alberta’s requirements for Officials. We have over 5,200 certified officials annually and operate more than 400 clinics to accommodate any individuals that wish to become certified and work sanctioned hockey.

9. Is the half-ice program mandatory for the U8 age division or do they have the option to still play full ice? The cost for the boards or bumpers could be too expensive for some organizations to afford as most rec hockey boards work on a much smaller budget than minor organizations do.

Answer: Yes, the half-ice program is mandatory for the U8 age division. This program is mandated, nationally by Hockey Canada and must be implemented by all registered programs. The half-ice program is proven (supported by research and facts) to provide a better environment for young players to learn the game and develop their skills within while having fun. Please refer to the Hockey Alberta website for more information regarding the half-ice program.

Divider systems such as boards, foam dividers or bumpers are an option for organizations / communities to consider, however they are not required to operate a half ice program effectively. Many organizations operate half ice hockey without divider systems. Additionally, the Hockey Alberta Foundation provides the opportunity for registered programs to apply for grants that can assist organizations with the purchase of equipment such as divider systems.