Youth divisions: Age ranges and skill level?
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07-22-2013, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Originally Posted by
Being the father of a mite (2006 birthyear), cross/half ice simply makes sense. The stat that really caught my attention is that it takes a 7 years old the same amount of strides to skate half of the ice than it does an adult to skate the full lenght of the ice.
However having watched this in action IMO it keeps the kids much more involved and they have a lot more touches than full ice. It also creates something that actually looks like hockey instead of the better skaters taking the puck and going in on breakaway after breakaway.
The only other suggestion that I would make for ADM would be to make the goal smaller. I know that they want to encourage scoring, but if they are going to make the playing field proportional to the size/age of the kids, the goal should also be smaller. It's hard enough for young goalies to skate around in goalie gear, but it's extremely hard for a kid who is under 4 feet tall defend a goal that is 4x6.
My son is an '05. So, last year he was a first year. At the end of the season, we had a coaches v players game on the big sheet. They hadn't played any full ice all season, so, they were kind of excited to be playing coaches and playing on full ice. Unfortunately, some of the coaches got carried away and controlled the puck a bit too much. After the game, I asked my son how he liked it and he said he hated it. I asked him why and his response,.. "I never touched the puck". Kids want to touch the puck and be involved. Small area games do that. Next year he will be an 8 yr old mite and is a good skater. On full ice he would be skating circles around most of the 7 yr olds. On half/cross, he'll have to get more creative. Everyone is engaged and happy.
It totally makes sense to me too, which is why I'm always at a loss when I encounter somebody like one of my beer league teammates who put his 7 yr old son in another association because he didn't want him "doing any of that cross-ice BS".
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