In minor hockey, coaches should be encouraged to foster the development of the fundamental skills required
to play the game. By measuring and providing positive individual feedback on skill development throughout an
entire season; parents, coaches and players have a method of analyzing success beyond wins and losses.
This season, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) is focusing on skill development by hosting
the IIHF Skills Challenge, to take place from May 2-4, 2008 during the 2008 IIHF World Championships in
Quebec City, Quebec. The IIHF Skills Challenge is part of a series of activities and events planned to
celebrate the 100 Years of International Ice Hockey. A total of 41 IIHF member associations have committed to
participating in the challenge.
Hockey Canada worked closely with the IIHF to develop the international skills challenge which is based on
five individual tests and three goaltender tests taken from Hockey Canada’s National Skills Standards and
Testing Program (NSST). The tests are designed to measure skill level in a fun and easy fashion in which
Minor Hockey Associations can host their own individual skills challenges.
The skater tests consist of: weave - agility skate; transition - agility skate; shooting accuracy; forward
speed skate and backward speed skate.
The goaltender tests consist of: rebound control; iron cross and lateral movement.
The IIHF Skills Challenge is open to IIHF Member Federation / Hockey Canada registered minor hockey
players – male and female – born in 1995 – 13 years old or younger as of (peewee age). The
best female and the best male from every national association who participated in the competition will be
invited to attend the 2008 World Championships in Canada.
Hockey Canada will be hosting a Hockey Canada Skills Challenge to determine who will represent Canada in
the international challenge. The Canadian challenge will also take place at the 2008 IIHF World Championship
and will be made up of Branch declared winners. The overall five best female and five best male goaltenders
from across Canada will also be invited (all participants will be selected based on Branch certified NSST
scores submitted to Hockey Canada).
For more information on conducting a Skills Challenge with your team, visit the National Skills Standards
and Testing section of the Hockey Canada website found under minor hockey / player development. Coaches will find team recording
sheets, a testing handbook, posters and animations of each station and will be able to input test results
into the ‘SportQuest Systems’ online database.
Hockey Canada believes in celebrating skill achievement. Through the Hockey Canada Skills Challenge,
player’s can continue to develop their skills in an environment that is fun, challenging and accessible to