ST. JOHN’S, NFLD – Hockey Canada’s 2006 Annual General Meeting, which was attended by over 400 delegates from across Canada, concluded on Monday evening with some decisions made on key issues that affect amateur hockey across Canada.
Hockey Canada’s AGM brings together representation from each of the 13 Hockey Canada member Branches who make up the Hockey Canada Board of Directors, in adding to Hockey Canada’s Officers, Life members, representation from each of Hockey Canada’s councils: Female, Junior, Minor, Senior and Hockey Development, and representation from partner organizations.
A summary of discussions and decisions approved by Hockey Canada’s Board of Directors during this year’s AGM include:
STRATEGIC PLAN AND OBJECTIVES – 2006-07
Hockey Canada’s strategic plan and objectives for 2006-07 was approved by the Board, and a proposal to review 2007-08 will be discussed at summer Board planning meeting in Alymer, QC in August.
2006-07 RULE EMPHASIS / STANDARD OF PLAY
Rules emphasis and standard of play for 2006-07 was approved, including a focus on checking from behind, head checking, prevent the use of the stick to impede a player's progress and reduce stick fouls.
CHANGES TO GOAL LINES AND BLUE LINES AND SIZE OF GOALTENDING EQUIPMENT
Approval of three changes within the Hockey Canada rule book: to rules 3A and 3B, as it relates to rink dimensions (blue lines and goal lines) and rule 22, reducing the size of goaltending equipment. The rationale for changing rules 3A and 3B is to enhance the new rule emphasis, including enhance the speed and skill of players in the game, and to increase the amount of attacking space to promote offensive skill development. The changes of these rules, effective for the 2006-07 season, moves the goal lines two feet closer to the end boards in arenas across Canada, and reducing the size of the neutral zone from 54 feet to 50 feet (arenas 200ft or greater). Hockey Canada will work with the Canadian Recreational Facilities Council and will immediately be contacting all of the arenas within its database to make them aware of the changes to the rink dimensions.
The change of size of goaltending equipment will come into effect for the start of the 2008-09 season, therefore allowing two full seasons for equipment purchase/use transition by both the consumer and manufacturer. These changes reflect the same sizes of goaltending equipment within the IIHF and NHL. Hockey Canada will continue to discuss and notify equipment manufacturers and its membership regarding these goaltending equipment changes for 2008-09.
CANADIAN DEVELOPMENT MODEL - CHANGES
Discussion and changes made by the Board of Directors on the Canadian Development Model which specifically deals with junior age player eligibility. Changes were made to the affiliation of players as it pertains to the Canadian Development Model, and it was decided that the number of 16 year olds permitted to play on junior teams will remain the same, as it was for the 2005-06 season, for the next two seasons.
WOMEN’S HOCKEY PILOT PROJECT
In the case of the 13 teams that are members of either the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) or the Western Women’s Hockey League (WWHL), a pilot project was approved for the 2006-2007 season that states: Of the six (6) imports, a maximum of four (4) may be USA Hockey transfer players, which is an increase from two (2) which currently exists. A plan for data collection regarding this pilot was also approved by the Board of Directors.
• Recognition of departing Hockey Canada Board Members (Branch Presidents), who after their own Branch AGM later this Spring, will no longer be a part of Hockey Canada’s Board: Fred Heslop (BC Hockey), Al Hubbs (Saskatchewan Hockey), Jules Lavictoire (ODHA), Claude Allain (Hockey Quebec- will remain as Hockey Canada Officer) and Marv Ryder (Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador).
• Recognition of Canada’s 2006 Women’s Olympic and Men’s Paralympic Gold Medal Teams
• The Board, and the appropriate Hockey Canada Council, approved the locations of future National Championships
• The Board received a presentation on interpreting research regarding body checking and injuries in hockey. A motion on body checking ruling will be addressed at Hockey Canada’s semi-annual meeting in Montreal in November
• A vote took place for the volunteer Board position of Hockey Canada’s Referee-in-Chief, with the winner being Maurice Roy, who has held the same position with Hockey Canada since 1997. Roy, a level 6 official, has held numerous officiating related positions with Hockey Canada since 1996 including rules committee and officiating standards and policy committee. Roy has also been an IIHF referee supervisor for the past three seasons.
• All Branches will have opportunities to attend training sessions to prepare frameworks for the delivery of a Minor Hockey Summit Initiative during the 2006-07 hockey season. An opportunity for grass roots membership to participate in dialogue on the state of the game at the amateur level.
• Minor council recommended to the Board that that the Risk and Safety Committee of Hockey Canada review policies and procedures pertaining to dressing room supervision with a view to curbing behaviour such as ‘locker boxing’, etc.
• ‘Hockey Canada Week’, a national celebration of the game of hockey in Canada at all levels, will be celebrated across Canada from November 5 . Information regarding ‘Hockey Canada Week’ will be posted at www.hockeycanada.ca at the start of the 2006-07 hockey season.
Detailed information for Hockey Canada’s AGM, including council and plenary agendas and supporting information, can be found at www.hockeycanada.ca