CALGARY, AB – Minor hockey at all levels of play in all 13 Branches across Canada will get a facelift this
season with the implementation of a new standard of play and rule emphasis initiative, placing the focus
squarely on the building blocks of the game: skating, puck possession and proper body positioning. These
changes will enhance player opportunities for skill development at all levels of play, with the goal of
providing a positive minor hockey experience for all involved. "It’s A New Game"
Approved at Hockey Canada’s 2006 Annual General Meeting in St. John’s, NL in May, the new standard of play
initiative includes a strict enforcement of restraining fouls – hooking, holding, tripping and interference –
and stick fouls – slashing and cross-checking – all of which can be classified as any infraction which
impedes the progress of the offensive player.
To get the information out to all involved, Hockey Canada developed a DVD resource and an area on the
Hockey Canada website that provides visual illustrations of all the changes – check out the "It’s A New Game" icon on the Hockey Canada home
The DVD provides players and coaches with clear illustrations of restraining fouls and how officials will
view these infractions and apply the rules of the game. By eliminating these elements in the game, the
emphasis in hockey will return to skill, speed and offensive development.
Hockey Canada distributed the DVD last month through all of its Branches, to its general membership, as
well as the officiating community, with the goal of it being used at coaching and officiating clinics, and
potentially team and minor hockey association meetings throughout Canada.
The new standard of play and rule emphasis is directed at not only the more than 550,000 minor hockey
participants across the country, but also the hundreds of thousands of coaches and officials that make it
possible for players from Initiation to Major Junior to play the game.
“With a new season of minor hockey upon us, we felt it was a perfect opportunity for our rules to come in
line with those of the International Ice Hockey Federation and the National Hockey League, which have
implemented similar changes over the past two years,” said Bob Nicholson, president of Hockey Canada. “We
feel that with proper education and patience, we can enhance the focus of the game at the minor hockey level
all across Canada that will lead to the development of skilled hockey players.”
The changes also include the “shared respect initiative”, which will place an emphasis on calling checking
to the head and checking from behind infractions.
Officials have been asked to be diligent in the application of the new rules initiative, which will have
an immediate influence on the game across the country, at every level.
For more information on the new rules emphasis and standard of play, contact your local Hockey Canada
branch or minor hockey association.
Also, coaches, officials, parents and players can check out www.hockeycanada.ca for clips from the DVD showing examples of the new
rule emphasis, as well as more in-depth information on all the changes.