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 all players.