CALGARY, AB – Hockey Canada announced on Wednesday the launch of Hockey Canada National Skills
Standards and Testing Program (NSST), a resource for minor hockey coaches in Canada to test the skill
level of players on their team, compare the results with other teams, and receive specific drills to assist
in enhancing the skill development of each player.
The NSST is free of charge to all minor hockey teams who visit www.hockeycanada.ca.
The program is based on the fundamental philosophy that skill development should be fun and challenging. The
program’s goals are to raise awareness of the importance of skill development and to establish a system to
measure and celebrate skill acquisition.
Minor hockey coaches of boys and girls teams across Canada are encouraged to go to www.hockeycanada.ca, and click on ‘Skills Testing’, to learn about the benefits of the National
Skills Standards and Testing Program (NSST) so that their team can participate.
Team coaches can download a series of six on-ice individual skills tests for all of the team’s players.
Coaches follow the testing guidelines and instructions provided, and collect the test results for each player
on their team. Coaches can either keep the data within the team or can enter all of the data into the
Hockey Canada Skill Standards and Testing website database. Over time, a set of age division standards
will accumulate in the database of test results. Once this information is collected, players and teams will
be able to compare scores and judge strengths, weaknesses and areas in need of improvement.
One of the most important components of the NSST program is that once coaches have tested their players
and the results have been submitted to the NSST website, coaches will have access to a series of drills
designed specifically to assist in improving the areas of weakness for the entire team, or to meet the needs
of individual players.
“The hockey development system in Canada must continue to examine ways to encourage and promote our
development programs. Linking all of our development resources and initiatives together through this new
on-line resource provides coaches with an excellent method of measuring skill level and demonstrating how
improvement can be achieved”, said Paul Carson, Director, Development Programs for Hockey Canada.
During the 1999 Molson Open Ice Summit on Player Development in Canada, delegates recommended that Hockey
Canada investigate ways to“raise awareness of the importance of skill development and establish a system
to measure and celebrate skills”.Prior to the launch of the NSST program, there was no nationally
organized program that would test or recognize skill acquisition and skill improvement within the Canadian
hockey system. Through the on-line NSST at www.hockeycanada.ca, minor hockey associations, coaches, players
and parents will now have a method of measuring success beyond wins and losses.
Hockey Canada is working in partnership with Sport-Quest Systems (www.sport-quest.com) who will serve as the "Official Supplier" to Hockey
Canada’s National Skills Standards and Testing Program.
"We selected Sport-Quest because the company offers a complete package: a proven online program along with
leading edge technology and support to maintain the system," said Johnny Misley, Vice President Hockey
Operations, Hockey Canada. "Sport-Quest is the right fit because they have the flexibility to adapt to our
needs. In developing the NSST Program, Hockey Canada has taken an important first step in establishing a
NationalSkill Evaluation system”.