Hockey Canada believes that hockey should be, first and foremost, fun for all participants. A big part of delivering on that is ensuring the programming is age-appropriate.
Cross-ice/half-ice hockey has always been part of the Initiation Program, but has not been implemented in the same way in every community – beginning this fall (2017-18 season), cross-ice/half-ice is mandatory at the Initiation level.
Cross-ice/half-ice hockey at the Initiation age effectively right-sizes the playing surface for young players:
The benefits of cross-ice/half-ice hockey go beyond player development; the special boards and bumpers allow minor hockey associations to alleviate pressure around scheduling and ice-time availability by safely allowing multiple practices and games to take place on one rink at the same time.