initiation carson
Hockey Canada update: 2017 Spring Congress
Approved motions to impact coaching certification, Novice-aged programming in upcoming season
June 6, 2017

CALGARY, Alta. – The leaders of the game assembled for Hockey Canada’s 2017 Spring Congress in St. John’s, N.L., at the end of May in review and celebration of the 2016-17 season, and to continue the work on developing the game of hockey moving forward.

Spring Congress is one of two annual meetings that bring together representation from Hockey Canada’s 13 members as well as the Hockey Canada Board of Directors. Motions brought forward by the Member Forum and approved by the board include:

  • Effective for the 2017-18 season, it is recommended all coaches and instructors that coach Initiation Program players (5- and 6-year-olds) must be Coach 1 – Intro to Coach-trained;
  • For the 2018-19 season, it be mandatory that all coaches and instructors coaching Initiation and/or Novice (7- and 8-year-olds) be Coach 1 – Intro to Coach-trained;
  • In the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, it is recommended all games played at the Novice level be cross-ice or half-ice games; and
  • In 2019-20, it will be mandatory that all games played at the Novice level be cross-ice or half-ice games; and
  • Beginning in the 2018-19 season, all head coaches at the Atom, Peewee, Bantam and Midget levels community sport streams (as determined by the member) be Coach 2 – Coach Level-trained, and it be recommended that all assistant coaches at these levels be as well.

“Hockey Canada and our 13 members are committed to continuing to improve the delivery of minor hockey within our communities to ensure every player is getting the best possible experience they can,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada. “While some of the motions approved at Spring Congress are already in place in some parts of the country, our Member Forum reviews the best practices from among its membership to apply consistently from coast to coast to coast. In the end, this is about developing players in a positive way, and ensuring that our coaches have access to the training they need to maximize the positive impact they have on the kids taking part in the game.”

In addition to the forward-looking planning sessions, delegates and other attendees of Spring Congress enjoyed the warm Newfoundland and Labrador hospitality and celebrated the contributions of the backbone of hockey in Canada, the game’s volunteers, thanks to the planning of hosts Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador and its local organizing committee. Once again, some of the game’s most passionate volunteers were honoured as part of the 2017 Hockey Canada Awards.

The next assembly of Canada’s hockey leadership will take place at the Hockey Canada Winter Congress and Annual Meeting in Ottawa in November.

For more information on Hockey Canada, please visit, and follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information:

Director, Communications
Hockey Canada


Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
[email protected]


Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4567 / 905-906-5327 (mobile)
[email protected]


Katie Macleod
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427 / 403-612-2893 (mobile)
[email protected]


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