Welcome to the 2019-2020 Minnesota Hockey season! This season, as always, promises to be another exciting year.
As the new president of Minnesota Hockey, I look forward to building on the great momentum of my predecessor Dave Margenau who has led this organization for the past nine seasons. I really believe a huge THANK YOU is owed to Dave for his leadership!
Because of the efforts of passionate volunteers from the grassroots of local associations to the Minnesota Hockey Board of Directors, Minnesota Hockey continues to be one of the most respected hockey organizations in the country. Our unique community-based hockey model continues to provide opportunities for participants to experience the game, from four years old to adulthood, regardless of skill or limitation. We are truly blessed to live and play here, but we must continuously challenge ourselves to pursue opportunities to become even better.
Minnesota continues to lead the nation in players at all age levels, including those at the NHL and college hockey. Perhaps even more exciting, the commitment of association volunteers throughout the state to recruit and retain new families in their communities continues to fuel the growth of our beloved sport. This past season, Minnesota Hockey registered over 18,700 players at the Mite/8U level, which leads the nation and is an increase of 2,000 players over the past five years.
This season USA Hockey has developed the Declaration of Fair Play, Safety & Respect initiative, and I am confident Minnesota Hockey will be a leader in the implementation of the effort to keep the game safe and enjoyable for all participants. This initiative is a significant undertaking to modernize the culture of our game, and it will take the support of all, from the players, coaches, officials, administrators and parents/fans, for this effort to have the maximum impact. Join me in embracing the direction of this initiative by viewing the USA Hockey’s new standards of acceptable body contact and checking at: www.minnesotahockey.org/safety.
As with each year, Minnesota Hockey provides opportunities for players to not only develop their skills in the game, but to also showcase what they can do. We are proud of our CCM High Performance Spring programs, Summer camps and Fall Tier I Leagues. This past season the MN Hockey Board of Directors agreed to create the Fall Prospects Leagues to create new and expanded opportunities for even more players to develop and showcase their skills. Currently, Minnesota Hockey is in the process of developing more exciting events for players of all abilities to build on the success of our Ice Bowl Squirt C Tournament. Stay tuned for more news on these!
I would also like to highlight the great efforts of volunteers who have made Minnesota Hockey a leader in Disabled hockey in the nation. We have thriving Sled Hockey, Warriors Hockey and Special Hockey programs providing opportunities for many who otherwise would not be able to experience this great game. Over the past year, Minnesota Hockey, along with our great partners in the Minnesota Wild and UBS Financial, launched the Blind Hockey program and hosted the USA Hockey Blind Hockey Summit in St. Paul. It was another great opportunity to ensure hockey is truly for everyone in Minnesota!
I look forward to another great season in 2019-2020 and thank all the volunteers, staff, partners of Minnesota Hockey and members who continue to make it the premier and respected hockey program it is.
Have a GREAT and EXCITING 2019-2020 SEASON!
President MN Hockey
In June of 2019, USA Hockey demonstrated its commitment to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants and being a leader in the development of youth athletes with the ratification of the Declaration of Player Safety, Fair Play and Respect.
The intent of the initiative was to encourage a change in culture as to what is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable body checking and competitive contact at all levels of play, with a focus on eliminating: 1) hits to the head, 2) hits from behind and 3) late hits.
Respect for the game, the opponents, coaches and officials is a critical part of a positive youth hockey environment, and as such, the responsibility for modifying the culture lies with everyone in the game, from players, coaches and officials to media, parents, fans and administrators.
The Declaration does not include any rule changes. Instead, it features “points of emphasis” designed to clarify and update the existing rules/definitions to emphasize the key points and more clearly outline what is deemed acceptable/unacceptable behavior. Below are several key points in the declaration:
For visual examples of acceptable and unacceptable body checking, visit www.minnesotahockey.org/safety.
As USA Hockey and Minnesota Hockey members, we must demonstrate awareness and support for the application, spirit and the respect of the rules in order to enhance player safety and continue moving game of hockey forward.
Care about the rules of the game? Wish the rules were enforced more consistently? Want to give back to a game you enjoy? Become an ice hockey official!
The Minnesota Hockey Officials Association (MHOA) encourages individuals who are passionate about providing a great hockey experience to youth players to get and stay involved as an official. MHOA works with the USA Hockey Officiating Program to train hockey officials, ensure uniformity of rules interpretation and maintain the highest standards of officiating across the state.
Interested in becoming an official? Find out more at www.minnesotahockey.org/new-official.
Many teams across the state have already hit the ice, and that means USA Hockey Coach Education Programs (CEP) are in full swing. CEP clinics are being held now through December at locations throughout Minnesota. Remember, coaches must attend one clinic each year until they at least reach a Level 3 certification by USA Hockey. The age appropriate training modules have been posted online and the modules must be completed before taking the ice.
For more information on certification requirements or coaching resources, visit www.minnesotahockey.org/coaches.
USA Hockey: USA Hockey is the national governing body of hockey in the United States. USA Hockey is responsible for the development and education programs for players, coaches and officials; determining Select, National and Olympic Teams, and developing policies and procedures. usahockey.com
Minnesota Hockey: Minnesota Hockey, an affiliate of USA Hockey, has been the governing body of youth and amateur hockey in Minnesota and the premier developer of hockey players in the state since 1947. minnesotahockey.org
Minnesota Hockey Community-Based Associations: Minnesota Hockey is comprised of approximately 150 community-based associations that serve as the base of hockey in Minnesota. Minnesota Hockey’s community-based structure is considered to be the premier youth hockey model in the United States!
Last season, Minnesota Hockey unveiled its newest grant program, the Minnesota Hockey Legacy Fund. The Legacy Fund provides grants to individuals, families, organizations or associations in need of financial support to overcome hardships, or to overcome tragedies, and in its first year, the Legacy Fund distributed over $30,000 to Minnesota Hockey members.
There is no deadline for applications, although allocation decisions will be made on a first-come, first-serve basis and continue until all resources are exhausted for the 2019-20 season. Those wishing to help or support those in their local hockey community can fill out an application at any time. Applications can be filled out online at www.minnesotahockey.org/legacyfund.
Oct 28, 2019 HS Girls' Hockey start date
Nov 9, 2019 Try Hockey For Free Day - Various Sites
Nov 11, 2019 HS Boy’s Hockey start date
Jan 18, 2020 Hockey Day Minnesota - Minneapolis
Feb 19-22, 2020 Girls’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center
Feb 22, 2020 Try Hockey for Free Day - Various Sites
Feb 16-23, 2020 Hockey Week Across America
Feb 28-Mar 1, 2020 MN Hockey Region Tournaments - Various Sites
Mar 4-7, 2020 Boys’ State High School Hockey Tourney - Xcel Energy Center
Mar 13-15, 2020 MN Hockey State Tournaments - various sites
Apr 1-6, 2020 USAH Youth National Tournaments - Various Sites
Apr 2-6, 2020 USAH Girls Tier I & Adult Women’s Nationals – Blaine, MN