Hockey / Update on Novice Hockey for the 2018-19 Season

Update on Novice Hockey for the 2018-19 Season

Date:  Source: Hockey Northwestern Ontario


THUNDER BAY, ON – Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO) is proactively approaching a nation-wide initiative which will see more kids at younger ages playing and practicing hockey in age-appropriate programming.

Starting in the 2019-2020 season, Hockey Canada has mandated players 8-years-old and under will participate in modified-ice games, which includes cross-ice or half-ice. To continue the player progression for young athletes already in modified-ice programming in the Initiation program, HNO will expand its modified-ice programming in the 2018-2019 season to include Novice hockey for players born in 2010 and 2011.

Associations running Novice hockey mixed age programming (2010 & 2011 born players on the same team) will:

Deliver age-appropriate programming to players seven (7) and eight (8) years of age consisting of half ice games from the start of the season until January 31st and a transition program of full ice games from February 1st until March 31st; with the understanding that the players seven (7) years of age will repeat the programming as an eight (8)-year-old.


The focus of practices will remain station based.

Hockey Canada is currently developing the gameplay model for Novice. Those details and an updated Novice policy for Hockey Northwestern Ontario will be provided by no later than May 1st, 2018. 

“To be leaders in the game, we must continue to change and adapt. The data and science support age-appropriate programming is in the best interest of the players”, said Glenn Timko, HNO President.  “We are moving the game in that direction across the country.”

“We understand that administrators, coaches, parents, and players are eager to know what Novice hockey will look for the 2018-19 season and beyond,” said Trevor Hosanna, HNO Executive Director.  “We will support our minor hockey associations with age-appropriate programming and share more information as it becomes available. “

For more information visit our Novice Page or view the novice FAQ document.