The WGHA U9 program follows Hockey Canada and OWHA guidelines.
U9 players will play half ice hockey in the first half of the season, transitioning to full ice hockey in January. House league teams will also not be permitted to enter tournaments until after January 15.
Benefits of half-ice for U9 hockey
Opportunity for development increases as the size of the rink decreases
Benefits of Half-Ice Hockey
There can be concerns from parents about how small-area games may impact their child’s hockey development, but parents should trust Hockey Canada and its research. Putting young players into a competitive environment too early will compromise their development; they need to be placed into competitive situations that suit their age-specific abilities. This is why Hockey Canada’s Long-Term Player Development Model is so important.
Dividing the playing surface is a decision that has been made in consultation with experts in athlete development. It is important to understand the benefits of half-ice hockey and why Hockey Canada has a national policy ensuring U9 hockey is played in smaller, modified spaces.
You have to be able to make plays in pretty small areas. The more you practice in small spaces the better off you are.”
– Sidney Crosby,
Canada’s National Men’s Team