Hockey Alberta has adopted the Initiation Program as the formal structure for the operation of hockey for players 6 years and under, and is to be implemented in all Minor Hockey Associations in Alberta.
Hockey Alberta & Hockey Canada believe that hockey should be, first and foremost, fun for all participants. Cross ice/half-ice hockey has always been part of the Initiation Program, but beginning this fall (2017-2018) cross-ice/half-ice is mandatory at the initiation level.
Cross-ice/Half-ice hockey allows young players the opportunity for more puck-touches which promotes greater opportunity for skill development such as puck-handling, shooting, skating, co-ordination and decision making. Players on cross-ice have been shown to receive five times more passes and take six times more shots than when they are on a full sized rink.
Please see the following links on Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada for a more in depth explanation of the new Initiation Guidelines.