July 7, 2014
Dear Mite Hockey Parents,
We are excited to update you on the state of Mite (U6/U8) hockey not only at Canlan Ice Sports Romeoville but throughout the Chicagoland area.
Several years ago, USA Hockey (historically the governing body for amateur hockey in the U.S.) implemented what they called the American Development Model, or ADM. We have embraced many of the core elements of the ADM: incorporating small-area games in practice, station-based training, etc. Where we (and many of the youth hockey programs in Chicago) disagree with USA Hockey is with the belief that all Mite Hockey games must be played on half sheets, or cross-ice. We believe a blended approach consisting of full and half-ice games would be more beneficial and enjoyable. Unfortunately, and despite significant time and effort spent by our club and others to find a solution, USA Hockey has mandated a plan that we do not find workable.
The Huskies Hockey Club and at least 20 other local youth hockey programs have been meeting and discussing this issue regularly while USA Hockey has continued to modify player development protocols, including imposing further game limits, over the past 3 years. The direction of USA Hockey on this issue is inconsistent with existing philosophies on player development at younger ages, in terms of learning and mastering skill development and their love of the game. Our local clubs, with member feedback and direction from their Boards, Hockey Directors, and Staff, are in the best position to determine the best course of action for their skaters.
After lengthy and careful consideration, a new organization has been established for Mites that will include Travel and House programs. The new organization is the Romeoville Hockey Club (RHC) Hounds. RHC Travel teams will compete in the new Chicago United Hockey League (CUHL). (www.chicagounitedhockey.com ) CUHL will include approximately 20 other Mite organizations from the Chicagoland area. The new league will offer a full season of 24 full-ice games, plus round robin playoffs, from September to March. Tournaments for Mite Travel teams will be offered in addition to their regular season games(view a comparison of the NIHL/AHAI and CUHL mite programs). RHC teams will continue to practice and play primarily at Canlan Ice Sports Romeoville.
How will this impact your child? The short answer is: very little. All Mites will participate in either a House League or Travel program in the same way as in the past. The only noticeable difference will come with registration. Huskies Hockey Club Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam and Midget teams will continue to be affiliated with USA Hockey. The newly formed RHC for Mite-aged players with be affiliated with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). More information on the AAU can be found at www.aausports.org.
The new RHC will provide a separate website and registration process for all U6 through U8 players. Registration will occur through that website and insurance will now be provided through the AAU. While there is much work to do between now and September 1st to organize this transition, we will make it as seamless as possible for you, our customer.
We will continue to communicate to you as more details become available. Please direct any questions to the email listed below. Enjoy the remainder of your summer! Hockey season will be here before we know it! Go Hounds!
Questions can be directed to: