Novice Program: 2019-20 Season, News (Central Ontario Wolves AAA)

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Novice Program: 2019-20 Season
Submitted By Jennifer Buttar on Tuesday, January 22, 2019
There are many questions about Novice programming and “cross-ice hockey” beginning in the 2019-20 hockey season.  As this is a work in progress, we don’t as yet have all the answers but here is what we know so far:   Hockey Canada, the governing body of hockey in Canada, has decided that hockey for all players age 8 and under will change in 2019.  The Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) and the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA) are the two provincial governing bodies under who’s jurisdiction we compete and are implementing these changes.  This is not a COWHA decision or an ETA (Eastern Triple A) decision.  

Every hockey player, male or female, at AAA, AA, or A levels, or from smaller centres, EVERYWHERE IN CANADA (including the GTHL) all will play under the same framework.  COWHA WILL HAVE A NOVICE PROGRAM for 2019-20.  

The Novice season, next year and moving forward, is expected to look like this:

Development Phase
(6 weeks from mid-September until the end of October – 25% of season)

Ice Setup:  Half-Ice

Minimum of 12 practices, maximum of 4 games and 1 tournament/jamboree.

Scores will not be kept and games will be officiated by coaching staff(s).


Regular Season Phase (12 weeks from the beginning of November until mid-January – 50% of season)

Ice Setup:  Half-Ice

Minimum of 24 practices, 12-18 games and 1 tournament/jamboree.

It is presently unclear whether or not scores will be kept and games will be officiated by coaching staff(s) or OMHA certified officials.


Transition Phase (8 weeks from mid-January to mid-March – 25% of season)

Ice Setup:  Full-Ice

6-8 practices, 8 games and 1 tournament/jamboree.

Scores will be recorded and games will be officiated by OMHA certified officials.

OMHA Regional Playdowns will be integrated into this phase in some form.


Some things to keep in mind:


Regardless of a player’s ability, no player 8 or younger may ‘play up’ and play Minor Atom.  A player aged 8 may become an Affiliated Player (AP) for a Minor Atom team, but only once the Transition Phase (January 15th) has begun.


The Novice program will be rostered (i.e. one cannot play for their home centre AND their AAA zone team) and there will be tryouts this April.


This is a work in progress, so check our website for updates.

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