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May. 12, 2014

Minor hockey will be more affordable and accessible for players across the province next season thanks to a series of changes to the minor hockey structure that were accepted at the Hockey Nova Scotia Annual General Meeting over the weekend.

On Sunday, the Hockey Nova Scotia board approved new recommendations to the minor hockey structure that will see the following changes during the 2014-15 season:

• Minor Hockey Associations now have option to have multiple teams at all divisions of B level hockey

• Renaming of all House League/Recreational hockey as “C” level hockey and more options to play it

• Creation of C level female hockey

• Removal of Atom AAA

• Options for Minor Hockey Associations to have multiple teams at AA and A Levels

• Streamlined play-down/playoff format that will see travel and costs reduced

• Removal of end of year Provincial Championship tournaments at most lower levels of hockey to cut down on travel costs for families

• Provincial tournaments will be replaced by creation of a Day of Champions event that will see the top team in the North Conference play the top team in the South Conference to declare a provincial champion

The changes were recommended by Hockey Nova Scotia’s Structural Review Committee. The committee was established by Hockey Nova Scotia President Randy Pulsifer in August of 2012 and asked to review the minor and female hockey structure with a focus on safety, travel, cost, player development, recruitment and retention.

“These changes are all about reducing the cost of minor hockey for families across Nova Scotia and making the game more accessible for our young players,” says Hockey Nova Scotia President Randy Pulsifer.

The new changes are designed to align with Hockey Canada’s Long Term Player Development Model. With the elimination of the AAA designation at the Atom level, a greater focus will be placed on the skill development of players.

“Having one less level of hockey in Atom will also allow our smaller and more rural associations to have teams at levels that they can compete in and have more local competition with less travel and reduced costs,” says Pulsifer.

For the first time, our larger Minor Hockey Associations will have the opportunity to have more than one team at the various levels which will allow for players to play where their skillset places them.

The creation of the Day of Champions event –a one day championship event that will see the top team in the North Conference play the best team in the South Conference – will replace costly Provincial Championships at some of the lower levels of Midget, Bantam, Peewee and Atom hockey. This will allow players and teams to play a longer season in their region instead of traveling to provincial play-down games.

The changes will take effect at the beginning of the 2014-15 season. For more details on these changes, please view the Structural Review Report.

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