Dear Illinois Mite Parent –
What’s best for your child is what is at the heart of every decision made at USA Hockey.
From development and safety to training and certifying coaches and officials, USA Hockey is the onlynational organization that looks out for the best interests of your child each and every day.
When USA Hockey’s Mite development program was established in 2009 — as part of its age-appropriate American Development Model for all levels of youth hockey — it was based on comprehensive research, including input from authorities on child development, those involved in youth sports worldwide, and of course, hockey experts in the United States and across the globe.
Our Mite development program – supported by the Chicago Blackhawks, the NHL, the United States Olympic Committee, and many others – uses cross-ice or half-ice as its basis. It’s best for your Mite, whether beginning or older. And it’s best for Mites of every ability level. Our program is focused on age-appropriate learning and that’s to ensure that all kids have the chance to reach their full potential.
“An eight-year-old is only an eight-year-old once and USA Hockey’s development model is rightly focused on what is best for kids at each age,” says Stan Bowman, general manager of the Chicago Blackhawks.
We do recognize the landscape for hockey is not the same in every part of our great nation and input from local areas is important.
In the case of Illinois, that feedback led to approval of Mites playing up to 15 full-ice games after December 1 for the upcoming 2014-15 season. While 15 full-ice games is the most liberal number granted in the country, it was important we listened to the wishes of those in the state without compromising the principles of what research shows is best for your child. Further, research is clear that season-long, full-ice hockey for Mites is counter to what is best for your child, especially if he or she is one of the best players on the ice.
We want every child to have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential in a fun environment and that is at the heart of our world-class program. If you’d like to read more about our Mite development program, please click here.
We also encourage you to check out this short video that depicts for adults what it’s like for Mites to play on a full size ice surface.
Enjoy the summer and please feel free to email any questions you might have firstname.lastname@example.org.