By Jim Clare, AHAI ADM Chairman
As we approach the summer months and clubs are preparing for Fall, the question has been asked, “what can we expect for the Squirts in USA Hockey?” The answer is very simple, there is NO change to Squirt programming within AHAI or USA Hockey. ALL squirt league games will be played full-ice (obviously many clubs use small area games for practice or development). ALL games will be played with a black puck. There is no one within AHAI or USA Hockey advocating to do anything different. Any rumors or false information that is out there should be ended with this article.
AHAI will have its Squirt State Championship, NIHL, NWHL, and other USA Hockey Leagues will have their tournaments and championships as always. The benefit of being a part of AHAI at the Squirt level has not changed; Certified Coaches, Insurance, State Championship, oversight for officials, R&E assistance, assistance when needed from AHAI and being a part of long-standing hockey organization to name a few.
A Key concept from USA Hockey that will be discussed at the AHAI Annual Meeting is High Performance Development. This will be an important concept you will hear more about at all levels of the ADM, especially Squirt. Stay tuned for more information and attend the AHAI Annual Meeting to learn and discuss High Performance Development.
One key benefit of AHAI and USA Hockey as your child advances through the age levels is access to player development opportunities and camps. There is a Pee Wee Regional Championship each year, The Midwest Pee Wee Tournament of Champions, held in Wisconsin that includes most of the States that surround Illinois. These opportunities for development and advancement are taken advantage of by hundreds of players in the state that are part of AHAI, both girls and boys.
We look forward to seeing all our Squirts this Fall, as well as all age groups throughout AHAI and USA Hockey.