By Brian Meek, VP of Business Operations Illinois West High School Hockey League
Illinois West High School Hockey League is ready to begin another year of great high school hockey competition. As always, the League will support a robust Varsity and Junior Varsity Program. In total, 29 teams will participate with two new schools joining the League for the 2018 – 2019 season. The Oswego program and a team from Benet Academy will both join the League this year. An expected 26 game regular season followed by playoffs will ensure all teams reach at least 30 games. The League playoff winners will play on from there. The League plans an outdoor game per team around the New Year. Schedules for all League games will be posted on the Illinois West web site as we get nearer the start of the season. First regular season games will take place the last weekend in September and run through January. Playoffs will be completed in February allowing all teams to be ready to begin State playoffs in February.
The League held our annual goalie clinic at All Season Ice Arena the last week of July. It was our 9th year! Over 40 League goalies participated in the 4 day clinic. Both on ice and off ice instruction was provided by instructors from Good as Gould Goalie Schools led by Patrick Meek. League teams provided shooters each night to ensure great results for the participating goalies. Fantastic job getting all our participating goalies ready for tryouts and the season.
Illinois West has been innovative in our efforts to improve our zero tolerance policy. Last season we instituted a new regiment for all league teams. A financial deposit was required of each team (all remaining funds returned at season end.) Any parent ejected from a League game resulted in a fine to the team. The fines escalated with any subsequent offense. We are pleased to report that this resulted in only a very limited number of ejections and no repeat ejections. Each parent is required to sign a League provided zero tolerance form so there can be no question about the policy nor its enforcement. Our goal this year is no zero tolerance ejections. In addition to this policy, the League provides each team laminated signs for posting at each game reminding fans this is a high school sport and abusive behavior towards, players, officials, or other fans will not be tolerated. We like to remind them they are welcomed guests to enjoy the game. We also remind them that any inappropriate behavior or language will not be tolerated, and should they engage in that behavior they will no longer be welcome as a guest. All involved in youth hockey need to help clean up abusive behavior and make the game fun for all!
The League has added a new ice rink to our rotation for the new season. The Willowbrook Ice Arena will become a regular rink for League games. We will host games on Thursday evenings as well as our normal Saturday and Sunday games. We look forward to becoming one of the original organizations at the new rink for a long term relationship with this venue.
Stay up to date with the latest news by visiting our website at http://www.illinoiswesthockey.com.
See you at the rink and enjoy your youth hockey!
Categories: High School