By Brian Meek, Illinois West Vice President Business Operations
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, 26 teams will participate for the 2019-2020 season. An expected 22 game regular season followed by expanded 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. The schedules for all League games have been posted on the Illinois West website. 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 March.
The League held our annual goalie clinic at All Seasons Ice Arena the last week of July. It was our 10th year! Over 35 League goalies participated in the 4 day clinic. Both on- 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. Zero Tolerance will again be a high priority for Illinois West. Any parent ejected from a League game will result in a fine to the team. The fines escalate with any subsequent offense. We are pleased to report that this policy resulted in only a very limited number of ejections and no repeat ejections this past season. 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 parents and spectators that they are welcomed guests and 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 added a new ice rink to our rotation last season. The Willowbrook Ice Arena became a regular rink for League games. West is looking forward to expanding this relationship with Willowbrook Ice Arena this year. West will continue our very long term commitment with All Seasons Ice Arena. All Seasons has hosted West games for over 25 years, and we look forward to many more games for years to come.
Stay up to date with the latest news by visiting our League website at http://www.illinoiswesthockey.com.
See you at the rink and enjoy your youth hockey!