At its recent annual meeting, the Hockey PEI Minor Council presented to the minor Hockey associations the basis of the changes coming to checking hockey. Beginning this coming 2010-2011 season, minor hockey associations will be restricted to having one “A” category team per division, excluding Atom.
The change will cover current “A” checking leagues from Pee Wee to Midget for male divisions. Minor hockey associations with multiple teams in the “A” category will be permitted only one checking team, while additional teams will be classified as recreational non-checking. As an example, if an association had three (3) Pee Wee “A” teams last year, then this coming season, one (1) will be Pee Wee “A” checking and two (2) will be Pee Wee Recreational non-checking.
Minor Hockey Associations that typically only have one (1) team at the “A” level may choose to play in the “A” checking category or choose to participate in the recreational non-checking category. Those associations will have many things to consider when making that decision. Discussion with members and neighboring associations about their choices will all be factors that will form those decisions.
Minor council didn’t come to this decision over night. It has been a discussion in hockey circles for many years. Through consultations with the minor hockey associations and their members, Minor Council believes the time is right and they are certain that this will be a positive move for hockey on PEI.
Chair of Minor Council Barry Thompson believes this will help the game going forward on PEI. “The goal of Minor council is to keep children interested in playing hockey and we believe that this non-checking recreational league will be of interest to many players. This is an option that has not been available to many kids and this will keep many playing and attract others to return to the game.”
The changes have been endorsed by the Hockey PEI board of directors. Additional information will be provided to the minor hockey associations regarding player transfers and other applicable regulations as the season approaches.