USA Hockey announced today that the Anaheim Ducks youth hockey program (Anaheim California), consisting of The Rinks, the Anaheim Junior Ducks and the Lady Ducks, has earned designation as a USA Hockey Model Association.
With this designation, the association has committed to fully implement programming dedicated to age-appropriate, age-specific skill development in accordance with USA Hockey's American Development Model throughout the 8-and-Under, 10-and-Under and 12-and-Under age classifications.
"We're pleased to welcome Anaheim as our third California-based USA Hockey Model Association and we're excited for the kids who will benefit from the Ducks' ongoing commitment to age-appropriate skill development and fun," said Kevin McLaughlin, senior director of hockey development for USA Hockey.
The Anaheim association ranks as one of the largest youth hockey programs in California, offering opportunities for boys and girls from learn-to-play through Tier I AAA. The Ducks' facilities consist of three inline surfaces and four ice arenas, including The Rinks Anaheim ICE, which serves as a practice facility for the association's NHL namesake.
As a benefit of its Model Association designation, Anaheim will receive support from USA Hockey to further implement the ADM throughout its programs, including in-person coaches training, on-ice instruction and parent resources from USA Hockey's national staff. Additionally, the Ducks program will also receive equipment, signage and educational support from USA Hockey.
"The NHL Ducks have emphasized age-appropriate training and skill-development in their youth programming, so it's a natural fit for the Ducks to become a USA Hockey Model Association," said Ken Martel, technical director for USA Hockey's ADM. "The Ducks' leadership deserves credit for running a great program that is committed to emphasizing kids' long-term development and we're excited to watch them continue to thrive and grow along with California hockey as a whole."
Every youth hockey organization affiliated with USA Hockey has the opportunity to earn Model Association status. For more information, click here.
NOTES: The Ducks and Lady Ducks are perennial contenders for USA Hockey Youth and Girls Tier I National Tournament play, and this summer, 23 of the association's players were selected to compete at USA Hockey's national player development camps.
It’s an off-season that continues to be full of changes, reactionary and planned, as all of us in the USA Hockey Officiating Department forge forward in the new normal. Our efforts are consistently focused on ensuring safety, fun and development for players, coaches and officials.
One issue that continues to arise is the abuse of officials and the effects it has on retention. To counter and help improve the environment, USA Hockey’s rules sub-committee has been focused and committed to solutions.
This sub-committee was established to define and recommend programs to confront this problem. As a result of this, a first step was taken at the recent Annual Congress to amend the Zero Tolerance Policy. Several proposals were made and adopted by the Board of Directors to constructively confront this problem.
These changes strongly recommend things like game officials introducing themselves to the coach during warm-ups in order to start the communication process and set some guidelines for in-game communication.
The parents/spectators section was amended to clearly state the behavioral expectations of this group. Another strong recommendation added to this section was to establish a parent/spectator monitor by each local youth hockey team for all games. Ideally, this monitor will address and de-escalate parent/spectator behavior before it impacts the game and the officials have to stop play.
Also added, a reminder to administrators that they are responsible for taking any appropriate disciplinary action towards parents/spectators that are removed from a game as a result of a violation of the Zero Tolerance Policy.
Navigating New Norms
As we all still grapple with the effects of the pandemic, the Officiating Program has been working to develop effective ways to fulfill our educational responsibilities when it comes to the annual registration process. To that end, the only process that provides educational value and a safe environment is with virtual seminars. A format and curriculum was developed and approved by the District RIC’s. This was distributed to all of the District RIC’s for implementation as they see fit. Due to the many different and ever-changing restrictions around the country, if the situation arises where in-person seminars can be held then the District RIC can also schedule them as needed. The Virtual Seminar Program is the best solution for this season. As situations change, the Officials Section will revisit this program for all future seasons.
Every Tuesday, the Officiating Education Program will present an hour-long webinar on various topics of interest and importance to not only USA Hockey’s officials but the entire membership. These panel discussions will cover topics such as abuse and zero tolerance, communication, player safety, as well as items such as game management and positioning within the three recognized USA Hockey Officiating systems. Panelists will include some of the top officials in the country and other experts from the hockey world whose goal will be to inform, entertain and encourage the USA Hockey community to learn more about officiating.
Getting officials from their first year to their third season is a key focus for the Officiating Education Program. Helping officials understand the basics of the craft and giving them a supportive resource is what the Mentor Project is all about. USA Hockey is helping local Officials Associations put together the framework where a mentor gets matched with a new official and works with them not only in their first month or second, but is a constant resource for the new official throughout their first couple of seasons. Learning about how to read the rule book, navigate the challenges of getting assignments and become a proficient official are all goals of the mentor project.
Again, we hope everyone is safe and sane as we prepare for a different landscape of hockey – but we are excited to welcome it, and you, back to the game.
See you at the rink!
Tag(s): ADM Features