The Initiation Program (IP)/Cross Ice is British Columbia’s exclusive program for young players and it is now in effect for this coming season all across the province.
It is proven to provide young players with a foundation of early skills development and a “love” of the game for any player taking part in every B.C. and Yukon Minor Hockey Association.
In Fort St. James, coaches have been working hard to prepare for the new season and the President of the local hockey association, Jeremy Johnson is thrilled with the new program.
“This is aimed at improving player development and the results will be amazing,” Johnson said.
“Coaches have been working really hard to get this going and it’s a great program. With support from parents we can really make this year a successful one.”
B.C. Hockey’s mission is to lead, develop and promote lifelong hockey experiences and evidence does show that children who learn the skills of the game and have fun are more inclined to participate in hockey year after year.
According to B.C. Hockey, the benefits of IP/Cross Ice is to teach the foundational skills of hockey while having fun at the same time.
Full-ice hockey has children chasing the puck much more than simply touching it. By moving to cross-ice hockey, direction changes, puck touches, pass attempts and puck battles are doubled and shots per player are six times higher for each player.
The program is specifically designed for players, 8-years-old and under.
Both Hockey Canada and BC Hockey are asking each local Association to make a commitment to the IP/Cross Ice Program and support it.
And in Fort St. James, another big change is in store for all hockey players.
They will be playing in a newly renovated arena.
“It’s definitely different,” said arena manager, Tony Pacheco.
“The arena has a new roof, new dasher boards, new and higher glass and new netting on both sides of the arena.”
For more information about IP/Cross Ice visit: https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Hockey-Programs/Coaching/LTPD and/or: http://www.bchockey.net/