It was a day full of many firsts for Fort St. James Minor Hockey on Oct. 30.
It was the first tournament of the season for the initiation players from ages 5-8, it was the first game ever played for many of the 5/6-year-olds and it was the first game played according to the new Initiation Program (IP)/Cross Ice.
This is the first year that the program has come into play all across B.C.
It is proven to provide young players with a foundation of early skills development and for any player 8-years-old and under taking part in every B.C. and Yukon Minor Hockey Association.
“Coaches have worked really hard to get this program going in Fort St. James,” said Jeremy Johnson, president of Fort St James Minor Hockey.
“This is aimed at improving player development and skills and the results are proven to be amazing,” Johnson said.
According to B.C. Hockey, the benefits of playing cross-ice are to teach the foundational skills of hockey but while having fun at the same time.
Full-ice hockey has children chasing the puck much more whereas cross-ice hockey allows for more direction changes, puck touches, pass attempts and shots per player are six times higher.
Hockey Canada and BC Hockey have asked that each local association implement the new program.
As the Fort St. James Stars took to the ice, many for the first time against the Fraser Lake Hawks, the excitement was clear as they battled, shot and skated their way through a very successful first game of the season.
For more information about I/P Cross Ice visit: https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/Hockey-Programs/Coaching/LTPD and /or: http://www.bchockey.net/