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Program Information for Parents

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Mission Statement

 OWATONNA YOUTH HOCKEY
MISSION STATEMENT

 
The Objective of the OWATONNA YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION is to develop a competitive hockey program that will result in each player developing to the maximum of his or her ability while having fun.
 
The Program will attempt to achieve consistency in all levels.  The program will provide every youth in Owatonna with the opportunity to play organized hockey with players of comparable skill and interest. 
 
The skill level of the players, the number of youth in our program and the cost of our program will measure success of the program.

Questions? OYHA Info to Help Hockey Parents!

The Owatonna Youth Hockey Association (OYHA) teams with the city of Owatonna for the Park and Rec. hockey program.  This program is for boys and girls up to the age of 10.  The skaters are divided by age into Levels - Learn to Skate, U6, and U8 (Mites). Coaches at this level are strictly volunteers and the emphasis is put on skill development at each level.  Although the skaters are divided into "teams", there is no travel out of town. Games are informal and usually played at the end of practice. 

OYHA fields girls' teams at the U10, U12 and U14 levels.  The boys' teams consist of Squirt, PeeWee, and Bantam levels.  The number of girls out for hockey in Owatonna only provides for one team at each level.  On the boys' side, the numbers allow for at least two teams at each level and there have been times when there have been three teams at certain levels.  There is out of town travel involved for all of these teams throughout the season.  These teams also participate in an OYHA home tournament once a year.  Coaches at this level have to be certified accordingly for each level throughout Minnesota Hockey. 
 
As a parent of an OYHA player, you will be asked to volunteer at times. Volunteers are vital to the success of OYHA and it is one of the ways we can keep our cost affordable. Parents are required to work in the concession stand and to help out during their teams' home tournament.  Parents of Squirt and U10 players are required to work the OYHA annual pancake breakfast fundraiser. Parents of PeeWee/U12 and Bantam/U14 are required to work the concession stand during the Steele County fair. 
 
This information is meant to answer some of your initial questions about hockey in Owatonna.  If you have other questions, be sure to check out the rest of our website and don't hesitate to contact any of our Board Members.  They are available to help you with your needs.

Owatonna Park & Rec Program

Welcome to Owatonna's Park and Recreation Hockey program.

 Just as you wouldn't jump right into life-saving if you hadn't yet learned to swim, you won't be jumping right into full-ice hockey games until you've learned the skills that you'll need in order to play effectively.   If you pay attention and work hard, you'll develop those skills relatively quickly, and you'll have lots of fun as you improve.

More than a Game
Hockey develops skills on the ice that build a foundation for a lifetime. In addition to athletic prowess, hockey promotes confidence, pride, focus and responsibility. With an emphasis on fun, hockey is a game to be played and enjoyed for life.

Life-long Friendships

starting with the bonds created in the locker room to the relationships formed on ice, hockey creates life-long friendships. This camaraderie shared on and off the ice encourages teamwork and the natural development of leadership skills.

Set Up for Success

From learning to balance school, responsibilities at home, time at the rink and playing with friends, hockey encourages kids to learn time management skills that will later serve them in all facets of life. Hockey’s unique source of physical fitness promotes healthy living.

 

Hockey is Fun
The thrill of carrying the puck up the ice on a breakaway, the exhilaration of scoring your first goal or making that amazing save is possible due to the encouraging environment hockey provides to try new things and grow as a hockey player and person.

LEARN TO SKATE LEVEL

This level is focused on basic learn to skate fundamentals. Required age for level would be 3 years old and up.  Helmet and skates are the only required equipment, elbow pads and shin guards are highly recommended.

U6 LEVEL

This level is focused on basic hockey skill fundamentals. Introduction of games would be competitive skill type games with modified hockey games to follow as the season progresses. - Required age for level would be 5 yrs. old and up, full equipment required.

MITE LEVEL

The primary focus in the 8 & Under Program is introducing the fundamentals and skill development while making it fun and developing a passion for the game. The Mite Division will consist of one level. The Mite season runs from early October to early March. The first month of practices will be used to evaluate the skill level of all players. Around early November, players will be placed on teams. There are NO tryouts for the Mite level. All players of age are welcome to join the Mites. All games will be half-ice.  There will be no full ice games at the Mite Level and no scoreboards will be used. Games will consist of 3, 7 minute run-time periods. Games will start December and continue until February. Full equipment required.

See you at the rink.


Is Your Helmet Legal?

RULE 304(c) Protective Equipment - Enforcement Guidelines
In June 2013, the USA Hockey Board of Directors passed rule changes that will evolve our game through the 2013-17 seasons. Among the changes is a strong theme of player safety and prevention of injuries. One such change was a NOTE added to Rule 304(c) related to helmets that acknowledges that HECC stickers now include an expiration date that de-certifies the helmet if the date has passed. This added language has created additional confusion in regards to the mandate that all youth players are wearing a properly certified HECC helmet -- the following information will clarify the expectations as it relates to enforcement.

USA Hockey has mandated for over 30 years that youth players wear a HECC approved helmet and the added NOTE to Rule 304(c) does not change the rule. However, the NOTE does draw attention to, and create awareness, that HECC has recently added an expiration date to the sticker and designates that any helmet that has outlasted this date is no longer considered HECC certified and is ineligible for use in USA Hockey sanctioned games where HECC approved helmets are required.

The purpose of the expiration date is to acknowledge that time and use may have an effect on the protective qualities of the helmet that would prevent it from continuing to meet the minimum standards of protection. HECC has established the 6 and ½ year lifespan of the certification to coincide with the length of time that the helmet maintains its necessary protective qualities. While the HECC standards are critical to player safety, the spirit and intent of the rule has not changed in regards to enforcement by officials. A player’s participation in a game should not depend on whether the HECC Sticker is in place or missing from his/her helmet. The guidelines the USA Hockey Officiating Program encourages its officials to follow are outlined in the Officials Rules and Casebook in addition to the following key points:

• Are all the components of the helmet in place (ear pieces, face-mask J-clips, etc.)?
• Is the helmet free of excessive wear and in good condition?
• Does the helmet look similar to models worn by other players?
• Is the helmet worn properly (fit, chin-strap buckled, etc.)?

If the official can answer these questions with a “yes” then the helmet is likely safe and legal for play and the game does not need a long delay to complete this check. If in doubt, the presence of the current HECC sticker, with valid expiration date, along with the good condition of the helmet, will be the final indicator as to the eligibility for use in USA Hockey sanctioned games. Provided the official(s) have performed this due diligence, it is important to acknowledge that USA Hockey firmly places the responsibility on the individual player to wear the proper protective equipment in the manner in which it was intended.

The USA Hockey Playing Rules will always promote fair play, skill development, and above all player safety. A firm understanding and application of the “spirit and intent” of all the playing rules by all on-ice officials will assist in creating a positive environment for all participants.

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