Volume 5 Issue 9 |  September 13, 2017

Welcome to another season of hectic days, racing from rink to rink, grabbing fast food while doing homework in the car and traveling to somewhat exotic tournament destinations. Yes, we are all looking forward to those things. With close to 30,000 Youth, Girls, Disabled, High School and Adult players in Illinois, there are a lot of moving parts and planning to make a successful and safe season.

Again, this season, the focus for AHAI is player safety, member conduct and information/communication with the AHAI membership.

The  A Step aHead initiative is a free baseline testing program open to all AHAI players aged 11 to 18. This program is free due to the support and sponsorship of the Chicago Blackhawks, NorthShore University HealthSystem, Athletico Physical Therapy and AHAI. Information on the A Step aHead program can be found on the right sidebar of the  AHAI website or by clicking here.
All USA Hockey Coaches and Officials are required to complete the  SafeSport education program. This program rolled out by USA Hockey is designed to create awareness of player safety off the ice. These include without limitation Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Screening, Locker Room Supervision and Hazing Policies, in addition to Codes of Conduct applicable to administrators, coaches, officials, parents, players and spectators.

Officials are instructed to call aggressive penalty infractions. All officials have gone through educational seminars and have been instructed to call the aggressive, dangerous penalties. Coaches that attend USA Hockey/AHAI Coaching Education Program Clinics are instructed on the prevention of dangerous play. Players also need to take responsibility for their actions. Remember penalties are only called after they happen.  FULL LETTER>>

2017 College Night: A Road Map to Hockey After High School
AHAI is proud to present the 28th annual series of Seminars on the opportunities in ice hockey on Monday, October 9, 2017, at the Woodfield Hyatt in Schaumburg. We'll talk about Men's and Women's Division I, III, Club Hockey, Junior College, Prep Schools and Junior Programs. A wide array of topics will be discussed that will include: Making a College Hockey Team, Financial Aid, How to Pick the Right School for You, Making the Grade and much more! Additionally, there will be an Open House with more than 20 colleges and Junior teams present. Attendance is a must for all players (male & female) born in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004. Parents are also invited and encouraged to attend. Registration will open on Friday, September 15, 2017.  COMPLETE DETAILS>>  
Ask AHAI: AAA Game Counts
QUESTION: We have a question regarding State Tournament eligibility as it relates to AAA game counts. As I'm sure you know, Nashville and AIC (formally Affton) are Tier 1 teams participating this season in the CSDHL. Would CSDHL league games against these opponents count against the AAA game limit? We are working on entering our CSDHL teams into tournaments for the upcoming season and we want to be mindful of the State Tournament requirements during our selection process.

ANSWER: The short answer is yes - if the team is registered as AAA it is a game played. Please READ MORE for complete answer.
IHHOF Seeking Nominations for Class of 2017
The Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding players, organizers, coaches, managers, supporters and officials. Click  HERE for Nomination Qualifications & Procedures. If you know of someone who you believe should be a candidate to enter the Illinois Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2017, you are encouraged to click  HERE for Nomination Form; please submit all assisting documentation by October 1, 2017. Click  HERE to view a list of past IHHF Inductees.

The 2017 IHHF Induction Dinner will be held in their honour on Sunday, January 28, 2018 at the Belvedere Banquet Hall in Elk Grove Village beginning at 5:00 pm. Tickets are available by contacting Norm Spiegel at 847.269.2922 or
Be a Step aHead Register Today!
We are proud to announce that we are in our 7th year of the "A Step aHead" program, which provides  FREE  baseline neurocognitive testing and education on concussions to the youth hockey community. Registration is now open through November 30, 2017. All AHAI players aged 11-18 years old are eligible for free baseline testing. Please note that registration will be online only; do not call Athletico directly. REGISTER NOW>>
Ask the Official
By Dave Zednik, IHOA Rules & Ethics Chairman
QUESTION: Does the Rule 624(b.1) {Icing} apply to the 15 year old ONLY age classification? Click HERE for answer.

QUESTION: Rule 615(c) states that "A match penalty (for all age classifications) shall be assessed to any player who deliberately removes his opponent's helmet/facemask prior to or during an altercation" yet Situation 13 (page 251/Rule/Case Book) states it should be only a game misconduct at the Adult level. Which is correct? Click  HERE for answer.

QUESTION: The 'Summary of Face-Off Locations' (in Appendix II) identifies three (3) situations that call for a center ice face-off. Are there any other situations that may result in a center ice face-off? Click HERE for answer.
IHOA Wants You!
By Michael Barrett, IL Referee-in-Chief & Supervisor of Officials
Have you ever thought about becoming an ice hockey official? Have you ever thought about participating in the fastest paced, most exciting game on earth AND officiating the game at the same time? And come to think of it, did you know that officials GET PAID to officiate? Well, congratulations. We are happy to have you! AND, the Illinois Hockey Officials' Association (IHOA) just made it easier for you to start your officiating career by adding a level 1 officiating seminar on October 7, 2017, at the Leafs Ice Center in West Dundee, Illinois. What do you have to do to become a referee? Hopefully, this article will provide you with some insight into the registration process.  FULL ARTICLE>>
Coaching Education Program
(CEP) Clinic Schedule
Illinois Hockey Officials Association
(IHOA) Seminar Schedule
Hockey Leaders Unveil Declaration of Principles
USA Hockey joined the NHL, NHLPA and fourteen other leading hockey organizations from around the world in New York City in unveiling and signing a Declaration of Principles document designed to guide stakeholders in their efforts to advance policies, programs and initiatives.  READ MORE>>
Take the 2 and 2 Challenge
Do not miss USA Hockey's 2 and 2 Challenge for the 2017-18 season! The 2 and 2 Challenge guides youth hockey leadership through national programs to achieve their growth goals. Visit  HERE  for more information. Deadline to  REGISTER  is Friday, September 15th!
IIHF World Girls' Ice Hockey Weekend
USA Hockey is looking for associations and rinks to host opportunities to build awareness, celebrate your current players and grow participation for girls' hockey as part of the sixth annual IIHF Girls' Hockey Weekend October 7-8, 2017.  To learn more about Girls' Hockey Weekend, please  CLICK HERE Host site registration is now open  HERE . Please contact Shannon at  with questions regarding registration.
Lane Tech is 'Light Years ahead of last year's team'
Indians looking to shine in the IHSHL North Central and skate for state
By Ross Forman ~ "We're light years ahead of last year's team in every category. Our core group consists of 13 returning skaters, all of whom are familiar with our expectations and systems, and all of whom share a common goal: playing in the United Center (next) March," said head coach Jason Newman, who is in his sixth year overall coaching and his third at Lane Tech. FULL ARTICLE>>
SHL Teams Have Great Showing in Wheaton West Pre-Season Tourney
By Evan Poulakidas, SHL President The Scholastic Hockey League had a fine showing in the Wheaton West Pre-Season tournament at Center Ice of DuPage. The SHL had 3 out of the 4 teams in the semi-finals with York, Glenbrook South and Glenbrook North, Providence was the other Semi-Finalist from the Catholic League. FULL ARTICLE>>
NIHL Announces Agreement with Chicago Blackhawks
The Northern Illinois Hockey League is proud to announce its agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks on a long-term partnership between the nation's 2nd largest youth hockey league and the 6 time, Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.  The Northern Illinois Hockey League is poised to enter its 49th season of play with over 350 Tier II youth hockey teams, from over 45 local clubs.  FULL ARTICLE>>
Rally for Rafe: Hockey Community Supports Longtime Local Hockey Coach Who is Battling Cancer
By Ross Forman ~ Rafe Aybar was having increased difficulty last summer swallowing food when eating, and after doctors completed an endoscopy, he was told those three words that no one ever wants to hear:  You Have Cancer.  Yep, the longtime local hockey coach was diagnosed with esophageal cancer last August, and he has been undergoing extensive treatment for the aggressive illness. FULL ARTICLE>>
BMO Harris Bank Player, Coach & Volunteer of the Month
The Chicago Blackhawks and BMO Harris Bank are proud to honor members of the hockey community. Each month during the regular season we recognize the excellence of a youth hockey player, coach and volunteer.  Honorees are selected based on several criteria including: on-ice accomplishments, off-ice community involvement and their passion for the game. Click HERE to  nominate someone for the 2017-18 season!
Blackhawks Intermission & JuniorHawks Pregame Skates
The Blackhawks Intermission Skates and JuniorHawks Pregame registration is now open. Please fill out a form as soon as possible if you are interested in entering your team into the selection process. All youth hockey teams are selected at random to participate in the events. All teams will be notified by the end of November if they have been selected for one of the ice slots. To register: click  HERE  for JuniorHawks Pregame Skates or  HERE  for Intermission Skates.
See the Blackhawks Live with AHAI!
As part of our ongoing partnership with AHAI, the Blackhawks are pleased to offer AHAI members the opportunity to purchase Blackhawks tickets to select games during the 2017-18 season. Tickets purchased in the 300 level include a $5 discount. To purchase tickets click  HERE  and enter the promo code  AHAI2017 . Deadline to purchase is Friday, September 29th or while supplies last!
You can be a Rockford IceHogs Dream Team!
Get the ultimate player experience when you reserve a date this October or November as the Rockford IceHogs Dream Team! Have your team skate out of the inflatable Hog Head, individually introduced to the crowd and stand on the blue line during the National Anthem with the IceHogs themselves. All teams that reserve there spot now for Dream Team and/or Intermission Skate will also be able to watch team warm ups from the IceHogs bench! For availability and more information contact McKenna Ryan at  815-847-6386  or  today.