Volume 7 Issue 26 | May 20, 2020
AHAI to Host Preparedness | Return to Play Webinar This Evening
AHAI will host a return to play webinar at 7:00 p.m. tonight for those interested in learning about how AHAI, USA Hockey, Affiliates, and Rinks are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and following the Restore Illinois Phase 3 and 4 Guidelines. 

Webinar panelists will include Kevin Erlenbach, USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director, Membership; Mike Barrett, AHAI President; Keri Zschach, AHAI Presidents Council Committee Chair; Jim Clare, AHAI Coach-In-Chief and VP of Membership; Dan Gallagher, AHAI Director and AHAI Registrar, Laura Johnson.  This event will be live-streamed on AHAI's YouTube channel for those wishing to watch. Go to YouTube.com/ahaihockey to subscribe.
AHAI Annual Meeting & Affiliate Leadership Conference Update
As a reminder, on Saturday, May 30 at 9:00 a.m., AHAI will host a virtual Annual Meeting with its members which will be limited to voting on the board of directors and the proposed by-laws amendment. Details on how that will occur will be sent to every organization's leadership.

The second aspect of AHAI's prior meetings consisted of the Affiliate Leadership Conference and traditionally focused on a variety of topics of interest to our members. Based on current Illinois rules regarding the coronavirus pandemic, and to lessen the burden on our members, AHAI will separate this portion from this year's Annual Meeting.

On June 27, 2020, AHAI's current plan is to conduct the scheduled break-out sessions and town hall meetings at the Westin Hotel in Itasca. However, please note that the final decision to conduct an in-person conference will be made in accordance with State rules for gatherings. We will have more information about the June 27 conference as we approach that date. In the event that a large group gathering is not permissible by June 27, AHAI will identify contingency plans to conduct the breakout sessions remotely via available technology (Zoom, YouTube Live, etc.). A decision will be made on this portion of the AALC at the appropriate time.
Candidates Announced for 2020 AHAI Board of Directors Election
Seven (7) candidates have submitted their nomination in accordance with the AHAI by-laws to fill the five (5) open seats to serve a three (3) year term on the AHAI Board of Directors. Please click on each individual candidate's name to view their bio. The Board of Directors election will be held at the 2020 virtual annual meeting on May 30th.
Proposed By-Law Amendment
AHAI, with the help of outside experts, undertook a long overdue review of our by-laws and rules/regulations. This had not been done for many years. The by-laws have been streamlined to only include those items that pertain to the overarching functions needed to operate the organization. What you will notice is that some items in the by-laws have been removed, specifically the Tier II and Tier I articles. These sections will be moved into the Rules and Regulations as part of this update. It is important to know that these two sections and the items within all still apply. Please click here to view the recommended by-laws. Affiliate leadership will be notified shortly with how AHAI will handle the vote and discussion on by-laws at the virtual annual meeting on May 30th .
AHAI Affiliate Leadership Conference to Go On, Virtually if Need Be
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - For the last three years, the AHAI Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC) has been a valuable learning tool for affiliate group leaders all throughout Illinois.

It's a chance for everyone to meet face to face to socialize while figuring out what is working well in each organization and what can use a little work.  This year, that face-to-face interaction might not be an option. However, AHAI will still have its regularly scheduled leadership conference along with an annual meeting.

With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across Illinois and the country, AHAI has decided to run its annual meeting entirely electronically. The annual meeting, which includes electing board of directors and voting on bylaws, will take place on May 30. READ MORE>>
All of us from the "A Step aHead" program hope that you and your family are staying safe during these difficult times. This is our 10th year of providing free baseline ImPACT testing to AHAI hockey players and concussion education to the hockey community!  
The safety of our young hockey players has always been our #1 priority and that is even more important this year. We will be offering testing again this year but the dates of the program have not yet been determined. We will work closely with AHAI to follow all appropriate safety guidelines. Testing will continue to be offered at the local Athletico clinics and will not be conducted from the homes of the athletes. Please stay tuned for further details and be safe. -  The "A Step aHead" Crew
**24th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing Cancelled**
In order to ensure the total safety of all our participants, the 24th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing is canceled for this year. The Golf Outing will be rescheduled for Friday, August 13 , 2021. 
Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2020-2021 Season
The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U will begin on July 17, 2020. All applications will be submitted online. The Tier II Committee will have (3) three appeal hearings for those denied a substitute choice. The dates for the appeals are August 13, August 27, and September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Location will be announced at a later date.  If denied, please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at  gregg.chudacoff@ahai2.org with your preferred appeal hearing date. The deadline for applying for a substitute choice will be September 13, 2020.
Over the years, we've shared our goals and learned yours. We've asked you to believe. Why? Because One Goal is about more than hockey. It's about One Community, together, supporting each other.

During this COVID-19 public health crisis, we know it's more important than ever for the Blackhawks to be there for you as you've been there for us. From supporting and saluting those on the front lines to providing at-home learning, health and wellness tips, and additional resources, we will strive to embrace, entertain and enlighten our community. Because together as one, we believe that we will grow stronger. 

Please click HERE to visit our One Community page and make sure to follow us on social media @bhyouthhockey and @NHLBlackhawks.
USA Hockey Webinar Series Offers a Hockey Education Anywhere, Anytime
By Greg Bates, Special to AHAI - With rinks shut down nationwide and hockey at a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, USA Hockey wanted to offer educational opportunities and connect with its membership hockey directors, coaches and parents.  After a little brainstorming, USA Hockey thought a great avenue would be through a webinar series.

"It was always in the back of our mind of how can we do this, then all of a sudden [COVID-19] hit," USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) Regional Manager Dan Jablonic said. "We want to make sure we're providing some value to our membership and at the same time move forward with this medium to see how else we can make use of it." READ MORE>>
Don't miss USA Hockey's Webinar Series on Facebook Live sponsored by Pure Hockey and Biosteel every Tuesday through Friday. Please note that schedule and speakers are subject to change. Click HERE to view all past webinars on the USA Hockey Coach YouTube Channel.

5/20 3:30 pm (ET) Every Moment Matters: How to Positively Affect Your Athletes to Enhance Their Experience John O'Sullivan &
Ken Martel
5/21 3:30 pm (ET) Goaltending: Improving Your Post Play Josh Robinson &
Steve Thompson
5/22 3:30 pm (ET) A Hockey Family's Journey The Eaves Family
Important Information for IHOA Officials for the 2020-21 Season
By Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar - With government restrictions in place, we are finding ourselves with extra time. What a great opportunity to catch up on completing your required USA Hockey officiating credentials. When restrictions are lifted, and life goes back to normal, our activities will rapidly ramp up, we will all find ourselves scrambling to get long overdue tasks completed.  The 2020- 21 USA Hockey and IHOA officiating registration is will be opening soon; however, the SafeSport and the NEW USA Hockey Screening requirements need to be done. Please click HERE for complete details.
Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
QUESTION:  A player is skating toward the opposing net, takes a shot and falls down sliding toward the net. His momentum carries him in to the goal keeper, knocking the puck loose and in to the net. The goal keeper did not have possession long enough for the play to be blown dead. Is this a good goal? ANSWER>>

QUESTION:  What is the rule when a goalie comes out into butterfly position (on his knees), tries to stop the puck, and a player makes stick contact with the goaltender's mask? ANSWER>>
J.J. O'Connor Makes Lasting and Continuing Impact on Disabled Hockey
By Greg Bates - J.J. O'Connor still remembers how awkward he felt in that first meeting.  It was June 2002, and the 23-year-old had just been elected the chair of the Disabled Section for USA Hockey.  "The funny thing was that they were looking for somebody to run the section and to be a good fit, but I had no clue what I was doing," O'Connor said. "Here I am 23 years old and I've been asked to lead this group - I was the youngest board member ever. The large majority of the people around me were significantly older than I was. Now I look to be in a leadership role and I'm just a kid." 

O'Connor left the meeting and talked to his friend Jim Smith, who had recommended O'Connor become the Disabled Section chair. Smith, who is now the president of USA Hockey, had a few words of advice for the youngster, including, "Don't worry, you'll learn."  O'Connor in fact learned on the fly. Now, 18 years later, his impact as a volunteer for USA Hockey has been almost immeasurable. READ MORE>>
3 Illinois Players Selected at the 2020 NAHL Supplemental Draft
The NAHL added a new Supplemental Draft, which was held on Tuesday, May 12th. The regular NAHL Entry Draft will now be held on Tuesday, July 21 and will be broadcast live on HockeyTV  and be done online at nahldraft.com. 

AHAI congratulates the following players on their selection during the 2020 NAHL Supplemental Draft: Hunter Carrick of Orland Park was selected 2nd by the Wichita Falls Warriors, Michael Ferrandino of Lisle was selected 4th by the New Mexico Ice Wolves and T.J. Koufis of Palatine was selected 53rd by the Lone Star Brahmas. COMPLETE RESULTS>>