Volume 8 Issue 4 | July 15, 2020
As many of you are aware, the circumstances are ever changing surrounding COVID-19. AHAI has encouraged our affiliates to adhere to the guidelines published by the State of Illinois concerning youth sports. Illinois has published specific guidelines for youth sports and indoor/outdoor facilities. AHAI is also releasing an advisory to all members as it pertains to these guidelines as well as non-sanctioned events during Phase 4. AHAI will host a Presidents meeting for all Youth Hockey Affiliates and one for all High School Affiliates to discuss the guidance and hear from our members as to how they are handling the administrative side of the current situation. This is a chance to share information with each other. The date and time are TBD, but expected to be the week of July 20th.
AHAI Advisory on COVID-19 and Youth Hockey
Community knowledge surrounding COVID-19 is constantly developing and changing. Official reporting suggests circumstances will vary based on geographic region. Therefore, AHAI strongly encourages all participants in youth hockey to adhere to the Federal, Illinois Government, and any local government guidelines for best practices on COVID-19 health practices and prevention.
Each AHAI-affiliated association should have its own plan in place for returning players to the game. AHAI has no role in operating ice rinks or affiliate-associations. Government advice suggests rinks and associations should follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Health and its Guidance for Social Distancing, as well as any local government directives in determining when, and how, it is appropriate to return to the rinks, including requirements or guidelines for physical distancing, size of gatherings or number of people permitted in a facility, or wearing masks, etc. AHAI has no role in determining such actions. Click here to read the full advisory and here for links to the youth sports and recreational facilities guides.
With the current COVID-19 restrictions, we are all anxious about our children returning to school and sports. When they do get back on the ice, fields, and courts, we want them to be able to safely play the sports they love. Parents, coaches and young athletes should all be aware of the signs and symptoms of concussion. We spoke with   Dr. Elizabeth M. Pieroth, a Board-Certified Neuropsychologist and the Director of the Concussion Program at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and Rush University Medical Center and the consultant to professional sports teams including the Chicago Blackhawks, about this important topic.

What is a concussion? 
A concussion can occur with any blow or force to the head that causes mental status changes; disorientation, confusion, memory loss, slowness in thinking. Concussions occur in both boys and girls and can happen in all sports. You do not need to lose consciousness to have suffered a concussion.
A Step aHead Set to Launch on August 1st
The A Step aHead partners are excited to announce the 10th year of our program! We are proud of the work that has been done to educate our youth hockey community about sports safety and provide free baseline neurocognitive testing. We look forward to another 10 years of working to keep our athletes safe while they play the game they love.

This year the free baseline testing will be offered from August 1 through November 30, 2020. We will continue to offer the testing at select Athletico clinics. Please click here for additional information.

2020-2021 Tier I Tryout Information
Below is the current timeline for the 2020-2021 Tier I Tryouts. Please contact individual Tier I clubs directly or visit their websites for exact tryout dates, times and locations.

July 27: Player Cards and financial obligation may be signed. Up to 75% of the players per team may be "signed" without a tryout. Cards will be sent on the 27th of July (you MUST provide an email address for where to send card).

Tryout Schedule: There will be one tryout per team; there will not be a coordinated effort for tryouts. Tier I clubs may choose either of the dates listed below. All players at the tryout and prior to must be informed of the number of open positions per team roster (minimum of 5 positions).
  • Girls Tryout: July 28 or July 29
  • Youth Tier I Tryout: August 1 or August 2
  • Midget Tier I Tryout: August 3 or August 4

Aug 15: The Tier I Season does not begin until August 15th. Thus, only practices starting August 15. The earliest AHAI will issue rosters is August 15th. No games can be played by any Tier I unless they have a roster.
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.
The Chicago Blackhawks have launched the Blackhawks Virtual Academy to replace their in-person summer camps this year. The pilot program in affiliation with HHD Hockey, began July 6 and will run for 8 weeks at a cost of $80 per participant. It's not too late to register! The on-demand schedule will offer:
  • Daily workouts, where participants can choose between two video options based on skill.
  • M/W/F: Full body hockey-focused workouts
  • T/Th: choose 1 or do all 3 videos focusing on agility, shooting and stickhandling skills
  • Morning message from Eddie Olczyk, Jamal Mayers, Kendall Coyne Schofield and others
  • Weekly chalk talks and more from Blackhawks alumni, ambassadors or staff members including Eddie Olczyk, Jamal Mayers, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Brian Campbell, Troy Murray and more!
  • Theme days will allow campers an opportunity to interact through social media and have an opportunity to win prizes.
  • Open to all ages and skill levels
Youth hockey players can click here for more information and to register.
AHAI Launches New Coaches' Newsletter
By Jim Clare, AHAI Coach-In-Chief - AHAI recently published the first edition of the new Coaches' Newsletter. The intent of this publication is to share ideas, relay pertinent information, and help keep our coaches up-to-date on all things coaching. As we move closer to the season, it is imperative that our coaches be prepared for the ever-changing landscape around us and this is particularly true in today's world. This newsletter will feature articles, stories, drills, etc. from AHAI, USA Hockey and around the world. Click here to read the first issue!

We are fortunate to have access to some of the best coaching minds both here and abroad. Contributing to this newsletter will be articles from the USA Hockey staff including our own ADM Regional Manager, Dan Jablonic and the Girls ADM Regional Manager, Heather Mannix. Each month we will feature thoughts and ideas for our goalies, CEP Staff updates, both on- and off-ice drills as well as the mental aspect of the game. I welcome any comments or suggestions from our coaches along the way to make this publication worthwhile. Thank you for all you do for our players; your efforts do not go unnoticed and are so valuable to our young skaters.

Want to receive the new monthly Coaches' Newsletter? Click here to subscribe.

The Language of Coaching: Using Communication to Improve Your Coaching
USA Hockey Webinar Series is joined for a roundtable discussion with Nick Winkelman and some of the ADM Regional Managers to discuss how we can communicate better with our athletes to promote better learning outcomes.

Nick Winkelman is the head of athletic performance and science for the Irish Rugby Football Union. His primary role is to oversee the delivery and development of strength and conditioning and sports science across all national (Men and Women) and provincial teams. Before working for Irish Rugby, Nick was the director of education and training systems for EXOS (formerly Athletes' Performance), located in Phoenix, Arizona. Nick recently released a best-selling book, "The Language of Coaching, The Art and Science of Teaching Movement." You are invite to watch this USA Hockey Webinar live TODAY at 3:30 p.m. (EST) at www.youtube.com/usahockey.
2020-2021 Seminar Registration Is Delayed
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a critical time in the world... one that we will all get through together. To go from business as usual to seeing the hockey world come to a standstill in a matter of days was a shock to the system. This is an unprecedented moment in time. We know that many of our members and potential members have questions regarding when officiating seminars will be conducted this season.  As we work our way through the different phases for re-opening, IHOA will post the very latest seminar and registration information at www.ihoa.com

If you have any other questions about seminars, that are not found on the FAQs page, or the registration process (name changes, registration account mistake, etc.), please contact Dave Zednik, IHOA Registrar for the State of Illinois at registrar@ihoa.com.
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 into the goalkeeper, knocking the puck loose and into the net. The goalkeeper did not have possession long enough for the play to be blown dead. Is this a good goal?

ANSWER:  NO . Rule 617(c)2 in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states, " A goal shall not be allowed if the following occurs: (2) The puck has been thrown or deliberately directed into the goal by any means other than a stick, even if subsequently deflecting off any player, including goalkeeper, prior to entering the goal."

The general rule is a puck must be propelled into the goal by a stick. Which means a player may not knock the puck into the goal by making contact with the goalkeeper after he/she makes a save.
AHAI created the "Affiliate Club Program" tab on our AHAIeNews.com website to help our Tier I, Tier II, Tier III, Girls, and High School Clubs promote their hockey programs. When AHAI families mouse over this tab they will be able to choose programs to view from the various drop-down options. Approved Affiliate Club flyers are also posted on our social media sites, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  If you would like your club's program information included on our Affiliate Club Program Tab, email a one-page flyer (PDF format) to AHAI Communications Manager, Gretchen Cockey at  communications@ahai2.org  for AHAI Board approval.