Volume 7 Issue 25 | May 6, 2020
Dear Hockey Community:
The AHAI Board of Directors sincerely hopes that everyone is healthy and well and we hope that you continue to be so throughout this global viral pandemic.
We are mindful of the significant impacts resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns and similarly aware of the impacts resulting to the hockey community. We are working with USA Hockey and other affiliates to identify the best practices for a safe return to our great sport and want you to know that more information will follow, in as timely a fashion as is permissible, to everyone so we may play hockey again.
In addition to conducting hockey operations, AHAI is also a corporate entity organized in Illinois pursuant to the Illinois Not for Profit Corporations Act. One requirement of the Act, as well as AHAI's by-laws, is that AHAI must conduct an annual meeting.
AHAI's past practice was to conduct the Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC) which was coupled with the requirements of an annual meeting with various breakout sessions discussing hockey-related topics. We are sure everyone understands the impractical (and currently impermissible) ability to conduct an annual meeting consistent with past practice.
Based on the current medical and governmental restrictions pertaining to group functions, AHAI is required to make some adjustments to this year's AALC.
In order to comply with the mandates of the Act and AHAI's by-laws, we will conduct an annual meeting primarily for AHAI's members to vote to elect five board members to the AHAI Board and also to vote to approve any changes to the AHAI by-laws.
The second aspect of AHAI's prior AALC meetings consisted of the Leadership Conference and traditionally focused on a variety of topics of interest to our members. Based on current stated rules concerning the coronavirus and to lessen the burden on our members, AHAI will separate this portion from this year's AALC.
Therefore, on May 30th, AHAI will host a virtual annual meeting with its members and limit the annual meeting to voting on the board of directors and the by-laws. Details on how that will occur will be sent to every organizations' leadership shortly.
On June 27, 2020, AHAI's current plan is to conduct the scheduled break-out sessions and townhall meetings at the Westin Hotel in Itasca. Please note, however, that the 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 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. The recommended by-laws will be disseminated to our affiliate leadership shortly along with how we will handle the vote and discussion on by-laws at the virtual annual meeting on May 30th .
Can't Miss Opportunity for ALL Central District Female Hockey Players!
Girls Player Development Webinar

The Girls Player Development Webinar scheduled for this evening (times listed below) will offer direct access to USA Hockey's ADM Managers for Female Hockey, Heather Mannix and Kristen Wright, to provide insight into development principles that will help players reach their full potential on and off the ice. Watch LIVE on AHAI's YouTube channel.

Heather Mannix
ADM Manager for
Female Hockey
Wednesday, May 6 (Tonight)

2005 & 2006 - 6:45 PM (CST)
2003 & 2004 - 8:00 PM (CST)
Kristen Wright
ADM Manager for
Female Hockey

Watch LIVE at YouTube.com/ahaihockey!!!
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.

You will find helpful articles regarding the Two Choice Rule, Choice Substitutions and what you should consider before making that second choice as well as information regarding the 16U/18U Third Choice in the articles below.
As we together work our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Ice Rink Association, U.S. Figure Skating and USA Hockey have partnered together to develop the Returning To The Rinks guide. This document lays out some of the following concepts and ideas to consider as rinks and programs look to start opening:
  • Preparing rinks to re-open
  • Guidelines for returning to figure skating on-ice activities and Learn To Skate USA programs
  • Considerations for holding hockey programming
While we understand that different regions of the country will experience different phases of re-opening, we hope that this document helps with developing your plan to getting back on the ice.  If you have questions or comments, please let us know at Program.Services@usahockey.org.

Don't miss USA Hockey's Webinar Series on Facebook Live sponsored by Pure Hockey and Biosteel. There is a webinar every Tuesday through Friday until May 15, 2020. Please note that schedule and speakers are subject to change. 

5/6/20 "How to Create the Best Environment to Enhance Player Development" Dr. Dean Kriellaars
5/7/20 Goaltending - Q&A Session with ADM Manager, Steve Thompson Steve Thompson
5/8/20 U.S. National Team Development Program Practice Philosophy Seth Appert

Please click HERE to view the full Webinar Series on the USA Hockey Coach YouTube Channel.
Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
QUESTION:  During a game the net was dislodged (about 12"). The goalie tried to get the attention of the refs while play continued. About 10 seconds later, with the net still off, the other team scored. The coach immediately pointed out the net being dislodged. Although they didn't notice the net was off until then, both officials acknowledged the net was off before the goal was scored, yet still allowed the goal. One ref said the net being off didn't affect play. The other said he couldn't wave off a goal after it's been signaled. What should have happened? ANSWER>>

QUESTION:  Referees and coaches are continually getting into arguments in regards to intentional off-sides. Should intentional off-sides be at all age levels? Coaches and even certain referees are under the belief that intentional off-sides is not applicable to the "10 & Under" level players. Is there an age limit when intentional off-sides is not applicable? ANSWER>>
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.
Congratulations to the 16 Illinois Players selected in Phase 1 and 2 of the 2020 USHL Draft. Click buttons below to view 2020 Draftees!
NAHL Combine Registration Is Open
The NAHL recently suspended the registration process for the NAHL Combines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The NAHL has been working to reschedule the NAHL Junior Combines in order to deliver on our commitment to provide Education, Exposure and Experience to you the player.  We are pleased to announce that the combines have been rescheduled and the registration process is now open. We are very hopeful that these new dates will be acceptable to the ever-changing landscape as well as your schedules. SCHEDULE & REGISTRATION>>
Chicago Steel's Fan Connection Series
The Chicago Steel recently announced the launch of their Fan Connection Series, an unprecedented webinar series with appearances from Steel players, coaches and staff.  The four-week series will take place during what would have been the same time frame  as the 2020 Clark Cup Playoffs, running from now through May 23 and culminating with a watch party of the 2017 Clark Cup Championship clinching game narrated by members of the team and staff.

The initiative includes webinars specifically designed for each of the following groups: youth hockey (players, coaches, parents), scouts (boy/girl/cub), students, aspiring sports business professionals, Chicago Steel season ticket holders, fans and corporate partners. Please click HERE for schedule and more details on how to register for upcoming webinars.
Athletico Cares Virtual 5K Challenge
We've joined our partner Athletico Physical Therapy for the #AthleticoCares Virtual 5K Challenge to help give back! Donations benefit Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund. To participate, Run (or walk) a 5K - Donate $5 - Share with 5 friends! Join the challenge!  Please click HERE for more information on how you can get involved.
24th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing is August 14th
By Don Allord, AHAI Foundation Golf ChairmanJoin us for a fun-filled day!  The 24th Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing will be held at the Schaumburg Golf Club on Friday, August 14, 2020. The outing will be a shotgun tee off scramble at 10:30 a.m. followed by dinner at 5:00 p.m., and a ll golfers will receive a starting package filled with special items designed just for this outing.

The revenues generated from this event will be donated to Special Hockey, Hockey Is For Everyone, AHIHA (deaf/hard of hearing hockey), the Hornets Sled Hockey program, the IHOA Memorial Fund, the Blackhawks Warriors, Blind Hockey and the Catastrophic Relief Fund for players who have been catastrophically injured playing the sport we all love. We hope you can join us for this great event! INFORMATION & REGISTRATION>>