Volume 8 Issue 6 | August 12, 2020
AHAI understands that COVID-19 guidance is constantly developing and changing. AHAI recommends all its members adhere to the Federal, State, Local Government guidelines, including local rink policies, for best practices on COVID-19 health and prevention. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the All Sports Policy, Youth Sports Guidance, and Indoor/Outdoor Recreation Facilities Guidance from the State of Illinois. We realize that the guidance can (and may very well) change at some point in the future.

Each AHAI affiliate should prepare its own plan, in conjunction with your local rinks, for returning players to the ice. AHAI does not operate ice rinks or affiliates nor does it determine when, and how, it is appropriate to return to the rinks. AHAI has no role in determining such actions. Click button below to view the "All Sports Policy".
So that players may return to the ice and receive the benefits afforded to them through their membership with USA Hockey, and in hopeful anticipation that scrimmages and/or games will occur in the near future, AHAI will release the 2020/21 USA Hockey Registry to all AHAI Affiliate organizations on August 4, 2020. AHAI will follow its current rostering rules.

Fall Season dates for obtaining an official USA Hockey certified roster are stated in the AHAI Rules & Regulations and will be followed.
  • High School and Youth starting September 1st.
  • Tier 1, Girls, Adult and Woman starting August 15th.
At this time, AHAI will not approve travel permits or sanction in-state tournaments.

AHAI Affiliate Organizations are accountable to governmental agencies and AHAI recommends all organizations comply with the State of Illinois, local government, and applicable health department guidelines. Each organization is responsible for awareness of the most current guidelines. AHAI will release additional information as the situation warrants.
AHAI Affiliate Club Presidents' Meeting Set for August 19th

The next AHAI Affiliate Club Presidents' Meeting will be held on Thursday, August 19 at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom. Presidents will receive a Zoom invite on Wednesday, August 18th. Questions? Reach out to Keri Zschach, Presidents' Council Chair, at keri.zschach@ahai2.org.
By Jack Weinberg, AHAI High School Committee Chairman
Explanation of New High School Rule
To begin with there are a number of reasons the high school committee has been gravitating toward this change.
  1. In order to have hockey work as a true varsity sport, it is essential that the development process is designed to promote the best players to the varsity level.
  2. Allow, unlike Tier I or Tier II players, the chance to progress during the course of one season. Hard work, good attitude and performance earn an opportunity.
  3. Remove the possibility (except in the case of a crisis) for a player to move down for the purpose of trying to improve the record of a JV or lower development team.
  4. Provide experience for a player at a lower level gained by playing at a higher level in order to prepare them for the next season.
  5. Provide players to fill holes on an upper team caused by illness or injury. 

Rule: Dual Rostered High School Players
High School Affiliate Organization teams may dual roster players on their teams within the same affiliate. A player may only dual roster up to a team one level higher.

For example, they may allow a player to be dual rostered between two teams by rostering a player from a team 1 (one) level below such as JV2 to JV1, or Varsity 2 to Varsity 1, or JV to Varsity. The player must carry the designation of their primary team. When placed on a second roster, they must carry the same primary team designation on the team to which they are dual rostered. The dual rostered players may play up in 9 league games on the non-primary team. Once they play in a tenth league game, it will lock that player to the non-primary roster for all games for the remainder of the season, including the State Tournament. The player's designation does not change, and the player is not removed from the primary team. They remain a player on the primary team that is not locked to the non-primary team.

If a team plays in more than 1 league, the combined number of league games played count in the 9 allowed games before being locked to the upper team.

The lower team may not drop below the 14 player and 1 goalie minimum roster by reason of moving players up and being locked on the upper team. Games played by the upper team in violation of this rule will be forfeit and the player will be locked on the lower team.

It is recommended that if there are 2 goalies on the lower team, 1 goalie should be dual rostered on the next upper team. If there is only 1 goalie on a team, they may only be on the upper roster as a BUG.

No player may play down, exception by petition if there is a crisis as determined by the HS committee and the AHAI registrar.

Individual leagues may be more restrictive.
Important Announcement from the AHAI High School Committee
In order to be fair to the potential players of high school hockey, the AHAI board voted to remove the linkage between the beginning of any possible high school hockey season and dates created by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Therefore, the High School division of AHAI will be treated the same as all of our other youth divisions as to the criteria used in the return to play. 
Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2020-2021 Season
The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U is now open. 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. via Zoom. 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 15, 2020.

Blackhawks Announce NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Schedule!
The Chicago Blackhawks, in conjunction with the National Hockey League and team broadcast partners, NBC Sports Chicago, WGN-AM 720 and TDUN, Univision Sports Radio 1200AM, have announced the local broadcast schedule for the 2020 Stanley Cup First Round vs. the Vegas Golden Knights. The best-of-seven series opened Tuesday night and will continue Thursday at 4:30 p.m. with Game 2 that will air on NBC Sports Chicago. Let's Go Hawks!!!
Reminder: USA Hockey Offering Online CEP Clinics
By Jim Clare - AHAI Coach-In-ChiefAs has been discussed and disseminated for the past month, CEP Clinics are all done virtually at this time. We will let you know when we will return to the classroom. These clinics are hosted around the country by USA Hockey and the District Coach-In-Chiefs. I encourage you to attend one of these virtual clinics to gain your next level of coaching certification. Register online at USA Hockey under the Coaches tab. Here is a sample of clinics coming up in the next week that you can attend (there are dozens more listed on the USA Hockey website).

IHOA Announces 2020-2021 Board Officers

Eric Cowsill
Illinois Referee-in-Chief

Steven Rickard
IHOA President

Carl Sassolino
IHOA Vice President

Geoff Schlender
IHOA Treasurer

Samantha Cebulski
IHOA Secretary
2020-2021 IHOA & USA Hockey Registration and Seminar Information
This is an update, with the understanding that some of the information is still tentative and subject to change based on unknowns and uncertainties.
This portion of seminars will be conducted virtually. Length of virtual classroom for Levels 2, 3 and 4 will be approximately 3 hours, conducted in one session. Length of virtual classroom for Level 1 will be approximately 6 hours, broken into two parts. Virtual classroom instruction will be held on two consecutive weekday evenings prior to ice times.
IHOA members (and potential members) will register for the virtual classroom portion of seminars via the USA Hockey website. Virtual classroom sessions that are conducted by IHOA are scheduled to be posted sometime before August 1. There will be zero fee to register for virtual classrooms via USA Hockey. READ MORE>>

IHOA Announced 2020-2021 Officiating Seminar Schedule
The Illinois Hockey Officials' Association (IHOA) is pleased to announce the release of its officiating seminars for the coming season. If you are unsure of the requirements, please go to www.ihoa.com for the details. Registration will open in the first week of August.

Ask the Official by Dave Zednik
QUESTION: If during a scramble in the crease, a defensive player covers the puck two times in the same sequence, would this elicit two penalty shots?

ANSWER: This is not an easy question to answer without watching the infraction first-hand. There cannot be two Penalty Shots awarded. However, if the official determines that two "scoring opportunities" were taken away (two separate infractions) then the officials can award a penalty shot and a separate minor penalty.

QUESTION: Can you please confirm if mouth guards are mandatory to be worn, and if so, at what age group does it start?  

ANSWER: Under strict USA Hockey Playing Rules, mouthpieces are required for all players at the 12 & Under Level and higher. They are only recommended at 10 & Under Level and below. That being said, tournaments, leagues and associations may make stronger rules with equipment, so we encourage you to check with them. 
A Step aHead Registration is Now Open!
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 now through November 30, 2020. We will continue to offer the testing at select Athletico clinics. Please click here for additional information.