IN THIS ISSUE
Volume 5 Issue 3 | June 21 , 2017
USA HOCKEY ANNUAL CONGRESS UPDATE
2017 Annual Congress Caps 80th Anniversary Season
USA Hockey's four-day Annual Congress, which capped the organization's 80th anniversary season, concluded here Saturday (June 10) with Pat Kelleher officially taking the reigns as executive director as the closing piece of business at the Board of Directors meeting.  Kelleher replaced Dave Ogrean, who held the job since 2005 and for 18 total years over two stints (1993-99; 2005-2017).  "I'm excited and humbled to have the opportunity to build on what Dave has put in place," said Kelleher. "They are certainly big shoes to fill, but together with the best volunteers in sport, our many stakeholders, and the incredible staff we have, I look forward to working to continue to grow and advance our game."

Every four years USA Hockey's playing rules are evaluated and have the opportunity to be changed. With this being a rules change year, the Board voted on a number of proposed modifications. Perhaps the most notable rule change gaining approval was the elimination of the ability to ice the puck when shorthanded for age classification 14U and below. READ FULL ARTICLE>>
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS




RULE CHANGES ADOPTED BY USA HOCKEY


RULE CHANGES ADOPTED BY USAH
By Michael Barrett, Illinois Referee-in-Chief & Supervisor of Officials
AHAI and IHOA representatives returned from the USA Hockey Annual Meeting in Colorado the weekend of June 10. This year was a rule change year at USA Hockey; therefore, I am writing this article to inform you of the rule changes adopted by the USA Hockey Board of Directors.  There are quite a number of changes applicable to playing rules and equipment  starting with the 2017-2018 playing season and will continue for the next four (4) years until the next time rule changes are permitted.  Please click HERE for a summary of the changes.
ICING RULE MODIFICATION RATIONALE
By USA Hockey
USA Hockey has modified its playing rules for the 14-and-Under age classification and all younger age classifications (youth and girls) to no longer legalize icing while a team is shorthanded. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, if a team ices the puck while shorthanded, it will result in a whistle followed by a defensive-zone faceoff. The team that commits an icing infraction will be allowed to change lines and/or players prior to the defensive-zone faceoff. 

The rationale behind this rule change is twofold. FULL ARTICLE>>
EXPLAINING USA HOCKEY'S RULE CHANGE PROCESS
Every four years, USA Hockey's rules for the sport of ice hockey are reviewed and are able to be changed, modified or restructured. The process starts the summer before with rule change proposals submitted to USA Hockey. Following review by several groups including the Playing Rules Committee and the Board of Directors, the rules are voted on at USA Hockey's Annual Congress in June. The rules are then valid for the following four seasons. Watch the video below to learn more about the process, hear about who makes up the Playing Rules Committee and how the officials make sure they are up to date on the rules.
AHAI & USA HOCKEY AWARDS & HONORS
The continued growth and development of AHAI and USA Hockey would not be possible without the contributions of dedicated volunteers. These individuals share in AHAI and USA Hockey's success and accomplishments year after year. Their selfless work and commitment continue to make a difference in the sport of hockey and in the lives of those who play the game.
AHAI AWARDS
AHAI Lifetime Achievement Awards
Jim Neville
Rich Blight

AHAI Service Awards
Doug Becht
Jim Powers
Robert Fiorio

AHAI Volunteer of the Year Award
Anita Lichterman

USA HOCKEY AWARDS
5 Years of Service Award
John Dunne

15 Years of Service Award
JJ O'Connor

30 Years of Service Award
Jim Smith

New Leader Award
Melissa Rotunno

Female Honors Award - Central District
Chicago Mission

Bob O'Connor Award - Central District
Doug Becht

Congratulations are also extended to Mike Mullally on being re-elected to another 3 year term as a USA Hockey Central District Director.
AHAI NEWS & INFORMATION
2017 TIER I TRYOUT SCHEDULE
Please click on buttons below to view individual tryout schedules. Good luck, players!
REGISTER TODAY!
The 21st Annual AHAI Foundation Golf Outing will be held at the  Ruffled Feathers Golf Course  located at 1 Pete Dye Drive in Lemont, Illinois, Friday, August 18, 2017. The course is just 22 minutes south of 7 Bridges Ice Arena. The outing will be a shotgun tee off scramble at 1:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:45 p.m. Ruffled Feathers is a Pete Dye course and is one of the top 10 courses in Illinois. All golfers will receive a starting package worth $700, donated by SMT Golf. INFORMATION & REGISTRATION>>
REGISTRATION OPENS JULY 1ST
AHAI, the Chicago Blackhawks, Athletico and NorthShore University HealthSystem are proud to announce the 7th year of the "A Step aHead" program, which provides free baseline neurocognitive testing and education on concussions to the youth hockey community. The program will run from July 1 through November 30, 2017. All AHAI players aged 11-18 years old are eligible for free baseline testing. Stay tuned for more information on registration in future newsletters.
TIER II SUBSTITUTE CHOICE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR 2017-18 SEASON
The Tier ll Substitute Choice Application Process, Squirt through 16U/18U will begin on July 20, 2017. All applications will be submitted online. The Tier ll Committee will ONLY have (3) three appeal hearings this year for those denied a substitute choice. The dates for the appeals are August 10, August 30 and September 7, 2017. Appeal hearings will be held at 6:30pm on the aforementioned dates at the North Shore Ice Arena. If denied please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at gregg@generaltruckparts.com with your preferred appeal hearing date (listed above). Deadline for applying for a substitute choice will be September 15, 2017.
IHOA ANNOUNCES 2017 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 read  Register with IHOA . Registration opens on August 1, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. Questions? Contact  Jameson Gronert , IHOA Registrar or any of the  IHOA Board members . VIEW SCHEDULE>>
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NEWS & INFORMATION
CONGRATULATIONS BLACKHAWKS 3V3 HOCKEY SERIES CHAMPIONS!

JR. WILDKITS
Mite Division
MOMMA'S BOYS
Squirt Division
ICE WARRIORS
Pee Wee Division
GET YOUR FAN PASSES FOR THE NHL DRAFT FAN FEST
Pick up FREE Fan Fest passes at select locations throughout the Chicagoland area. Passes are available for pick up at the United Center Box Office, the Blackhawks Michigan Avenue Flagship Store, the Blackhawks Aurora Outlet Store and select MB Financial Bank and Gerber Collision & Glass locations! Click HERE for exact locations. Fan Fest passes are valid for both days and ONLY grant you access to the outside festival.   COMPLETE DETAILS>>
PLAYERS, CLUBS & LEAGUES IN THE NEWS
GOODBYE, CHICAGO
By Scott Darling ~ On July 1, 2011, I ended up in a room with tubes and wires hooked up all over my body. There was a little machine beeping that showed my vital signs. It was my first day of rehab. I had been drinking every single day for eight months. I had just been released by a team in the Southern Pro Hockey League.  READ MORE>>
BLACKHAWKS WARRIORS OFFER A HOCKEY HOME FOR U.S. VETERANS
By Ross Forman  ~ Kevin Sharwarko was skating for an Oak Lawn house league team that played host years ago to a team from Sweden. The locals lost. In fact, they were annihilated, Sharwarko recalled of the 13-1 defeat.  READ MORE>>
VINCE CONENNA FOLLOWS HIS DAD INTO COACHING
By Ross Forman  ~ The St. Viator JV Team pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the 2016-17 season, and when it mattered most.  The Lions were the No. 15-seed in the State Tournament, and they opened tourney play with a 4-0 win over No. 18 Naperville North. READ MORE>>
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2017 SWSL CHAMPIONS & RUNNERS UP!
By Jim Arhontas, SWSL President ~ The SWSL held their championships June 10-11th, playing 23 games, Mite through Bantam, to cap off the 2017 season. At the Mite level, the league had cross-ice games for 5 & 6 year olds and full-ice for 7 & 8 year olds. The league had 9 clubs represented and all clubs won championships. The league consisted of 103 teams this past spring and is looking to grow next spring by adding additional Clubs and an All-Girls Division. Interested clubs should send inquiries to info@swslhockey.com. VIEW CHAMPIONS>>
USA HOCKEY NEWS & INFORMATION
2017-18 TRY HOCKEY FOR FREE DAYS CONFIRMED
The season's first nationwide Try Hockey For Free Day will be Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, as part of Come Play Hockey Month. The second opportunity will occur Saturday, March 3, 2018, the weekend following the XXIII Olympic Winter Games closing ceremony. Local youth hockey associations and rinks can register to host on either of those dates. READ MORE>>

2 AND 2 CHALLENGE
For associations and rinks interested in additional participation growth opportunities, USA Hockey also offers its 2 and 2 Challenge. The program provides youth hockey associations with step-by-step guidance, tools and national resources to boost participation among children between the ages of 4 and 8. The goal of the 2 and 2 Challenge is for participating organizations to add two new players and retain two players more than the previous season's total. READ MORE>>

A special shout-out to the following associations for successfully completing the 2 and 2 Challenge during the 2016-17 season. Please commend them on their continued commitment to driving youth hockey growth at the 8 & under age level.

GOLD LEVEL: Sabre Hockey Association, Decatur Youth Hockey Association, Hoffman Estates Park District Hockey, and Admirals Hockey Club SILVER LEVEL: Franklin Park Ice Arena, Pekin Amateur Hockey Association, and Firewagon Hockey, Inc.