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8U Development

CAHA would like to refocus our efforts on the core American Development Model (ADM) developmental principles of 8U hockey. "At its core, Red, White and Blue Hockey is high-performance training at 8U Mite. It is playing cross-ice games and conducting station-based practices and is designed to get the best out of each and every player. In this environment, a player’s activity level skyrockets because their engagement level increases, which leads to an increased skill set and love of the game. Drills are designed to focus on multiple skills and situations, increasing time with the puck and situational repetition. The goalies are also more involved in the drills because they get more shots to stop. It’s been proven that kids who begin their hockey training in this environment develop a better foundation of skills and hockey instincts and enjoy the game more. It is because of this emphasis on fun and development that we’re asking associations, teams, coaches and parents to include station-based practices and cross-ice games at the 8U Mite level. Doing so is an important part of the development process at this age." Policy statement adopted from the USA Hockey ADM Handbook for 8U Mite Hockey.

At the core of ADM, 8U development is for every player. We do not separate out players at this age via tryouts. As part of the CAHA Strategy Plan implemented for the 2020-21 season, 8U Development Programs are encouraged as we want Associations to provide as much skill development and fun for 8U players as possible.

6U Age Group - cross-ice or quad-ice (ice surface sectioned into 4 areas) games only, blue pucks, no dedicated goalies, 24x36 small nets or 12x36 pond hockey nets. Practices are station-based only.

8U Age Group - cross-ice games only, blue pucks, no dedicated goalies but all players try the position, 36x48 nets.

8U Development - this program may be offered to provide supplemental practice or skill sessions or to form teams to play in team Jamborees with other Associations. However, these teams must be formed via open registration and not tryouts. Again, we do not separate players out at this age group for additional development. With the open registration process or supplemental skill development sessions, players may choose to participate on these teams - they are not selected. Associations with more than one team may opt to have an Advanced team and a Regular/Intermediate team - as long as the teams are formed via open registration

8U Jamborees - CAHA’s goal is to provide 8U Cross-Ice Jamboree opportunities throughout the Affiliate so players do not need to travel outside of CAHA. Each Association is encouraged to attend as many 8U Cross-Ice Jamborees in the CAHA geography as possible. These Jamborees will be publicized by CAHA and  follow the CAHA Guidelines for 8U Cross-Ice Jamborees. Jamborees may be held in a Scramble or Team format.

For any 8U team that wants to attend a tournament or 8U Jamboree outside of CAHA, they must follow these guidelines in selecting any tournament or 8U Jamboree that they attend:

  1. Request a travel permit. It is recommended teams request a travel permit 30 days before the first day of the event. Please do not financially commit to any event before receiving approval. All travle permit request must be accompanied with a copy of the team's approved USA Hockey roster.
  2. The tournament or 8U Jamboree that a team attends must be cross-ice (preferred) or half-ice and be USA Hockey sanctioned. The size of the rink that the tournament is played on can be no larger than half of the ice surface of that specific rink and no larger than 100' x 100' in size.
  3. Teams must have an official USA Hockey Official Team Roster for each event.
  4. 8U teams from CAHA may travel to any tournament only in the states/locations as follows: Maryland, Virginia, District of Columbia, Tennessee and Georgia. Travel outside these areas is not permitted.
  5. Teams that violate this rule will be referred to CAHA Disciplinary Committee and be subject to the following disciplinary action:
  • First Offense – no 8U Travel permits for any Association team for 90 days
  • Second Offense – no 8U Travel permits for any Association team for one (1) year.

8U Travel Permit

All travel permit requests should be sent to Brian Mehm, CAHA Secretary, bmehm@cisco.com for approval.