HOCKEY EASTERN ONTARIO
One Team, One Mission, One Goal
To: District Chairs, MHA Presidents
CC: HEO Board of Directors, HEO Staff From: Jeff Robert,
Development Programs Officer, HEO Date: October 16, 2021
Re: U11 Player Pathway Policy Addendum and Affiliation
Please note the Addendum added to the U11 Player Pathway. As well clarification on Affiliation and the number of games players are permitted to play.
U11 Player Pathway Policy Addendum
Note of Clarification for the 2021-22 Season
In light of the potential for multiple interpretations of how U11 team games are to be counted in the 2021-22 season, please note the following:
Section 9 of this policy (Maximum Number of Games Per Season) establishes the maximum number of games to be played in a given season as 45. By definition, “games” include regular season and playoff league games, all exhibition games and tournament games.
Section 8 (Tournaments) provides an estimate of the number of games per tournament as four, for the purpose of counting games, and allows for competitive teams to enter up to four tournaments and for HL teams to enter up to three.
There are questions as to whether tournament games are to be counted as 4 (the average that Section 8
suggests) or by the actual number played, so as to comply with Section 9’s requirement to count all games up to and including the maximum of 45.
Given that the policy provides for competitive teams to enter four tournaments and HLs to enter three, teams may do so. It is recognized that teams entering four tournaments in 2021-22 may exceed 45 games in total as a result of strong performances.
Therefore, District Chairs whose U11 teams are approaching 40 games at the conclusion of the regular season are requested to discuss next steps (in terms of team participation in league playoffs) with HEO, before playoffs begin. The decision reached as a result of those discussions will be conveyed to the relevant League.
This approach calls for proactive planning and monitoring on the part of teams, Associations and Districts, provides some flexibility for teams who may slightly exceed the maximum number of games in playoffs as a result of a strong playoff performance, and does not penalize those teams who chose not to enter more tournaments during the regular season in respect of the U11 policy.
In terms of exhibition games, U11 teams are reminded that per HEO Policy for Minor Hockey 6.49, Section 7.4.2, all games must be officiated by HEO registered and crested officials. Game sheets must be kept as a record of these games. Scrimmages between Associations without HEO registered and crested officials on the ice are not considered sanctioned activities, and therefore participants are not eligible for HC insurance. Districts and Associations are responsible to ensure that U11 teams from different Associations engage in exhibition game format only, in compliance with HEO’s Policy for Minor Hockey 6.49 Section 7.4.2, so as to avoid potential risk and safety issues and to be able to correctly address in-game discipline issues. Teams that engage in such scrimmages are subject to the provisions of the Code of Discipline (minor hockey).
In addition, participation in scrimmages without proper officiating and record-keeping may be subject to the provisions of Hockey Canada’s Action Bulletin regarding non-sanctioned leagues (October 2019). HEO is in the process of implementing a Branch version of that policy for divisions and categories of hockey that do not compete for regional or national championships. This could affect player and/or bench staff participation in HEO’s programs, as individuals found to have participated in non-sanctioned leagues after September 30th, will
be removed from HEO’s programs, and must file an appeal to Hockey Canada/HEO requesting reinstatement to
regain access to these programs, either in the same or subsequent seasons.
Affiliation for U11 players falls under the usual affiliation rules for minor hockey. Individual players affiliated to higher division/age categories may therefore exceed the 45 game limit as a result of playing with their rostered and their affiliate teams.
Here is a link to the updated U11 Player Pathway Policy: HEO_U11_Player_Pathway_Policy.pdf (hockeyeasternontario.ca)