U8 & U9 (Newcastle Village Minor Hockey Association)

PrintU8 & U9

U8 & U9 (Formerly Minor Novice and Novice) Division for the 2024-25 Hockey Season

Evaluation Skates are typically scheduled in September each year. These skates ensure an equitable division of skill on local league teams.

U8 & U9 (Formerly Minor Novice & Novice)

The U9 Player Pathway is both a progression for the five and six-year-old player that participated in the U7 Program as well as an entry point for other seven and eight-year-old children looking to gain the skills to enjoy hockey.

Program Goals

  • To have fun while playing hockey and engaging in physical activity.
  • To learn the fundamental skills required to play the game of hockey.
  • To develop and refine basic motor patterns.
  • To be introduced to the concepts of cooperation and fair play.

Implementation for the 2020-2021 Season

Playing Surface (REQUIREMENT)

    • All U9 will be played at half-ice or a maximum size of 100 feet by 85 feet (100x85).
    • Eight-year-olds and mixed programming may transition to full ice from January 15 to April.

Player Evaluations, Selections, Tryouts (REQUIREMENT)

    • No tiering or evaluations during the off-season phase (previous season, including March through August).
    • Must offer a minimum of four (4) practice/skill sessions prior to formal tiering or evaluations beginning.
    • Must have a minimum of three (3) formal evaluation sessions.

Half-Ice Game Play Rules (REQUIREMENT)

    • 4-on-4 format.
    • 50-minute game length. Two periods with a run-time clock.
    • Timed buzzer or whistle for line changes, shift length not to exceed two minutes.
    • Minimum of one official.
    • No score, standings or stats are kept.
    • Blue or black puck used.
    • Net size – 3x4 or 4x6.

Fair and Equal Ice Time (REQUIREMENT)

    • All players and goaltenders should receive fair and as close to equal as possible ice time.
    • Positional Rotation:
      1. All players play all positions (RECOMMENDATION)
    • Goaltender Rotation:
      1. No full-time goaltenders. (RECOMMENDATION)
      2. All players have the option to play goal at least once. (RECOMMENDATION)


    • There are no playoffs in U9.

Seasonal Structure (REQUIREMENT)

    • Preparation Phase (up to 4 Weeks)
      1. See Player Evaluations/Tryouts above.
    • Development Phase (up to 8 weeks)
      1. Teams must have a period of development time following tryouts prior to the start of the regular season.
    • Development and Regular Season Phase (Up to 20 weeks)
      1. Recommended maximum of 40 games per year (includes exhibition, league and tournaments) (RECOMMENDED)
      2. Seasonal Breaks – season should allow for two seasonal breaks of a minimum of five days without a scheduled game or mandatory practice. (RECOMMENDED)
    • Tournament are Jamboree Format   
      1. Jamboree engages players in a fun environment. Games may or may not be competitive and the emphasis is on fun and fair play, no standings are kept.
    • Offseason Phase (end of season to August)


The full player pathways details and documents for U9 can be found here. https://www.ohf.on.ca/players/player-pathways/u9-player-pathway