Jr. Timbits & Initiation Program (Oakville Rangers Hockey Club)

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Tim Hortons Minor Hockey
Proudly sponsored by the Tim Hortons TimBits Minor Hockey Program!

What is the U7 Initiation Program
The Initiation Program is a program specially designed for 5- and 6-year-olds, the Initiation Program introduces kids to the love, joy, and passion that is hockey!!

  • A comprehensive program for the development of young children as hockey players
  • The main focus is on development and "Fun"
  • Aims to create participants and instructors who will continue in the game
  • Resources include weekly lesson plans and an Instructors Manual
  • All on ice Lead Instructors must attend an Initiation Program instructors Certification Clinic, and be IP Certified to instruct

The IP program is about "KIDS" - Keeping Initial Development Simple. It's hockey for the FUN of it! The Oakville Rangers Hockey Club was instrumental in the implementation of the OMHA's IP Program well over 10 years ago. The methodology is proven and we enroll over 300 kids ages 5 to 6 each year. The development between September and the Gala Day event in March is very evident for all skill levels.

Who is it for? What does it consist of?

  • This is a Hockey Program for the 4, 5, and 6-year-old age group
  • The program follows the OMHA recommendations for the U7 age groups
  • The program is also known as the "Cross Ice" program
  • The program consists of 40+ hours of skating skills development and hockey stick/puck skills development
  • Your child does not need to know how to skate to join this program! The IP Program can be a great alternative to other skating programs!
  • For the younger ages (4 and 5) it is a great alternative to other skating programs if your son or daughter is not yet ready to try hockey! For age 6, we would recommend you join the Hockey Skills Program which may help in the basics of skating. As the season progresses we may be able to pull you player into the Hockey Initiation Program stream.

The Program & Divisions
A week or two prior to the start of the season the ORHC will hold Evaluation Skates. These evaluations allow us to rate and rank the players based on their hockey skill and experience and to determine which program is best going to continue their development and meet their needs. Following these evaluations all the players in the IP Program will be split in to one of the following Divisions:

  • Jr. Timbits
  • Fast Forward Beginners Club
  • Initiation Program
  • Pre-Tyke

Once the season begins, there will be continuous player assessment by the Lead Instructors, the Coaches, and the Convenors. Balancing can occur in the first six weeks of the season. If movement to another division or team would be beneficial for the player (including moving 4-year-olds up to play with the 5 and 6-year-olds) it would be discussed as a group, including the parents, and the movement will be completed.

And at the end of the season the players will have some fun showcasing their new skills at the Year End Festival, capped off with the IP Gala!! Additionally, teams will also have the opportunity (optional) to participate in the ORHC's Shrink The Rink Hockey Festival! - great food, fun & games, and hockey of course! Both on the ice and Mini Sticks!

Jr. Timbits Program Description

Timbits Minor Hockey All 4-year olds start out in the Jr. Timbits Division. This program will consist of 20 one-hour sessions - an evaluation skate is held in early September to gauge the skill levels of the participants and ensure this program is the right one for them. The focus for this age is primarily learning to skate and as the season progresses, learn to play. The season finishes with a Gala Day in early March.

Note: If both the league and the player's parents are in agreement a 4-year old player may be moved into one of the Divisions below

Fast Forward Beginners Club Program Description

Fast Forward Beginners Club The Fast Forward Beginners Club is a program specially designed for players 5 to 8 years old who are new to hockey. The goal of this program is to provide a faster stream of development for new and beginning hockey players. The program will offer professional instruction, twice per week, and will focus on the fundamentals of the game. Lots of learning, lots of development, and most importantly - lots of fun!! It is strongly recommended that all players 5 to 8 years old are new to hockey register directly for this program.

Initiation Program Program Description

Initiation Program This program is geared towards the intermediate players in the 5 and 6-year-old age group. The program consists of:

  • 22 practice/skills sessions (one hour each session)
  • 22 practice/skill sessions & hockey scrimmages

Note that this division will scrimmage on 1/3 ice

Players that register for the Initiation Program will be invited to attend an Evaluation skate. Following that evaluation, the ORHC will determine and notify you if your child has been placed in the Initiation Program Division or in the Pre-Tyke Division.

Pre-Tyke Program Description

Pre-Tyke The Pre-Tyke program is for the more skilled, experienced, and advanced players in the 5 and 6-year-old age group. The program offers the exact same amount of ice time, instruction, and development as the Fast Forward and Initiation Divisions, but groups together to kids of a similar skill and development into a single Division. The program consists of:

  • 22 practice/skills sessions (one hour each session)
  • 22 hockey scrimmages (one hour each session)

Note that this division will scrimmage on 1/2 ice

The Hockey Skills Academy
Along with the Initiation, Fast Forward, and Jr. Timbits Programs, you can also register in the Hockey Skills Program (additional fees apply). The Hockey Skills Program consists of 10 bi-weekly skating sessions with focus on skating fundamentals for beginners, expanding on the same fundamentals as the Initiation and Jr. Timbits Hockey Programs. This program was designed for Players typically ages 4 to 6 who would like an additional resource for extra skill development.

Are all Initiation Programs the same?
The ORHC provides a Certified Hockey Initiation Program under the auspices of Hockey Canada. We ensure that all our Lead Instructors are certified under the official program and follow the Hockey Canada Initiation Program manuals and guidelines. Further, these skills are passed onto the coaches, so as they move up into other hockey streams the proper player development continues. The Coaches and Lead Instructors are largely made up of ORHC Volunteers, most of which are parents just like you. The ORHC provides access to the Training and Certification programs required at little to no cost to the Volunteer. The ORHC Initiation Programs are led by the P3 Hockey Academy, a professional Hockey School owned and operated by former professional Hockey Players. For more information on the Lead Instructors please visit our Skills Academy page to view their profiles.

More on ORHC Lead Instructors for the Initiation Program
All Lead Instructors on ice in the ORHC Initiation Program have attended a Hockey Canada approved clinic with at least six hours of class time followed by a two hour on ice session. This includes running a "typical ice session", refining Teaching Skills, Skills Analysis, etc. Classroom time is focuses on Leadership, Communication, Growth & Development, Teaching Skills, Skills Analysis, and Lesson Organization.

All on ice Instruction Personnel, with the exception of the Lead Instructors, are volunteers and not paid Instructors

What is Cross-Ice Hockey?
This program is being used by thousands of communities around the world. The emphasis is on fun while spending time on development. At this age group, there will be more opportunity for all players to handle the puck and learn to skate. During the Sunday sessions, Coaches will lead their teams in one-hour sessions, splitting the time on:

  • Organized OMHA lesson plans for stick/puck/skating development
  • Semi-formal cross ice hockey games

For the hour-long practice session, the program will be conducted by the Lead instructor on a bi-weekly basis, following the Canadian Hockey Initiation Program (CHIP). This is a program designed by Hockey Canada which:

  • Develops fundamental skating skills
  • Guides and trains coaches on leading practices to develop fundamental skating skills

This part of the program helps to introduce, develop, and organize the coaching skills of the Coaches as a guide to lead team practices through the entire season, at the same time developing fundamental skating skills for young hockey players. This helps develop the newer Coaches as well as providing lesson plans and exercises that will be valuable for many years of coaching.

The Initiation Program Instructors works closely on-ice with the Coaches and Assistant Coaches to a point whereby, progressively, the Coaches will run the sessions on their own with help only as required.

Click here for more information on our Programs and Hockey Streams
Click here for a great video showing the rules of Cross-Ice hockey in action

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Three Initiation Program Experts Discuss The Benefits Toronto Maple Leafs Praise Cross-Ice Hockey
Cross-Ice Benefits Leafs Praise Cross Ice
Click the images above to view the story

How do I register? Where do I get started?
How do I Register? Where do I get started?
To get your child started in the Hockey Initiation Program simply go to the Registration Information Page of the ORHC website and follow the instructions there to Register. The list of equipment required can be found here: Required Equipment List. First year players entering the IP program are strongly encouraged to register for the Fast Forward Beginners Club.

What equipment is required?
All players must wear full equipment as per the OMHA minimum equipment standard. Mouthguards are mandatory. More information can be found on the Required Equipment List. First year players entering the IP program are eligible for a subsidized equipment package, being offered by Corbett's Source For Sports on South Service Road in Oakville. More information about this package will be available soon.

Interested in Coaching or Volunteering?
There will be considerable pre-season training for all coaches and volunteers and on-going guidance with presentation of sessions and use of the OMHA and Hockey Canada Manuals. Coach1 training and certification is required to coach in the Oakville Rangers Hockey Club. The previous hybrid course which included Coach 1&2 is no longer being offered as an option - these courses are now separate. In most cases, the Coach1 training and certification program will be offered to you by the Club at no cost to you.

If you are interested in becoming a Coach please click here to fill out and submit the Volunteer Application. We will get in touch with you soon to talk about how and where you can help out and to get the ball rolling!

Still have some questions?
Please contact the VP, Initiation Program and Hockey Skills for more information. They would be happy to help you with any concerns you may have. The contact information can be found here: click here.