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AAHA Coaching Program Update

By AAHA, 05/26/20, 9:00AM EDT


Coaching Program Update – May 2020

This letter is addressed to the coaching community throughout the Atlantic District. It is our hope that coaches, players and their families, all of our coworkers, and colleagues have remained safe and healthy. This pandemic has placed many challenges on us, and we recognize that hockey may not be a priority for you at this time. The restrictions keeping us at home with mandates to keep non-life essential businesses closed has certainly created challenges and had its negative impact on the business of our sport. Tournaments are canceled, seasons ended abruptly, and arenas are looking to survive a pandemic economy.

Even though we don’t know exactly what it will look like in the fall, many of you have asked what they can do to plan and be organized with the coaching program requirements. Below is some information that will help you prepare for next season when we all get back to our game.

USA Hockey and the Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association [AAHA] affiliate have been watching developments throughout our tri-State region. We expect that we will begin to see Red Phase restrictions ease in June, but we will need to adapt to the reopening guidelines imposed in the Yellow and Green Phases until phased out completely. Many of the guidelines and directives remain undefined, and these may differ between the States [PA, NJ, DE] and other public health regulations.

The coaching program [CEP] is assessing our options for Coaching Clinics for the upcoming season. It is reasonable to anticipate a mix of online coursework, ZOOM Meetings, and in-person events. As more information becomes available, we will make those announcements through USA Hockey and the Clinic Catalog Registration Page. We have not yet set any “launch date.”

Meanwhile, the AAHA is moving forward by permitting Member Clubs to offer Player Agreements without a tryout at this time to allow for the planning of the 2020-21 season. This planning includes determining team counts, ice requirements, scheduling, uniform orders, etc. It also permits our rinks to better plan for other activities within their buildings. Many clubs have been accepting player applications for placement and eventual evaluations. Contact your club registrar for those details.

Announced May 2, 2020, the AAHA Executive Committee is authorizing its Tier I, Tier II and Independent Member Clubs to commence the offering of Player Agreements per this schedule.

For complete terms and conditions, please see the AAHA 2020-2021 Player Agreement Process.

Please know that USA Hockey and the AAHA, and its member clubs appreciate the time and dedication of our volunteers in coaching as well as players and their parents.

On the following pages are some useful tips and guidance as you prepare for the 2020-2021 season. I’ve added my personal cell number above so please do not hesitate to call me with questions or concerns.

Thank you for all you do.

Yours in hockey,
Mike Lichtenberger