Understanding U6 & U7 Hockey
GMHA's hockey programs at U6 (5 years old) and U7 (6 years old) are designed based on the guidance and best practices outlined in Hockey Canada's U7 Player Pathway.
What is the U7 Player Pathway?
The Hockey Canada U7 Player Pathway is an essential component in developing the skills of all young kids playing hockey in Canada. This skill development resource from Hockey Canada provides the official instructional curriculum for these age groups.
Learn More About the U7 Player Pathway
Benefits of Cross-Ice Hockey
The focus of player development at young ages is placing kids into situations that suit their age-specific abilities. Dividing the playing surface into smaller areas is an important part of helping younger, smaller players develop.
- Smaller space places an emphasis on balance, agility, coordination, & quickness.
- Players are more engaged in the play, which helps to develop confidence and a persona of being involved and active in the game.
- Fundamental skills are used more frequently (stickhandling, passing, shooting).
- Players need to make more decisions, which helps to build an understanding of the game and its movements and develop ice awareness and "hockey sense".
Numerous studies have shown that cross-ice and half-ice formats produce significantly more action for younger players:
Learn More About Skill Development 1 for 6 Year Old Players
Learn More About Skill Development 2 for 7 Year Old Players
- 2x as many puck touches for players.
- 6x as many shot attempts in games.
- 3x as many shots on goal in games.
- 2x as may passes attempted.
- 5x as many passes received.