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Developmental Sled Team Sweeps Canada

04/03/2013, 9:15am MDT
By USA Hockey

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team swept a three-game series against the Canadian Developmental Sled Team this past weekend (March 28-30) at the MasterCard Center in Etobicoke, Ont.
 
"In addition to being pleased with three wins, I am excited that we progressed each game," said Mike MacMillan, head coach of the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team. "This series ends our season and looking back to the summer I can say this group improved immensely during its time together."
 
The U.S. won its first game against Canada, 4-1, on Thursday (March 28) with goals from Vlad Lundqvist (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Chris Douglas (St. Cloud, Fla.), Dan McDevitt (Abington, Pa.) and John Mollica (The Plains, Ohio). In the 3-2 shootout win on Friday (March 29), Douglas and Sam Mumper (Dublin, Ohio) scored in regulation. McDevitt tallied the decisive goal in the shootout. Team USA completed the sweep with a 2-0 shutout on Saturday (March 30). Douglas and McDevitt scored, while goaltender Justin Kreger (Waterford, Wis.) was flawless. 

NOTES: The U.S. National Developmental Sled Team posted a 0-0-0-4 (W-OTW-OTL-L) record at the 2013 USA Hockey Sled Cup in January. The tournament featured the U.S. National Sled Team, Korea and Russia in Indian Trail, N.C... Jeremy Kennedy (Colorado Springs, Colo.), USA Hockey manager of membership and disabled hockey, is the general manager of the U.S. National Developmental Sled Hockey Team.

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TRENDING: Right-Sized Youth Sports

09/01/2015, 9:15am MDT
By USA Hockey

Sept. 1, 2015 | More than 40,000 spectators, plus a national television audience, watched the Little League World Series this past Sunday on a glorious afternoon in Pennsylvania. There were smiles, cheers, entertainment and the noticeable absence of demand for those 12- and 13-year-olds to pitch from 60 feet, six inches or run 90 feet between the bases like their professional baseball heroes.

Right-sized baseball and softball fields, along with age-appropriate rule modifications, have been accepted wisdom in youth baseball for more than 50 years.

Coincidentally, while Little League was paring to its finalists, U.S. Soccer announced a nationwide initiative to improve youth skill development. The centerpiece was a shift to small-sided game formats and field sizes to be phased in across the country by August 2017. As part of the new plan, American soccer at U6, U7 and U8 will be played 4v4 on a pitch approximately one-eighth the size of an adult soccer field. Nine- and 10-year-olds will play 7v7 on a one-quarter-scale pitch. Not until age 13 will players begin competing 11v11 on a regulation adult-sized pitch.

“Our number one goal is to improve our players down the road, and these initiatives will help us do that,” said Tab Ramos, U.S. Soccer’s youth technical director. “In general, we would like for players to be able to process information faster, and when they are in this (new) environment, they are going to learn to do that. Fast forward 10 years, and there are thousands of game situations added to a player’s development.”

With this change, American soccer will join sports like baseball, basketball, hockey and tennis, all of which have embraced the skill-development benefits of age-appropriate playing dimensions and competition formats (see chart below).

Those benefits are at the core of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was recently praised by the Sports Business Journal as a “trailblazing program.”

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