The wait is over — Welcome Back Week has arrived!
From Sept. 16-22, 2019, USA Hockey is celebrating hockey's opening week and extending a warm invitation for players, parents, coaches, officials and administrators to rejoin us at the rink for another great season.
As the game's national governing body, USA Hockey offers everyone a place to play, love and excel. Last season, a record number of players — 567,908 — answered that call in the United States, marking the sixth straight season of increasing American participation.
A lot of that growth has been created through our American Development Model, which is now in its 10th season. Its focus on providing a fun environment for age-appropriate learning has given every child a chance to reach their full potential, a blueprint that so many other sports have followed.
As always, safety is the top priority of USA Hockey. This past June, the Board of Directors ratified the Declaration of Safety, Fair Play and Respect in an effort to change the culture around body contact and body checking in a nationwide effort to eliminate late hits, hits from behind and hits to the head. This effort to improve the game will take everyone involved, and together we can take the next step in bettering our game. To find additional information, including video examples of acceptable and unacceptable body checks, visit USAHockey.com/Declaration.
There are so many fun and exciting things on the calendar this season to celebrate our game, including IIHF Girls Hockey Weekend (Oct. 5-6), our first National Try Hockey for Free Day (Nov. 9), the 15th annual Labatt Blue/USA Hockey Pond Hockey Championships in Eagle River, Wis. (Feb. 7-9), the 13th annual Hockey Week Across America celebration (Feb. 16-23), and the culmination of our season with the series of USA Hockey national championships that take place across the country in April.
Stay up-to-speed on all things USA Hockey, including our women's sled and men's national teams as the season rolls on by regularly visiting USAHockey.com, reading USA Hockey Magazine and following our social media channels.
Let's make this another great season on the ice!