skip navigation

A Hockey Hotbed in Northern Michigan

By Tyler Mason - Special to, 11/20/15, 10:00AM MST


Community involvement, ADM powers Marquette Youth Hockey

In Marquette, Michigan, hockey is a way of life.

It gets cold in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the winter, but residents of Marquette embrace it. Many in the town have their own backyard rinks – and special equipment to help maintain those rinks.

In short, the sport provides a sense of community there.

“It’s all about hockey up here,” said John Way, the mite director for the Marquette Youth Hockey Association.

That love for the sport has been evident in Marquette’s youth hockey ranks. The MYHA had just four mite teams when Way took over, but today, Marquette boasts 12 mite teams – six 8U teams and six 6U teams (not to mention four peewee squads and four squirt teams).

According to Way, much of that growth can be credited to the association’s adoption of USA Hockey’s American Development Model, which was put in place by the MYHA about five or six years ago.

“Since the implementation of the ADM, we’ve more than doubled the size of the group,” Way said. “It allows a better system for flat-out teaching kids, keeping them moving on the ice and keeping them happy. At the end of the day, if the kids weren’t happy with the new system, we’d have smaller numbers. But the fact is, our program has doubled, and then some, so obviously the kids and parents are happy with the experience. Our dropout rate is pretty much nil.”

The Marquette Youth Hockey Association has had so much success with its programs that kids from as far as an hour away make the commute to take part, Way said. And when it comes to fielding competitive teams, Marquette’s 8U teams are among the best in the region.

“In the 8U division, it’s tough to find a team that can compete with us,” Way said. “Five years ago, everybody was pretty much on the same level playing field. But now we’re head and shoulders above the region as far as our ability.”

The ADM implementation has provided many benefits for Marquette, including enhanced skill development with station-based practices that are a staple of USA Hockey-affiliated associations. The more subtle residual benefits are intriguing, too.

Among them is the closeness of the players – and coaches and parents – of each Marquette team. Way said the 8U groups often have up to 20 volunteers on the ice helping. It’s an impressive display of passion and unity. And because of the station-based format, the kids are always engaged and active.

“It brings a lot of togetherness in the groups,” Way said. “With us, we’ve got so many helping hands involved that it seems like there isn’t one person doing it; everybody does it. The whole village is involved.”

That’s a phrase Way uses often: it takes a village. That’s been exemplified with the Marquette Youth Hockey Association, where so many people from the town of about 21,000 pitch in to help.

It also takes a village to manage Marquette’s learn-to-skate program, which has between 80 and 100 kids, ages 3 to 8. That program has used many of the ADM principles, including stations that help things move along smoothly and efficiently. To get kids comfortable on the ice, they’ll also play other sports like basketball or whiffle ball on the ice just to get their feet under them.

From there, the hope is that they’ll move onto Marquette’s organized teams. As Way alluded to, the associations’ retention rate remains high – and the ADM is a big reason for it.

“Our motto is you play like you practice, so if you want to play hard and win games, then you’ve got to practice hard and you’ve got to win at that,” Way said. “We drilled that in from a young age. Kids seem to respond to it. Kids like to be challenged.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Recent News

Most Popular Articles

2021-22 ATO | WEEK 25

By USA Hockey 01/21/2022, 1:30pm MST

This week’s features: Kicking the stick...Vaping...Illegal contact...and more.

QUESTIONIf a child is caught vaping non-narcotic juice what is the policy of USA Hockey?

ANSWER: USA Hockey Playing Rule 601.f states:

"The use of tobacco products, vaping products or alcoholic beverages by any player or team official is prohibited in the rink area, including the bench areas and off-ice official area. A warning shall be issued by the Referee for the first offense by any participant and any subsequent violations by the same team shall result in a game misconduct penalty being assessed."


QUESTIONWhen play is in an end-zone and coming from behind the net up along the boards, the referee is stated to keep moving backwards along the boards out towards the blue line until play moves away. Is it okay to step off the boards and let a player with the puck pass or pivot out and around multiple players if going up the boards will inevitably lead to being in the way and possible contact?

ANSWER: For guidance on proper referee positioning in the end-zone, please consult the USA Hockey Basic Officiating Manual (pg. 17).


QUESTION: An attacking player is on a breakaway. They take a shot on goal and score, but lose control and slam into the goalie within the crease. Is the goal still awarded even though a penalty will be given for goalie interference? If the puck crossed the goal line immediately after making contact with the goalie in the crease would this change whether or not a goal is awarded?

ANSWER: An attacking player may not make contact with the goalkeeper who is positioned in his/her goal crease, and the attacking player may not push the goalkeeper who has possession of the puck into the goal to score a goal. If this happens, the goal must be disallowed and the attacking player should be assessed a penalty for interference or charging depending on the degree of contact (seeUSAH Rule 607(c) & (d) – Charging).
That being said, if the puck is shot into the goal prior to the illegal goalkeeper contact then the goal should be awarded. The resulting illegal contact after the goal should be penalized as normal.
If the puck enters the goal AFTER the illegal goalkeeper contact, then the goal should be disallowed.


QUESTIONWhat are the actions taken by the referee following a “kick shot”?

ANSWER: USA Hockey Playing Rule 627.c states:

"Kicking the puck shall be permitted provided the puck is not kicked by an attacking player and entered the goal either directly or after deflecting off any player including the goalkeeper. However, the puck may not be played by the so called “kick shot,” which combines the use of the leg and foot driving the shaft and blade of the stick and producing a very dangerous shot."

If the puck enters the goal through use of a "Kick Shot", the goal must be disallowed. If the puck doesn't enter the goal, play should be stopped. In both situations, the face-off should be located at the nearest neutral zone spot.

Download the USA Hockey Mobile Rulebook App to your mobile device from your app store today!

Santa Fe Hockey Finding Success with Little Howlers Program

By Stephen Kerr 01/27/2022, 11:00am MST

Enthusiasm is at an all-time high for youth hockey in New Mexico.

2021-22 ATO | WEEK 24

By USA Hockey 01/14/2022, 6:15am MST

This week’s features: Kicking the puck...Penalties and on-ice strength...Punctuality...and more.

QUESTIONWhat is the rule for matching hitting from behind penalties? Do each of the offending players serve the minor as they were coincidental or does another player serve them? Does the misconduct run concurrently to the minor or does it begin at the conclusion of the minor?

ANSWER: In the situation where two opposing players are assessed “matching” minor plus misconduct penalties (Charging, Boarding, Checking-from-behind, etc.), both players enter the penalty bench and are substituted for on the ice (play resumes 5 vs. 5). Both players will serve twelve minutes (2 + 10) and return to play at the first stoppage after twelve minutes. There is no need to place additional players in the penalty bench.


QUESTIONIf there is a hand pass in the attacking or neutral zone, where is the next face-off?

ANSWER: Rule 618(b) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,

“A player or goalkeeper shall not be allowed to “bat” the puck in the air, or push it along the ice with his hand, directly to a teammate unless the “hand pass” has been initiated and completed in his defending zone, in which case play shall be allowed to continue. If the “hand pass” occurs in the neutral or attacking zone, a stoppage of play will occur and a face-off will take place according to last play face-off rules provided no territorial advantage has been gained.”

Furthermore, Rule 612(c) states,

“When a stoppage of play occurs as the result of any action by the attacking team in the attacking zone, the ensuing face-off will take place at the nearest neutral zone face-off spot, unless the stoppage was a result of a shot going directly out of play off of the goal post or crossbar.“


QUESTION: My son of 11 has UHWK camera on his helmet. The helmet has not been modified. The UHWK is designed to fit on a hockey or lacrosse helmet. When the rules were change last year is when we bought one and told it was legal now. We have heard the GO pro is not since it protrudes the helmet and you sometimes have to modify the helmet.

ANSWER: The USA Hockey Playing Rules do not allow players to wear ANY type of camera during a game. The 2021-25 Playing Rule Changes did not change this rule.


QUESTIONPlayer A scores a goal off of teammate's skate Player B. Player B did not kick or intentionally redirect puck. Does the goal count and is Player A awarded a goal and is Player B awarded an assist?

ANSWER: A puck that enters the goal after a “deflection” (not “directed” or kicked) off an attacking player’s skate should count as a legal goal. The player the puck last touched shall be credited with the goal.


QUESTIONWhat is the game officials responsibility to be on time for a game? Where does it state their responsibility in a code of conduct? What are the codes of conduct for game officials? Can teams take to the ice prior to the game officials entering the rink before game? Who is responsible for reviewing unsafe officiating practices of officials?

ANSWER: Game officials are always expected to enter the ice surface on time, and before the teams. You will find a copy of the USA Hockey Game Officials Code-of-Conduct in the preface of the USA Hockey Playing Rules.

Download the USA Hockey Mobile Rulebook App to your mobile device from your app store today!