USA Hockey’s annual Winter Meeting concluded last Sunday (Jan. 20) with safety, growth, player development, diversity & inclusion, and technology among the focal points of the four-day gathering of volunteer leaders from across the country representing all areas of the organization.
“We had terrific conversations on a broad range of topics related to continuing to move our sport forward,” said Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey. “We’re focused on being as welcoming as we can to all that would like to be a part of our game and providing the best possible environment for everyone involved.”
It was reported during the meeting that overall participant totals year-to-date have increased 1.72 percent over 2018, including upticks in the number of youth players (1.20 percent), coaches (3.22 percent) and officials (0.91 percent).
Significant discussions on body contact and body checking took place in various councils and committees over the course of the four days.
“It was evident that we need to remain focused on education, in particular, efforts to ensure that our local associations are teaching the curriculum related to body contact/body checking and also that our officials are fully enforcing the rules,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “We’re also going to work to more clearly define body contact and body checking and what is and is not acceptable. Overall, we had very substantive conversations with a wide variety of groups and that dialogue will continue.”
During the USA Hockey Board of Directors meeting on Sunday (Jan. 20):
USA Hockey president Jim Smith presents Dr. Alan Murdoch with the President's Award.
USA Hockey president Jim Smith presents Jeremy Kennedy with the President's Award.