The report on the resurgence of hockey in Quebec underscores the pleasure of playing

This 15-person committee, established in December at the request of Premier François Legault and chaired by former NHL goalkeeper and RDS analyst Marc Denis, presents a set of nine recommendations for overseeing and improving hockey development with us:

  1. Bring hockey to the rank of Quebec’s national sport;
  2. Include learning about ice skating in the primary school curriculum;
  3. Make hockey accessible to all;
  4. Prioritize the development of women’s hockey;
  5. Prioritize the fun of play in children;
  6. Optimize the development of our athletes’ talent;
  7. Increase respect and confidence in hockey;
  8. Provide Quebec with adequate infrastructure for hockey development;
  9. Give Hockey Québec the power to rule and lead the future of Québec hockey.

While the committee proposes several courses of action for each of the nine recommendations, the report makes an important distinction between playing hockey before and after age 13.

If it is proposed to include the learning of ice skating in the school curriculum starting from primary school, it is also suggested to completely redefine the competitive model within the under 13s. It even goes so far as to propose the removal of rankings and statistics up to category U13 included, in order to reduce the performance expectations of parents and coaches.

The committee also wants measures to be put in place to facilitate access to hockey for all families, by tackling the main obstacles to hockey, whether financial or material. The report suggests tax breaks.

Committee members also devoted a lot of time to the development of athletes aged 13 and their exit from junior hockey. But they also want hockey development to continue beyond junior hockey and move through college hockey programs, which are few in Quebec.

They believe that current structures do not promote the optimal development of hockey players, particularly due to the sometimes harmful competition between some school and membership programs.

This competition harms the development of hockey in Quebec. The expectations of young teens are too high, as is the pressure on programs and their leaderswe can read in the report.

He suggests restructuring provincial leagues like the U18 AAA (formerly known as the Midget AAA League) and banning 14-year-olds upgrading.

Some proposed measures also relate to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), such as the establishment of a rating and analysis system for exceptional status claims for 16-year-old players.

The Courteau circuit would also be affected by the commission’s proposal to ban the exchange of an active player before he has finished secondary studies and to also ban the withdrawal in mid-season.

We also suggest reviewing and improving the games / practices ratio in the QMJHL.

Infrastructure to improve

The committee was also surprised to note Quebec’s lag in terms of the quality and quantity of rinks suitable for hockey and other ice sports.

It therefore supports the construction of covered and refrigerated ice rinks, which are less expensive and more versatile than arenas.

The committee proposes to create a national training and development center at the Institut national du sport du Québec.

It is about building a training and development complex with two rinks so that Hockey Quebec has a comprehensive service offering for player evaluation for Quebec teams.

It is understood that Patinage Québec (the figure skating federation) could also establish its elite programs there.

This center would be used for men’s and U18 development teams in women’s hockey and para hockey, as well as for the training of officials and coaches and for research.

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