|Denise Broadbent||Vice President -Female Hockey|| email@example.com |
|Keri Nelson||Senior Director Elite Femalefirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chris Mack||Elite Female U15 Director||nciU15aa@lmha.ab.ca|
|Giovani Favis||Elite Female U18 Director||nciU18aa@lmha.ab.ca|
|Trish Spink||NCI Academic Advisoremail@example.com|
In 2016, Hockey Alberta revitalized its female development program with the introduction of its new Female Hockey Alberta Development Model (Click here for the ADM). This resulted in the creation of a new league called Alberta Female Hockey League (Click here for AFHL).
There are three divisions operating within the AFHL:
Leduc Minor Hockey Association (Click here for LMHA) was awarded the contract to operate the U18 AA and U15 AA teams for Alberta's North Central region. Operating under LMHA, these AA Female teams are known as North Central Impact (NCI)
Recruitment Areas are determined by Resident Minor Hockey Associations (MHA). Alberta's North Central Region includes athletes from the following Resident MHAs:
Beaumont Calmar Camrose Devon Drayton Valley Edson Enoch Hinton Jasper Leduc Maskwacis Millet New Sarepta Pembina Rosalind Spruce Grove Stony Plain Thorsby Wabamun Warburg Wetaskiwin Winfield
Every year, NCI hosts try outs during the month of September, based on timelines established by the Female Elite Hockey Committee and the AFHL. These typically begin on the weekend after the Labour Day weekend and conclude at the end of September/early October. Athletes who are unsuccessful in securing a roster spot on their Recruitment Area team can request a second try out from the Female Elite Hockey Committee. The location of the second try out is determined by the Female Elite Hockey Committee and is based on identified areas of need in the AFHL.
Try outs are a competitive process open annually to new and returning athletes. It is highly recommended to come to try outs in peak physical condition.
NCI offers a Spring ID Camp where athletes from across the Recruitment Area demonstrate their talent to the NCI Head Coach for the upcoming season. During information sessions held at the Camp, parents and athletes can learn details about the AFHL league, the path for female hockey athletes, and detailed information about the NCI program. Due to COVID-19, no Spring ID camp was held in 2020.
To help athletes become physically conditioned for tryouts, NCI also offers a variety of conditioning programs. A Spring/Summer Female Training Camp focuses on strength and endurance conditioning, both on and off the ice. This program trains appx 3x per week from May - August. In late summer, female-only conditioning camps are offered for U15 and U18. These camps allow athletes to break in new equipment before try outs, ease some pre-try out jitters, meet NCI Coaching staff, meet other athletes from NC region, and improve physical conditioning prior to the start of try outs. These camps are open to all Alberta athletes. Priority registration may be given to North Central zone athletes.
All athletes considering NCI try outs are encouraged to register in the NCI Conditioning Camp(s). Space is limited and camps often fill very quickly. Early registration is highly recommended.
AFHL U15AA and U18AA is a 26-game regular season with limited inter-conference play. For NCI, the majority of games will be held in the North against teams from Edmonton, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, Lloydminster, and Grande Prairie.
The regular season begins in mid-October and concludes with Hockey Alberta Provincials in late March.
Female Elite hockey provides athletes with an opportunity to play at a level that fosters skill development and focuses on helping athletes advance to the next level, bridging the gap between grassroots programs and AAA. As such, North Central Impact utilizes contracted resources to support skilled Coaching Staff in developmental areas which could include, but are not limited to:
NCI also supports whole athlete development via mentorship and grassroots development initiatives, community engagement, as well as academic and college/university recruitment and billet supports.
NCI's Recruitment Area is geographically vast. To support athletes from the far reaches of the Recruitment Area, NCI researched and wrote a detailed billet program designed to create smooth transitions and successful life experiences for young athletes who wish to pursue their hockey career in Leduc. The program is administered and monitored by a dedicated Billet Coordinator with a background in social work, children's services, or similar.
In each of its first two seasons, NCI had one billeted athlete. Both were extremely successful placements that have resulted in enduring, caring relationships. Into the future,NCI hopes to attract even more billeted athletes to support a truly regional team.
Families who would require billeting in the coming season if their athlete was successful in making an NCI roster, are encouraged to contact the NCI Senior Director of Female Elite Hockey in the summer to discuss the program.
Female Elite Teams are able to register a maximum of 17 skaters and 2 goaltenders, but no fewer that 15 skaters and 1 goaltender.
Each team is able to affiliate 19 athletes to its roster who are eligible to compete in a maximum of 10 games (some exceptions apply). Affiliates can be from co-ed or female hockey and must be registered in a Minor Hockey Association in the North Central zone
Hockey Alberta expects teams to be built with the best possible coaches and athletes available to them. Thus, there are no resident or recruitment area quotas in place. NCI welcomes athletes into it's try out process throughout the month of September via the AFHL Second Try Out Procedure.
NCI teams have 2 regularly scheduled on-ice practices per week. Historically, one practice is held in the Leduc Recreation Centre and the second is held in a nearby Recruitment Area community. In its first four seasons, NCI held its second practice in Thorsby, Alberta.
A number of NCI athletes choose to live at home and assume a significant driving commitment to be part of an NCI AA Female team. With this in mind, NCI Administration works diligently to schedule off-ice development activities on the same days as regularly scheduled practices. However, there will be a need to have additional training and development sessions throughout the year. NCI will endeavor to provide a calendar of events at the beginning of the season so that families can plan accordingly.
Female Elite Hockey will require a commitment of 4-5 days per week from October through March. September tryouts may reach 5-6 ice times and fitness testing per week. While many elite female athletes also participate in other sports and activities, it will be expected that hockey is the primary sport/activity in the athlete's year (from September to March).
For away games in excess of 150km, the athletes and team staff will travel by team bus. A contracted coach bus service will provide opportunity for parents and siblings to travel on the team bus for a minimal fee, providing there are available seats. This may change in 2020-21 season pending regulations and guidance relative to COVID-19.
For league games and tournaments that require an overnight stay, athletes will share a hotel room with teammates and will be supervised by team staff. Parents do not need to travel with athletes to these games although attendance by family members is encouraged. Most meals for road trips will be organized by the team staff, ensuring that your athlete receives proper nutrition and hydration while on the road.
NCI is a division of Leduc MHA and is supported by the LMHA Board of Directors, Policies & Procedures, Regulations and Bylaws. NCI is well supported by LMHA's Vice President of Female Hockey, Senior Director of Elite Female Hockey, a U18AA Female Director and a U15AA Female Director. The LMHA Board is comprised of volunteers and supported by paid staff - Administrator and Financial Administrator.
Members of NCI teams will be subject to three categories of fees as follows:
In total, a family can expect to pay $4000 or more to participate in this elite level of female hockey. Nearly 50% of this cost is due to travel- bus, hotels, and meals. This is similar across all teams operating within the AFHL AA divisions.
NCI supports teams & athletes in reducing these costs through fundraising and corporate sponsorship programs.
NCI recruits Team Staff during the Spring/Summer. Team staff include Head Coach, 2-3 Assistant/Support Coaches, and an Athletic Therapist.
Parent-coach applications are welcome. The hiring of a parent-coach does not result in a secured roster position for his/her athlete. All roster spots are earned through NCI's athlete selection process. NCI accepts applications from across Alberta and makes a concerted effort to recruit qualified female coaching staff.
Parents who are skilled, qualified coaches may have an opportunity to become Assistant Coaches on the team. Parent Coaches (Assistants) will not be named until the athlete selection process is complete despite the fact that some parents may be invited to help on-ice with practices during the athlete selection period.
Questions about the NCI program can be forwarded to the Senior Director of Female Elite Hockey whose contact information can be found on the NCI Female Homepage of the LMHA website.