|Curtis Ferguson||Senior Director Elite Femaleemail@example.com|
|Denise Broadbent||Vice President -Female Hockey|| firstname.lastname@example.org |
|Pamela Orr||Billet Coordinator|| email@example.com |
|Chris Mack||Elite Female Bantam Directorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Keri Nelson||Elite Female Midget Directoremail@example.com|
|Sterling Critchley||Recruitment|| firstname.lastname@example.org |
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 Midget Elite and Bantam Elite teams for Alberta's North Central region. Operating under LMHA, these Elite 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 ADM and AFHL. These typically begin on the weekend after the Labour Day weekend and conclude at the end of September. Athletes who are unsuccessful in securing a roster spot on their Recruitment Area team can request a second try out from the ADM Committee. The location of the second try out is determined by the ADM Committee and is based on identified areas of need.
Try outs are a competitive process open annually to new and returning athletes. It is highly recommended to come to try outs in your best 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.
To help athletes become physically conditioned for tryouts, NCI also offers late-summer, female only, conditioning camps for Bantam and Midget age athletes. These camps allow athletes to break in new equipment before try outs, ease some of the pre-try out jitters, meet the NCI Head Coach, meet some of the other athletes from around the region who intend to try out, and improve their physical conditioning prior to the start of try outs. These camps are open to all Alberta athletes and also open to minor or elite level athletes.
In 2018, the NCI program decided not to host Spring ID camps. Instead, it will use the Conditioning Camps for ID purposes and offer NCI information sessions during this time. All athletes considering NCI try outs are encouraged to register in the 2018 Conditioning Camp(s). Space is limited and early registration is recommended.
AFHL Bantam Elite and Midget Elite 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 in 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 enables skill development and focuses on helping them get 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 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 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.
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).
Hockey Alberta expects teams to be built with the best possible coaches and athletes available to them. Thus, there are no quotas in place. NCI welcomes athletes into it's try out process throughout the month of September via the ADM second try out procedure.
NCI teams have 2 regularly scheduled on-ice practices per week. One practice is held in the Leduc Recreation Centre and the second is held in a nearby Recruitment Area community. In its first two 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 Elite 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.
For away games in excess of 100km, 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.
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, Regulations and Bylaws. NCI is primarily supported by LMHA's Director of Female Elite Hockey and also by the Vice President of Female Hockey. The LMHA Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers and supported by an Administrator and a 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 level of elite female hockey. This is similar across all teams operating within the AFHL Elite divisions.
NCI offers supports for teams & athletes to implement fundraising and corporate sponsorship programs which can significantly reduce fees for families.
NCI recruits its Head Coaches and some Assistant/Support Coaches during the spring/summer.
Parent-coach applications are welcome. The hiring of a parent-coach does not result in a secured roster position for his/her daughter. 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. Assistant Coaches 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 Director of Female Elite whose contact information can be found on the NCI Female Homepage of the LMHA website.