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AHAI Statement Concerning Return To Play (July 31, 2020)

AHAI understands that COVID-19 guidance is constantly developing and changing. AHAI recommends all its members adhere to the Federal, State, Local Government guidelines, including local rink policies, for best practices on COVID-19 health and prevention. These guidelines include, but are not limited to, the All Sports Policy, Youth Sports Guidance, and Indoor/Outdoor Recreation Facilities Guidance from the State of Illinois. We realize that the guidance can (and may very well) change at some point in the future.

Each AHAI affiliate should prepare its own plan, in conjunction with your local rinks, for returning players to the ice. AHAI does not operate ice rinks or affiliates nor does it determine when, and how, it is appropriate to return to the rinks. AHAI has no role in determining such actions.

Click HERE for the All Sports Policy.

So that players may return to the ice and receive the benefits afforded to them through their membership with USA Hockey, and in hopeful anticipation that scrimmages and/or games will occur in the near future, AHAI will release the 2020/21 USA Hockey Registry to all AHAI Affiliate organizations on August 4, 2020. AHAI will follow its current rostering rules.

Fall Season dates for obtaining an official USA Hockey certified roster are stated in the AHAI Rules & Regulations and will be followed.

.    High School and Youth starting September 1st.
.    Tier 1, Girls, Adult and Woman starting August 15th.
At this time, AHAI will not approve travel permits or sanction in-state tournaments.

AHAI Affiliate Organizations are accountable to governmental agencies and AHAI recommends all organizations comply with the State of Illinois, local government, and applicable health department guidelines. Each organization is responsible for awareness of the most current guidelines.

AHAI will release additional information as the situation warrants.

Important Announcement from the AHAI High School Committee

In order to be fair to the potential players of high school hockey, the AHAI board voted to remove the linkage between the beginning of any possible high school hockey season and dates created by the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). Therefore, the High School division of AHAI will be treated the same as all of our other youth divisions as to the criteria used in the return to play. 

- Jack Weinberg, AHAI High School Committee Chairman

Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2020-2021 Season

The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U will begin on July 21, 2020. All applications will be submitted online. Please click HERE to apply.

The Tier II Committee will have (3) three appeal hearings for those denied a substitute choice. The dates for the appeals are August 13, August 27, and September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. If denied, please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at with your preferred appeal hearing date. The deadline for applying for a substitute choice will be September 15, 2020. 

AHAI Advisory on COVID-19 and Youth Hockey

July 13, 2020 - As many of you are aware, the circumstances are ever changing surrounding COVID-19. AHAI has encouraged our affiliates to adhere to the guidelines published by the State of Illinois concerning youth sports. Illinois has published specific guidelines for youth sports and indoor/outdoor facilities. AHAI is also releasing an advisory to all members as it pertains to these guidelines as well as non-sanctioned events during Phase 4. AHAI will host a Presidents meeting for all Youth Hockey Affiliates and one for all High School Affiliates to discuss the guidance and hear from our members as to how they are handling the administrative side of the current situation. This is a chance to share information with each other. The date and time is TBD, but expected to be the week of July 20th. Please see below to read AHAI's Advisory on COVID-19 and Youth Hockey. Click here to read Restore Illinois Phase 4 Youth and Recreational Sports Guidelines and click here to read Restore Illinois Phase 4 Indoor & Outdoor Recreation Guidelines.


AHAI Advisory on COVID-19 and Youth Hockey

Community knowledge surrounding COVID-19 is constantly developing and changing. Official reporting suggests circumstances will vary based on geographic region. Therefore, AHAI strongly encourages all participants in youth hockey to adhere to the Federal, Illinois Government, and any local government guidelines for best practices on COVID-19 health practices and prevention.

Each AHAI-affiliated association should have its own plan in place for returning players to the game. AHAI has no role in operating ice rinks or affiliate-associations. Government advice suggests rinks and associations should follow the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Health and its Guidance for Social Distancing, as well as any local government directives in determining when, and how, it is appropriate to return to the rinks, including requirements or guidelines for physical distancing, size of gatherings or number of people permitted in a facility, or wearing masks, etc. AHAI has no role in determining such actions.

Currently there are no active Illinois USAH Certified Rosters in effect. This includes all team types- Youth, Girls, HS, Adult, Women's, Special. This means that no AHAI-sanctioned events, which require a roster, can currently take place. Games of any sort, require an official USAH Roster. We are not issuing any rosters.

Please be aware that should your members/players elect to participate in events which are not sanctioned by USA Hockey or AHAI, such non-sanctioned events are operated entirely independent of USAH and AHAI. No AHAI affiliate, nor any director/officer/employee/agent of an AHAI affiliate may operate, advertise or participate in establishing any non-sanctioned event while acting in that affiliate-capacity. Therefore, anyone involved in non-sanctioned events is absolutely prohibited from using your AHAI Affiliate Identity in any way. For example, your affiliate name may not be used to advertise or register participants for such events; may not be used on standings; and may not be used on jerseys or other equipment. Violation of these prohibitions is a violation of AHAI rules and subjects the violator to Disciplinary Action under AHAI Rules Article 9.

2020-2021 Tier I Tryout Information

  • July 27: Player Cards and financial obligation may be signed. Up to 75% of the players per team may be "signed" without a tryout. Cards will be sent on the 27th of July (you MUST provide an email address to where to send card).
  • Tryout schedule: There will be one tryout per team; there will not be a coordinated effort for tryouts. Tier I clubs may choose either of the dates listed below. All players at the tryout and prior to must be informed of the number of open positions per team roster (minimum of 5 positions).
    • Girls Tryout: July 28 or July 29
    • Youth Tier I Tryout: August 1 or August 2
    • Midget Tier I Tryout: August 3 or August 4
  • Aug 15: The Tier I Season does not begin until August 15th. Thus, only practices starting August 15. The earliest AHAI will issue rosters is August 15th.  No games can be played by any Tier I unless they have a roster.

Please contact Tier I clubs directly or check their websites for exact tryout dates, times and locations.

Chicago Fury -
Chicago Mission -
Chicago Young Americans -
Team Illinois -

Coaching Education Program Update

USA Hockey extends deadline to apply for 2020-21 COVID-19 Temporary Coaching Card
By Jim Clare, AHAI Coach-In-Chief

As has been mentioned many times, we are dealing with some new and challenging scenarios in our lives and in the hockey world. To help our coaches navigate the CEP process, USA Hockey has restructured their coaching certification requirements for the 2020-2021 season.

As of today, USA Hockey will not allow us to post onsite clinics, all clinics are being held virtually. For Illinois, this does not pose a huge issue as we typically start our CEP clinic season in early September. We have secured dates for those clinics. Depending on the Restore Illinois Plan, as it stands right now, we should be able to conduct some clinics in-person. However, this should not stop any coach from achieving their next level of certification by attending a virtual clinic. Districts are running most of these clinics with the help of USA Hockey. They are posted at You can attend any clinic across the country that has space.

In regards to the temporary coaching cards, which will extend your current certification for the 2020-21 season without having to attend a clinic, we are pleased to announce that USA Hockey is extending the deadline until July 31, 2020. Please click here to register for the temporary card online or download the form that you will need to complete and submit to the USA Hockey national office. If you apply for a temporary card but still want to advance your certification level (which you will need to do at some point), you can attend a virtual or in-person clinic this year free of charge.

The bottom line is that a temporary card is good, but there will still be a requirement to advance your level 1, 2, or 3 next year. Why not get it done this season virtually or in-person and stay on track? Any questions, reach out to me at

A Step aHead Program Set to Launch on August 1, 2020

The A Step aHead partners are excited to announce the 10th year of our program! We are proud of the work that has been done to educate our youth hockey community about sports safety and provide free baseline neurocognitive testing. We look forward to another 10 years of working to keep our athletes safe while they play the game they love.

This year the free baseline testing will be offered from August 1 through November 30, 2020. We will continue to offer the testing at select Athletico clinics. Please click here for additional information. Registration for baseline testing will open soon.

AHAI Leadership Conference and Annual Meeting recap

On Saturday, May 30, AHAI held the legally required Annual Meeting part the usual AHAI Leadership Conference. Due to the current pandemic, the Annual Meeting was conducted by virtual webinar.

The membership education segment is currently scheduled for Saturday, June 27. There will be additional information in the future on the education segment’s content and format.

AHAI hosted a return to play webinar for our affiliate leadership to share how AHAI, USA Hockey, Affiliates, and Rinks are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and following the Restore Illinois Phase 3 and 4 Guidelines.  

Webinar panelists included Kevin Erlenbach, USA Hockey Assistant Executive Director, Membership; Mike Barrett, AHAI President; Keri Zschach, AHAI Presidents Council Committee Chair; Jim Clare, AHAI Coach-In-Chief and VP of Membership; Dan Gallagher, AHAI Director and AHAI Registrar, Laura Johnson.

Please click HERE to watch full video.

Tier II Substitute Choice Application Process for 2020-2021 Season

The Tier II substitute choice application process, 10U through 16U/18U will begin on July 17, 2020. All applications will be submitted online. The Tier II Committee will have (3) three appeal hearings for those denied a substitute choice. The dates for the appeals are August 13, August 27, and September 9, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. Location will be announced at a later date. If denied, please email Gregg Chudacoff, AHAI Tier II Chairman, at with your preferred appeal hearing date. The deadline for applying for a substitute choice will be September 13, 2020.

You will find helpful articles regarding the Two Choice Rule, Choice Substitutions and what you should consider before making that second choice as well as information regarding the 16U/18U Third Choice in the articles below.

Tier II Substitute Choice Application

Please click LOGO to apply

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