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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

AHAI will be hosting a return to play webinar for those interested in learning about how AHAI, USA Hockey, Affiliates and Rinks are navigating the COVID-19 pandemic and following the Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines. AHAI will also discuss USA Hockey Coaching Certifications and the USA Hockey Membership Toolkit which contains invaluable marketing resources as we get back to the rinks. 

Panelists include: Katie Holmgren, USA Hockey Director, Program Services; Mike Barrett, AHAI President; Keri Zschach, AHAI Presidents' Council Committee Chair; Jim Clare, AHAI Coach-In-Chief & Vice President of Membership; Dan Gallagher, AHAI Director; and Laura Johnson, AHAI Registrar.

The Phase 4 | Return to Play Webinar will be streamed LIVE on AHAI's YouTube Channel at on Saturday, June 27th at 8:30 am (CST). 

AHAI to Hold Annual Affiliate Leadership Conference Virtually

AHAI held its Annual Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC) virtually this year (June 27-28) to comply with the Restore Illinois guidelines that are currently in place. To insure that Affiliate Leaders who wished to participate were able to attend any or all of the sessions, we held breakout sessions via Zoom and streamed live on our YouTube channel. Please click here to watch recorded breakout session webinars or download breakout session power point presentations. AHAI would like to thank all the Affiliate Leaders who took time out of their weekend to attend the 2020 AALC.

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.

Attention All High School Combined Programs: Combined Applications for Fall 2020-2021 Due June 30

By Jack Weinberg, AHAI High School Committee Chair

The application for combined High School organizations is now available on the AHAI Webtool. June 30th is the deadline for filing Combined Applications for the Fall 2020-2021 season. Applications are filed electronically by each organization’s registrar using the AHAI Webtool. In addition to completing the application, we need full information for all officers at your club including: name, mailing address, email address and phone number. It is critical that the contact information for your organization is current to assure that you are up to date with the latest news regarding High School Affiliates. If you have questions on how to update your contacts or complete your application, contact the AHAI Registrar at If you have other questions for the High School Committee, please email

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.


Now Is a Great Time to Get Your Credentials Done

By Laura Johnson, AHAI Registrar - With government restrictions in place, we are finding ourselves with extra time. What a great opportunity to catch up on completing your required USA Hockey credentials. When restrictions are lifted, and life goes back to normal, our activities will rapidly ramp up, we will all find ourselves scrambling to get long overdue tasks completed.

What an opportunity to go online NOW and complete or update your hockey credentials!

First, you will need to register for the 2020/21 season by going to the USA Hockey Website. As part of the registration, you will acknowledge the USA Hockey Waiver of Liability and the Concussion and SafeSport acknowledgements. 

The 2020/21 USA Hockey Registration is valid until August 31, 2021. CONTINUE READING FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION>>

Team Registrations - Looking Ahead

By Laura Johnson, AHAI Registrar - Many have questions about the status of spring team registrations given the Covid-19 pandemic.

First and foremost, AHAI is complying with the restrictions put in place by the local and national governing bodies. Under no circumstances do we condone any type of team activities which defies government restrictions.

We are hopeful that we will all be back in the rinks soon. In anticipation of returning to playing hockey, it is helpful for you understand the season dates.

Spring and Summer Hockey Season

Spring/Summer hockey runs until August 31st. Should government restrictions be lifted allowing group activities prior to August 31st, rosters submitted that comply with the AHAI Spring/Summer registration rules will be certified. It is my intention to have 24-hour turn around for those rosters. CONTINUE READING FOR IMPORTANT INFORMATION>>

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