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YOUTH SPORTS GUIDELINES-Updated Restore Illinois Phase 3 information

This document is applicable to businesses that meet the following criteria:

• Organizations operating recreational sport activities for youth

i. Examples of youth sports include (non-exhaustive): competitive sports games or matches, group sports lessons,

team or group sports practices

• In Phase III, youth sports activities are limited to:

i. Drills, practices, and lessons that do not involve contact between individuals and allow for 6-ft of social distancing

to be maintained (no competitive games allowed)

Uniform guidelines across businesses, industries and nonprofits within the State of Illinois:

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.

Important Information Regarding Coaching Education Program Clinics from the Central District Coach-In-Chief, Doug Dietz

This note is being sent to all the coaches and team managers from the 2019-2020 season in the Central District. The last few months have been a challenge for so many people and businesses due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. All the uncertainty has also had an impact on the hockey world. We at USA Hockey are closely monitoring the situation, and I have been keeping close tabs on developments specific to Central District. We obviously don’t know what the future will hold, but as more information becomes available I will ensure to communicate it through direct email and District/Association communication channels established within Central District.

Coaching Clinics

The Coach-in-Chiefs are examining various options to hold clinics next fall. Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, no clinics will be posted until September, at the earliest. When more information is available, we will let you know. On the other hand, the Online Modules and Level 3 Recertification (which is only good for one year) programs are online and available now. If you’re a level 3 coach and can recertify either with track 1 or track 2, we encourage you to do so. If you know that you’re moving up a level (i.e.: 12U to 14U), please to take the time to do the age appropriate modules now.

Remember it’s better to be above the curve rather than waiting until the last minute to complete your certification: 

A few things you can do now to prepare for the 2020-21 season:

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email. My email address

In closing, on behalf of our entire Central District Education Program staff, I wish you all the best in this difficult time. Stay safe and healthy. We will play hockey again!

This document is a guide for the re-opening of facilities and AHAI membership returning to training.
AHAI understands that most facilities re-opening’s will be different in terms of opening dates and government restrictions. This document is to assist the partnerships of the facilities, Affiliate/ Clubs and membership to return to training in a healthy, safe environment.

This document only becomes effective when the State and local Governments allow facilities to open.

Please read through this guide so all of us are better prepared for when the rinks re-open for our skaters

Important Update Regarding the 2020 AHAI Annual Meeting

Dear Hockey Community: The AHAI Board of Directors sincerely hopes that everyone is healthy and well and we hope that you continue to be so throughout this global viral pandemic.

We are mindful of the significant impacts resulting from the COVID-19 shutdowns and similarly aware of the impacts resulting to the hockey community. We are working with USA Hockey and other affiliates to identify the best practices for a safe return to our great sport and want you to know that more information will follow, in as timely a fashion as is permissible, to everyone so we may play hockey again.

In addition to conducting hockey operations, AHAI is also a corporate entity organized in Illinois pursuant to the Illinois Not for Profit Corporations Act. One requirement of the Act, as well as AHAI's by-laws, is that AHAI must conduct an annual meeting.

AHAI's past practice was to conduct the Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC) which was coupled with the requirements of an annual meeting with various breakout sessions discussing hockey-related topics. We are sure everyone understands the impractical (and currently impermissible) ability to conduct an annual meeting consistent with past practice.

Based on the current medical and governmental restrictions pertaining to group functions, AHAI is required to make some adjustments to this year's AALC.

In order to comply with the mandates of the Act and AHAI's by-laws, we will conduct an annual meeting primarily for AHAI's members to vote to elect five board members to the AHAI Board and also to vote to approve any changes to the AHAI by-laws.

The second aspect of AHAI's prior AALC meetings consisted of the Leadership Conference and traditionally focused on a variety of topics of interest to our members. Based on current stated rules concerning the coronavirus and to lessen the burden on our members, AHAI will separate this portion from this year's AALC.

Therefore, on May 30th, AHAI will host a virtual annual meeting with its members and limit the annual meeting to voting on the board of directors and the by-laws. Details on how that will occur will be sent to every organizations' leadership shortly.

On June 27, 2020, AHAI's current plan is to conduct the scheduled break-out sessions and townhall meetings at the Westin Hotel in Itasca. Please note, however, that the decision to conduct an in-person conference will be made in accordance with State rules for gatherings. We will have more information about the June 27 conference as we approach that date. In the event a large group gathering is not permissible by June 27, AHAI will identify contingency plans to conduct the breakout sessions remotely via available technology (Zoom, YouTube Live, etc.). A decision will be made on this portion of the AALC at the appropriate time.

Candidates Announced for 2020 AHAI Board of Directors Election

Seven (7) candidates have submitted their nomination in accordance with the AHAI by-laws to fill the five (5) open seats to serve a three (3) year term on the AHAI Board of Directors. Please click on each individual candidate's name to view their bio. The Board of Directors election will be held at the 2020 virtual annual meeting on May 30th.

Michael Barrett*
Kevin Bolger*
Justin Lewandowski
Ken Michel*
Mike Mullally*
Tony Rossi*
Antionette (Ann) Wichert

*Denotes incumbent

Proposed By-Law Amendment
AHAI, with the help of outside experts, undertook a long overdue review of our by-laws and rules/regulations. This had not been done for many years. The by-laws have been streamlined to only include those items that pertain to the overarching functions needed to operate the organization. What you will notice is that some items in the by-laws have been removed, specifically the Tier II and Tier I articles. These sections will be moved into the Rules and Regulations as part of this update. It is important to know that these two sections and the items within all still apply. The recommended by-laws will be disseminated to our affiliate leadership shortly along with how we will handle the vote and discussion on by-laws at the virtual annual meeting on May 30th.

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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