The AHAI Affiliate Leadership Conference (AALC) is the annual gathering of all our Affiliates throughout the state. It was held virtually via Zoom over three nights, June 22-24, 2021. The conference is designed to educate Affiliate Leaders and allow AHAI to hear from our members on a variety of topics which include growth and communication initiatives, USA Hockey rule changes, rules and ethics issues, referee retention, coaching education, High School, Girls, Tier II and House League Hockey in Illinois among other topics. The Zoom sessions were open to any Affiliate leader, staff, or coach. Presenters included AHAI Committee Chairs and USA Hockey Staff.
Jim Clare, AHAI VP of Membership, Katie Holmgren, USA Hockey Program Services Director and Erika Lehman, US Figure Skating Marketing Director hosted a roundtable discussion regarding tools such as grants, social media, National Try Hockey events and more to help Affiliates grow youth hockey in Illinois.
Tier II Chairman, Gregg Chudacoff and Tier II Presidents’ Council Chairwoman and VP of Operations, Keri Zschach hosted an open discussion on Tier II hockey in Illinois and USA Hockey’s new rule changes and how they will impact Tier II hockey.
AHAI President, Kevin Bolger discussed Suspension & Review policies and procedures, newly organized AHAI rules for the 2021-22 season and USA Hockey rule changes for 2021-2025 and their impact on hockey in Illinois.
Eric Cowsill, Illinois Referee-in-Chief and Steve Rickard, IHOA President reviewed new USA Hockey rule changes for 2021-25. They also focused on upcoming 2021 Officiating Seminars as well as retention of officials and opportunities available to Affiliates to have IHOA speak at their club/team meetings.
Illinois Coach-in-Chief Jim Clare led a discussion regarding USA Hockey rule changes, new CEP course curriculum and new coaching requirements for 2021-22. Jim also elaborated on the definition of “Competitive Contact” as well as the opportunities for Affiliate visits by USA Hockey ADM Managers.
Cameron Eickmeyer, Director of IT Development for USA Hockey spoke about the opportunities available to Affiliates within USA Hockey’s Event Management System (EMS). This was the system used for registration for AHAI’s 2021 Affiliate Leadership Conference.
Anita Lichterman, AHAI Girls Committee Chair held a roundtable discussion that included the Player Movement and Two-Choice Rules, AHAI State Tournament, America’s Showcase, the 2021 Women’s Leadership Summit and how to grow girls hockey in Illinois.
Jim Clare, AHAI VP of Membership, Keri Zschach, AHAI VP of Operations and Anita Lichterman, AHAI Girls Chair led a robust discussion surrounding how to elevate the importance of House League Hockey in Illinois.
High School Hockey Chairman Jack Weinberg led a roundtable discussion that included the future of Combined High School Hockey in Illinois, the JV State Tournament, the need for more volunteers and USA Hockey’s new rule changes and their impact on high school hockey.