U9 (Novice)

Hockey at the U9 (Novice) level continues to emphasize fun and development for 7 and 8 year old players (2015 and 2016 birth years for the 2023-24 season). Players begin to be introduced to the rules of the game and competition, as score is kept during games.

At the U9 level, players can play within the SJAMHA House League or choose to try out for the Canucks U9 A1 team.

2023/2024 Program Information

Dates, Times and Locations

  • SJAMHA U9 registration opens early August and season runs September to early March
  • Program will tentatively commence early to mid September
    • An e-mail regarding your child's first ice time will be sent approximately one week prior to the program start
  • Program runs each Saturday and Sunday (except holidays) with the odd bye week
  • Most house league ice times take place at Allard Arena with later morning weekend ice times
  • Most teams schedule 1-2 weekday practices between 5:00pm and 7:00pm
  • Most teams register for 2-4 weekend tournaments in January-March
  • Approximately 60 -70 total ice times during the season


  • Registration Fees: $650 registration fees ($600 if you register by August 30) covers Stage 1 Development Program and ice time for games
  • Team Fees: Approximately $250 for team fees (paid in November to team manager) covers tournaments, extra practice ice, team apparel, wind-up party based on decisions made by coaches, manager and parents


  • During Stage 1 of the season (U9 Development Program), sessions will be run by Vigier Hockey lead Instructors with the support of DP on-ice volunteers
  • During Stages 2 and 3 of the season (Team Play), volunteers act as coaches who must undergo Hockey Canada and Respect in Sport Training, as team managers, safety representative and tournament and event organizers and staff
  • For more information on volunteering with the U9 program, visit the CoachesIP/DP On-Ice Volunteers and Bench Staff resources pages
  • To become a DP On-Ice Volunteer or U9 Coach, complete the application form or contact VP House League Shawn Edinger if you have any questions


  • Follows Hockey Canada Long Term Player Development Model
  • Emphasizes skill development (skating, stopping, turning, puck handling, passing, and shooting)
  • Players placed in small groups with peers of similar age and level of skill and experience

Stages of U9 House League

Stage 1 – Development Program [DP] (September-October)

  • Players are grouped according to years of experience for a skill-based “camp”
  • Each Saturday session will be planned and implemented by a Lead Instructor from Vigier Hockey and supported by volunteer DP instructors
  • 1-2 evaluation skates may take place during Stage 1 to enable balanced team formation in Stage 2
  • Sunday’s DP session will be 20 minutes of skills based on Saturday’s session and 40 minutes of scrimmages run by volunteer DP instructors
  • Players can choose to try out for U9 A1 team
  • 1-2 evaluation skates may take place during Stage 1 to enable balanced team formation in Stage 2

Stage 2 – Team Formation, Half-Ice Game Play (November-December)

  • Teams are formed consisting of approximately 12 players. Teams are generally created geographically.
  • Saturdays - Team practice according to Hockey Canada developed practice plans.
  • Sundays - Game Day - Two teams are on the ice, 4 on 4 play, score is kept, referees manage game
    • The ice is divided with boards into two half-ice zones: a game zone and a development zone
    • Players are placed in three groups based on skill level
    • Players rotate through goalie position game by game (equipment is provided)
    • While two groups take part in the game (one on ice, the other on bench) , the third group is in the development zone practicing skills
    • Two minute shifts, and at 12 minute intervals, groups rotate in/out of the development zone.
  • Weekday Practice - Teams begin having weeknight indoor or outdoor practices

Stage 3 – 3/4-Ice Game Play, Tournaments (January-March)

  • Saturday and weekday practices and Sunday games continue
  • During Stage 3, tournaments begin. Most teams register for 2-4 indoor or outdoor tournaments between January and March, each consisting of 3-4 games. Most tournaments have half-ice game play
  • Team wind-up normally takes place mid-March and the season is complete before Spring Break

Half-Ice Hockey

Since the 2017-2018 season, U9 players play on a modified ice surface – slightly over half the size of a normal hockey rink – until December 31 each season. Games after December 31 within each hockey season may be played on 3/4 ice.