USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) stresses the benefits of providing a higher ratio of practice-to-game time on the ice, and the value of “shrinking” the space young players have to work with in order to increase the number of touches each player gets during practice.
The “Rink Divider” system is the premier way of dividing the existing full sheet of ice to create two smaller playing surfaces. The Divider itself is made of the same material as the boards that surround the rink; just a bit thinner. The system comes in approximately 15 pieces and locks together piece by piece. Once the divider is up, you can set up two games on the two smaller ice surfaces.
Have you ever thought about running two practices at the same time, or running a practice while there is public or figure skating session going on at the same time?
The Rink Divider system consists of a temporary wall that separates the rink into two or more individual ice surfaces while providing a safe and attractive barrier that can be quickly set up or removed between events.
The divider system will increase the effectiveness of practices as there is less time chasing stray pucks. Younger players can play the game rather than just skating up and down a huge surface typically chasing the fastest skater. The divider system allows up to three different groups in their own small rinks within the larger surface, thereby increasing the number of users.
The major benefit of the divider system will take place starting next season when all mite hockey is played “cross ice.” Cross-ice does not necessarily mean you have to play side to side. It means you have to play on a smaller sheet of ice. By playing on the smaller surface you create better skill on many levels.
Think of a Little League baseball field vs. a Major League baseball field. Think of running to first base, which is only 60 feet away as opposed to 90 feet away in Major League baseball. Having to play on a smaller sheet of ice promotes more “touches’ of the puck and allows for more players to be involved in the game. It also forces the kids to constantly move because their space is limited. More shots are taken on goal as well, which allows the goaltender to hone his or her skillset as well.
The goal of cross ice hockey is to develop better skill at the younger ages, which will translate to a better skillset when the players get older. By having the Divider system here on the Vineyard, our rink will be a place visiting teams will want to come and play, rather than playing with the soft bumper system that moves out of place and doesn’t create a firm “board” for bouncing passes off or wrapping the puck “around the boards.”
The divider is not just for mites. The use of a half rink is beneficial for several age brackets. The divider system will be used by Mites and Squirts to create these smaller surfaces thereby more intensified games. Potentially the divider system can be used for the Island League. Kids in the Island League will enjoy themselves and increase their skill level.
Special thanks to Mite Coach, Geoghan Coogan, and the grant provided by the Farm Neck Association, proceeds generated from the Boston College camp and the generous donation from the Taylor Fund.