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NHAHA Member Associations

2020-21 Coaching Guidelines

Larry Rocha – Coach-in-Chief … New England District


New England District Coaching Update – June 2020



Hockey is starting to make a return as some rinks are opening. The guidelines are different from state to state and rink to rink. This note is being sent to all the New England District coaches and team managers from the 2019-2020 season so they can try to keep up with the ever-changing situations for the upcoming 2020-21 season.

USA Hockey’s National Office, all the District’s in USA Hockey, the District Coach-in-Chiefs, the Coaching Education Program’s Instructors, the New England District, the Affiliate Presidents and Directors have been exploring options for the upcoming season. These groups include the National Office, to name a few. As more information becomes available you can check the New England District’s website ( and the USA Hockey website ( for this information.

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

• Register as a Coach:
• Background Check:
     o This is a new process for next season and is good for two years.
• Safe Sport:
     o This needs to be done annually.
• On-Line Modules (down from 5 to 3: 8U, 10U/12U, 13+)

Level 3 Recertification (which is only good for one year)

Coaching Clinics (3 Options):

The Coaching Education Program (National Office and the Coach-in-Chiefs) have come up with three options for clinics for the 2020-21 season due to the pandemic. The first thing you need to do is register as a coach for the 2020-21 season (see above for the link to register).

Temporary Card: Realizing that many coaches may not want to attend an in person clinic or do not have the at-home capability to participate on an on-line clinic … USA Hockey is offering a special “temporary card” option. A temporary card will extend your current certification for one year. It is a one-time deal and will last for the 2020-21 season. This temporary card is for Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4. Originally this special temporary card was available until June 30th, but this option is expected to be extended.
     o download the form

• On-Line Virtual Clinic: These clinics will be virtual using the free ZOOM video conferencing software. These virtual clinics will have “breakout” rooms for small-group discussions as part of the learning experience. These virtual clinics will take place in two … three hour sessions on two separate days. Coaches must attend both sessions to get credit for the clinic. Please keep in mind that you will need a good, solid internet connection to participate in these virtual clinics. Several Districts have already scheduled a few virtual clinics posted on the USA Hockey website. I have been meeting with my staff of instructors for training with the new curriculum and our plan is to post some virtual clinics in the next few weeks. Please keep in mind that these clinics are open to any coach in the United States and because you do not have to travel to attend a clinic the clinics might fill fast. I will post some clinics as soon as my staff is trained in the new curriculum and presenting clinics virtual with ZOOM clinics.

• In-Person Clinic: There is still a chance that clinics will be offered in-person but the timing and how these clinics can take place safely is still uncertain. These clinics will depend on the “openness” of each of the states in the New England District, safety protocol, and how comfortable coaches and instructors feel in an in-person clinic.

In closing, I appreciate your understanding as we all attempt to navigate getting coaches properly certified given COVID-19 and the pandemic. I and my entire staff of instructors wish you all the best in this difficult time. Stay safe and healthy. See you in the fall.
Brief Summary of the Proposed Clinic Progression

NOTE: In addition to the clinics a coach must …

• Complete SafeSport every year
• Have a Background Check.
• A coach can only attend one clinic a year
• Age Specific Modules must be completed before a coach can be placed on a roster. A coach must complete a module for each age group they are coaching and once completed a coach does not need to take again.
• Deadline to be current is December 31 or October 31 for Split Season teams.