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No decision yet on cross-ice hockey rules dispute: OHF

The Ontario Hockey Federation says there’s still no final decision regarding the implementation of cross-ice hockey this season.

The OHF convened a special meeting of its Board of Directors on Saturday to address the concerns raised about the new Hockey Canada rules for the upcoming season.

“The OHF continues to work with all its Minor Hockey Associations/Clubs and Members, in conjunction with Hockey Canada, to find a resolution to the implementation of the Initiation Program,” read a brief statment from the OHF.

The new rules, announced last January and implemented this season, require that all five- and six-year-old hockey players play on cross-ice or half-ice. The game is faster, smaller and focused on skill development as kids play along the width, versus the length, of the rink.

But the rules have created considerable confusion among some leagues about how it applies to the elite teams.

At issue are play-up players — kids whose abilities and skills have allowed them to play and compete with older age divisions.

The GTHL was said to be bringing forth a proposal at this weekend’s meeting but no details have been released. All an OHF spokesperson would tell CityNews is that there would be “a discussion” this weekend.

Hockey Canada says it is looking to expand cross-ice hockey to other age groups and that by the 2019-20 season, players up to the age of eight will be playing some form of cross-ice hockey.