Fourth Line Program

What is the 4th line program?

The concept behind the “4th line” program is to have players exposed to teams in a higher category and/or division so that they can:

  • Be exposed to a more competitive level of play in order to advance their individual development 
  • Gain exposure to the coaches of the upper level teams 
  • Better appreciate what they need to work on to play at the next level
  • Enjoy getting on the ice with different girls from the association
  • Build relationships

We believe that most coaches can integrate a 4th line into their practices with minimal disruption.  We need our coaches to buy into this idea with the goal of improving the skills of our girls at every level.   

This program does not affect the coach’s ability to pick up players for practices or games throughout the season in accordance with Section 7 of the LLFHL Rules which states:

“A Pick-Up Player is defined as EITHER from”:

a.      a younger Division and the same category or lower;

b.      the same Division and lower category:


(E.g.): 1 - Bantam A team can call from Peewee A team

(E.g.): 2 - Bantam A team can call from Peewee BB team

(E.g.): 3 - Bantam A team can call from Bantam BB team

(E.g.): 4 - Bantam A team can NOT call from Peewee AA team”

 Minor and Major Players

Minor players will be sent up within their division.

(E.g.) Novice DS to Atom B

(E.g.) Atom B to Atom A

Majors will be sent up an age group, to the next division.

(E.g.) Atom A or B to PW A or B

(E.g.) PW A or B to Bantam A or BB or B

(E.g.) Bantam B or BB or A to Midget B or BB or A

This will allow players the opportunity to experience the level they will most likely play the following year.

Coaches of the team inviting players are free to mix and match the 4th line among all the teams they invite. For example, Peewee B can host majors from Atom A and Atom B during the year.  In setting the schedule, it is open to the Peewee B team to fill a 4th line for a practice with an assortment of players from both teams if that makes the process work better.  The option is available to allow more flexibility into the process.

At the end of each month all coaches of the inviting team are expected to complete and email the provided excel sheet to the Development Director showing how they have utilized the program during the previous month.  Rep coaches are expected to submit this starting in September.  The only exception to this is the Atom B team.  The Atom B team will submit their 4th line schedule once the DS team is assembled and candidates can be identified

The 4th line program will be monitored to ensure that all players that want to and are capable of playing at the appropriate advanced level get the opportunity to do so. The goal of the program is to develop our girls to their highest potential and to place them in the most appropriate level to maximize their skills, development and enjoyment. 

How It Works


The 4th line program will be administered by the team coaches in consultation with the Development Director.

Player participation is voluntary.  We appreciate that rep players already dedicate a significant amount of time to their teams.  However, we expect most of our players to take advantage of this great opportunity.  The coaches will have the flexibility to coordinate the program to best utilize the opportunity and resources. 

Players will be invited to attend a practice for a higher category team at minimum twice during the year.  The number of players invited is determined by the inviting coach based on their needs and capability.

The coaches and managers must coordinate the logistics to ensure interested players get an opportunity to participate without exceeding the capability of the teams to facilitate the program. 

The AAGHA scheduler will, to the best of their ability, attempt to schedule practices in time slots that would be most conducive to facilitate the program.  

This is a new process for us and there will be growing pains.  It is our hope that the benefits to the girls and the AAGHA far outweigh the inconveniences and challenges.   The program will be evaluated halfway through the year and again at the conclusion of the season.  Coaches, managers, parents and players are encouraged to share their opinions on how the program can be improved year to year to help us meet our goals of skill development and enjoyment for the girls. 

Please direct any questions to:

Dan Starr

AAGHA Development Director

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