New To Hockey Questions:
How do we get on the ice to try hockey?
For kids 8 and younger, you can dive in and register for our Mites hockey program (see below) or take a more gradual approach.
If you/the kids are uncertain if hockey is for them, we recommend participating in one of our twice yearly, Try Hockey for Free Sessions which allow kids the chance to try hockey in a safe and fun environment. We provide the ice, the hockey equipment (subject to availability) and the coaches, you provide the kid!
If you had fun at our Try Hockey session, but would like to get more time on the ice before you make a decision, you can register your player for one of our Mites Play Hockey Mini Camps to let your kid get fully emersed in the Mites Hockey experience. These 4-5 session camps are low-cost and low commitment and give your family the opportunity to see if hockey is the right sport for you. Protective equipment, icetime and coaching are included. Space is extremely limited. We'll offer an opportunity to enter the regular Mites hockey program at the conclusion of the camp.
When do I need to register?
We open registration on May 1 and close on August 31. We offer early bird registration (with a registration discount) up until June 30 of every year. After September 1, when teams are set, we do our best to accommodate new players, but we cannot guarantee a spot on our teams. Please see ourregistration page for additional information.
What does it cost?
Hockey costs are in line with other youth sports that require a facility, equipment and a significant amount of coaching (martial arts, ballet, gymnastics). For the 14/15 season, hockey cost less than $100 per month, including equipment rental, for families that took advantage of our earlybird regisration discount.
How long does the season last?
For kids 8 and under, the season begins October 1, or alternatively can begin January 1 (Mites program only - subject to availability) and ends mid-March. We have a 3 week break over the winter break.
How do I tell if my child is ready for introductory hockey?
Families choose to start their child in ice hockey at different ages based on their ice experience. Some children are ready to play ice hockey at age 4 or 5. Some children may be better off waiting until they are 6. And even others start at 7 or 8. We follow the USA Hockey model and can accommodate beginning players of all ages. This allows them to participate in a developmentally appropriate level, focus on the FUNdamentals, and have a great time.
If your child has some of these physical skills, your child is ready for hockey!
- Your child is able to run, jump, skip, etc. while playing at school or with siblings.
- Your child has a basic ability to stand while wearing ice skates while out on the skating surface and can navigate their way around the ice surface.
- Your child can get up without assistance after falling while skating.
I think my child is ready for introductory hockey, what are practices like?
Practices are held twice weekly for 1 hour.
All Novice players are coached and practice under USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) of instruction. The ADM methodology uses multiple stations, focused on familiar games and drills –lasting about 5-8 minutes at a time. By utilizing multiple stations across the sheet of ice – it allows for differing skills to be emphasized from station to station. This pace and constant movement helps to match the limited attention span of our young hockey stars, and keep them focused and challenged. But the most key aspect of the ADM, is that it keeps the coach to player ratio at a critical 1 coach to 4-6 players. This allows for critical individual instruction while also allowing the instructors to flex the difficulty of the drills as players of varying skill levels rotate through their station.
Where do I find equipment?
For players 8 and under, WCAHA can provide seasonal rentals of protective equipment. Cost is $50 per season plus $150 deposit. Players families must provide their own jock/jill protector, mouth guard, skates and stick. Alternatively, you can elect to purchase equipment.
If I want to purchase equipment, how much should I expect to pay to outfit my player? Do I need to buy all new equipment?
Other members in our organization are outfitting their U8 players for between $175 and $250 dollars if purchasing gently used gear. Note – the only piece of gear that you should consider purchasing new is a helmet/cage combo. Each helmet has an HECC certification sticker, with an expiry date clearly marked. By USA Hockey rules, no one can participate on the ice with expired helmet.
Where do we practice?
All practices occur at the Bellingham Sportsplex, located at 1225 Civic Field Way, Bellingham, WA 98229
Where do we play games?
We play Jamboree games at the Bellingham Sportsplex, we travel within Washington State as well as southern British Columbia, depending upon the age group.