New To Hockey

UpdatedWednesday July 13, 2016 byAdmin.

My child wants to play hockey. Where to start?

In order for your child to get the most enjoyment out of the ice hockey experience they should have a basic comfort level with skating before joining the GGHA House program.   At a minimum, a player needs to be able to stand from a fallen position, in full gear, without assistance.

We recommend new players take one of the “Junior Tigers Learn to Play Hockey” sessions at the Pavilion.  Upon completion many new players can then move into the GGHA House program, usually at any time during the hockey season.  

Another good option is to try one of the “Try Hockey For Free Clinics” at the Pavilion and held multiple times during the hockey season. 

In addition, just having your child attend public skating sessions as much as possible are a great help in getting comfortable skating.


How old does my child need to be in order to play hockey?
We recommend around age 5.  Just like school your child should be able to listen and follow directions, important to effectively learn hockey.   GGHA Mini Mites and Mites House programs accommodate players from age 5-8


Age Divisions

It's not uncommon to hear hockey families talking in code...

     "Is he an '05?" 

           "How many on the team are '99's?" 

It may seem like some secret language, but actually this lingo simply refers to the year a player was born.  Hockey levels are based on the player's birth year...

Level         Typical age

 Mini-Mite       6 and under
 Mite              8 and under
 Squirt         10 and under
 Peewee       12 and under
 Bantam       14 and under
 Midget/U16  16 and under
Junior/U18   18 and under

Although it's unusual, players can play with an older age group in USA Hockey.  However, they cannot play down to a younger age level.

Please refer to the Registration page and the Age Classifications for the current season 


Our Frequently Asked Questions page is also a great place to start to answer beginner questions, espcially on equipment. 


Some Equipment Advice to Newbees

  • used equipment is okay  (It's more than okay, it's recommended for those just starting out)  Look at the FAQ page for equipment options.
  • don't skimp on skates and don't buy them too big hoping to save money as your player grows into them.  Ill- fitting skates will make success much more difficult for your player.
  • check the manufacturers sizing charts to purchase the right size equipment.  Not all sizes are created equal.
  • your new player doesn't need a $200 stick.
  • brand new skates need to be sharpened before using them.
  • You will need hockey tape...for the stick blade... the stick handle, and to tape the socks to your players leg (shinguards).
  • skates need to be resharpened over time.  Skates can be left at the Pavilion for sharpening or taken to the Penalty Box for on the spot sharpening
  • if you don't know...ask! ,  remember we all started somewhere