Parents Guide to getting started in Hockey

Welcome to the exciting world of youth hockey! As a parent, you're about to embark on a journey filled with teamwork, skill development, and, of course, a lot of fun. This handbook is designed to provide you with guidance and insights into the youth hockey experience, helping you support your child's passion for the sport.


I'M NEW TO HOCKEY, WHERE DO I START?

The earliest age kids can begin playing organized hockey is five years old. Kids that start hockey before they are physically and mentally ready are more likely to have a negative experience.  

For families that want to start earlier or want players to learn the skills without being on a team, we recommend the NYR Junior Ranger Learn to Play Program. 

The Junior Rangers Learn to Play program is an introductory program that will teach your child the basic skills of skating, stick-handling, passing and shooting through (10) 1-hour lessons. First time participants receive a brand new set of equipment.


MY CHILD IS AT LEAST FIVE AND HAS ATTENDED A LEARN TO PLAY PROGRAM

Once your child is comfortable on the ice and has the basics covered, we recommend you attend our Spring Evaluations to see if they are ready to join a team.

If a player is not quite ready to join a travel hockey team we may recommend they move into our Mite Developmental Program where they will continue to develop their skating ability and begin to learn hockey skills. Each player will have the chance to put their skills to the test in a fun and competitive environment. Participants will learn the basic game and team concepts, plus, they will build important characteristics on and off the ice: teamwork, responsibility, and respect. 


WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF YOUTH HOCKEY

Pawling Youth Hockey conforms to USA Hockey guidelines with respect to age groups. Registered teams play in the classifications of 8-and-Under (mite), 10-and-Under (squirt), 12-and-Under (peewee), 14-and-Under (bantam), 16-and-Under (midget) and 18-and-Under (midget).  


In the USA Hockey system, youth players are classified by their year of birth.

Below is the breakdown for the 24/25 Season:

Mite - 2016,2017,2018

Squirt - 2014, 2015

Peewee - 2012, 2013

Bantam - 2010, 2011



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