Hockey develops skills on the ice that build a foundation for a lifetime.
In addition to athletic prowess, hockey promotes confidence, pride, friendships, focus and responsibility.
With an emphasis on fun, hockey is a game to be played and enjoyed for life.
"Hockey can be the draw that brings kids in, and we can help them with skills, but in reality we are teaching them life skills...helping create self esteem, teamwork, problem solving and communication skills...along with a form of exercise to help them live healthier lives."
— Former New York Ranger and Stanley Cup Champion Steve Larmer
Hockey develops skills on the ice that build a foundation for a lifetime. In addition to athletic prowess, hockey promotes confidence, pride, focus and responsibility. With an emphasis on fun, hockey is a game to be played and enjoyed for life.
Starting with the bonds created in the locker room to the relationships formed on ice, hockey creates life-long friendships. This camaraderie shared on and off the ice encourages teamwork and the natural development of leadership skills.
From learning to balance school, responsibilities at home, time at the rink and playing with friends, hockey encourages kids to learn time management skills that will later serve them in all facets of life. Hockey's unique source of physical fitness promotes healthy living.
The thrill of carrying the puck up the ice on a breakaway, the exhilaration of scoring your first goal or making that amazing save is possible due to the encouraging environment hockey provides to try new things and grow as a hockey player and person.
Yes. Hockey players wear more protective equipment than any other sport. A study has shown that ice hockey injuries ranked after both basketball and soccer in emergency room visits related to sport and recreational activities.
Youth hockey is a different game than the NHL. With a different set of rules in place, youth hockey places a stronger emphasis on sportsmanship and friendly competition. Contact is not allowed prior to the Peewee level (age 11 & 12). After Peewees, checking is allowed but NO Fighting
There are programs and opportunities to participate that do not have to be expensive. Each local youth hockey association has its own fee structure for its players. Please check with your neighborhood rink or local association to find out that season's fee structure.
Each neighborhood rink or local youth hockey association has different commitment levels for participation. House programs will be focused on skill development while keeping things fun on a limited commitment basis. Travel programs are more competitive and require more of a time commitment.
As part of the American Development Model, USA Hockey recommends younger players limit their ice time while maximizing fun and developing their overall athletic skills.
Find a "Learn to Skate" or "Learn to Play Hockey" program at a CT ice rink so that your child can give hockey a try and learn basic skills.
Find a local youth hockey program in CT where your player can join a team. Many programs offer teams at different levels, including house or travel leagues.
Find out what you need! Some rinks offer rental/lender equipment sets. If you need to purchase equipment, we invite you to support these hockey retailers who support GottaLoveCTHockey!
Rinks around Connecticut offer "Learn to Skate" and "Learn to Play" programs where young players can explore the game and have fun!
Skates — Purchase skates that will fit your child today with no more than 1/2" allowed for growth. Seek adequate protection in the ankle, toe and instep areas, improperly fitted skates will hamper your child’s ability to skate.
Helmet — Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC). Must be sized at the time of purchase to fit properly. The chin strap must always be fastened.
Facemask — Must be of a design and construction approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC).
Mouthpiece — Required for players in the 12 & Under (youth) and 8 & Under (girls) through Junior age classification. USA Hockey encourages players of all ages and ability levels to use a mouthpiece.
Stick — Length should generally extend from the ice to the players chin (with skates on). Quality and price differ greatly, so the choice is yours.
Shin Pads — Check for proper lengths so they protect the knee and skin completely.
Supporter and Cup – Essential protective equipment.
Gloves — Check for proper fit with good finger and hand mobility.
Shoulder Pads — Adjust to fit the individual at the time of purchase. A fiber cap is extremely important in preventing shoulder separations and should extend to the tip of the shoulder.
Pants/Breezers — Held in proper position by suspenders. Pants provide protection for the lower spine, hips and thighs.
Elbow Pads — Properly fitted so they do not slide.
Goaltender Equipment — The goaltender's equipment is especially important, so seek advice from a knowledgeable source. Special equipment is necessary such as gloves (catching and stick), chest and stomach protection, goalie skates (with protective shell), leg pads and shoulder and arm protectors.
A complete set of hockey equipment can be purchased for a relatively reasonable cost.
Shop around for the best values and remember that you need not buy the most expensive equipment. Inquire about local equipment swaps and team discounts, but keep in mind the equipment must fit properly to provide the maximum protection.
The American Development Model (ADM) is concerned with long-term athlete development.
Players and parents can get helpful information about player development at www.admkids.com.