First off, welcome. We're here to answer any questions you might have about the sport and help you get started. To begin with, let's answer the most basic question - Why Hockey?
1.) Hockey is a fantastic exercise—Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games your child could play. Players are alternating between skating and rest at very rapid rates which makes hockey one of the best cardiovascular interval training sports. This improves the speed at which your childs body brings oxygen to their muscles while burning tons of calories. Hockey requires a high level of coordination; regular play can develop a child's gross motor skills, which leads to improvement with the more difficult fine motor skills, and improves eye-hand coordination, which can translate to a better understanding of spatial relationships.
2)Hockey builds character - Since hockey is a team sport, children learn the value of working with others. Very quickly, they will learn to rely on teammates and understand that cooperation is the key to success. Chiildren on hockey teams experience a team spirit that encourages trust, responsibility, sportsmanship and a strong sense of accomplishment. These skills are essential as teammates turn into colleagues.
3) Hockey improves mental agility—Hockey is an extremely fast sport in which children have to cope with changes in split-seconds. Plays develop, momentum shifts and opportunity open and close in a blink of an eye. A child in this sport will quickly adapt their mental agility to be able to recognize these opportunities and their concentration will improve. In addition, hockey players will quickly begin to project mental imagery of not just what is going to happen, but what will happen next leading towards greater mental agility as well.
While the reasons above talk about why your child should play hockey, we as an association are dedicated to the cause of improving our youth and making them feel excited to play a sport that they will love. We hope you'll join us next season and below we'll talk about how to get started.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
First off, it's never too late to start your child in hockey, but we do recommend an earlier than later start. Third grade and younger is ideal. Previous skating experience helps, but is not required. There are no "tryouts" or "cuts", everyone is welcome!
All of our players born after January 1, 2010 will be registered in our Mite Hockey program. Please visit our Mite Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. It couldn't be easier to give your players the chance to play hockey!
How do I register my child?
Registration for all players, returning and new, is to be completed on the website via the Heat registration page. The registration period opens June 15, 2016 for all players. We ask that returning Mite players register by July 15th, so that we can plan our teams and levels.
New mite players may register from July 15, 2016 through November 28, 2016.* All New Mite players will complete registration by registering as a "New Mite". Most new players will practice with the Mini-Mites, however some older players, or players with previous skating ability may be moved to an appropriate level for their development needs.
*If you missed the registration deadline and your child wants to play hockey, please contact Alec Dunn.
How old does my child have to be to play hockey?
We ask that your child be four years old by October 1, 2016. Studies show that players who start to young, frequently do not return the following season. Your child must be born AFTER July 1, 2012 to be eligible for our Mite program. Players born before July 1, 2012 should contact our Travel Coordinator for proper registration and placement.
Is my child too old to start hockey?
No! It is never “too late” to try hockey! The Mite program runs through age 9 (Third Grade). There are many Mite players who did not start playing until they were in second or third grade. Players at this age quickly catch up to their peers without difficulty! This fall we have four FREE Try Hockey Mite Clinics being offered before the start of the season. If your child wants to play hockey for the first time at age 4 or age 8, we will get them out on the ice and enjoying the great tradition of hockey!
Is Mite Hockey for Boys, or can Girls play too?
The answer is BOTH!! We encourage participation of any player, boy or girl, who wants to learn to skate and play hockey. We are excited that our Girls program, referred to as U8, is GROWING! Last year we had over 30 girls in our U8 program! The U8 program also has many “off ice” events throughout the season that girls in the program love!
Does my child have to know how to skate to start hockey?
NO! DYNAMITES Mite program is a development program, designed to teach all kids the fundamental skills necessary to play the game of hockey. We will also introduce the beginning concepts of the game itself. Skating is the most fundamental skill of hockey, and teaching the kids to skate is a major focus of the Mite Program. We are excited to offer the Learn to Skate program at the beginning of the season to help everyone be comfortable on their skates going into the Mite season!
How long does the season run?
The season runs from Mid-October (Mite 1-3) and November 19th (Mini-Mites) through the first weekend in March. The last weekend of the season is always the Mite Jamboree, which highlights the Mite program and lets the kids have a full weekend to enjoy all of the new skills they have developed throughout the season. All practices are voluntary. There is no attendance taken in Mini-Mite through Mite 2. Your child will benefit from maximum ice time, but there is no penalty for missed practices.
How often do they practice?
Mini-Mites- They will have at least two hours of ice time each week from August 1st through the end of February. There is no requirement that your child attend every practice, but the more ice time they kids have, the more improvement you will see.
Mite Track 1 & Track 2 – 1-2 practices or games on the weekends(Mite - Wednesday Nights, Friday Nights).
At what Mite level do I register my child?
All players new to hockey ages 4-8 should register as a "New Mite Skater". In general all new mite skaters will be assigned to our "Mini-Mite" Level. If you child is new to hockey, and older, or has prior hockey experience, please contact a mite coordinator for a recommendation of which level practice to be assigned to. Your child cannot be older than nine (born before July 1, 2007) to register for Mites. If you have a new child to hockey who was born before July 1, 2007, please contact the squirt coordinator for information about registration.
Players may be moved up a level after the beginning of the season, based upon team needs and registration levels. Parents will be notified prior to moving the child up to a new level. If players are moved from house to travel mite hockey, they will be asked to pay the registration fee associated with the level where they are placed.
If I am new to Hockey or my child is; how do we learn more?
At the beginning of each year we have a Parent Meeting for all the families. We introduce all the new families to the program and give them an overview. This year’s parent’s meeting is scheduled for June 15th, 2017. If you need more info before the season starts, attend any of the four Try Hockey for Free Events this fall, and we will have representatives there that can answer all of your questions!
Where are all the Mite Hockey Practices?
LA Kings Valley Ice Center
What is the goal of the Mite Hockey Season?
The California Heat DYNAMITES prides itself on the development of its coaches, players, and its hockey curriculum. Our goals are to teach all kids to skate, introduce them to the game of hockey, and most importantly have FUN. We do this in an environment that fosters the individual development of each player. We place kids at the most appropriate level based on their skill, allowing them to develop as hockey players at their own rate.
What are the Mite Hockey Practices like?
The overall emphasis in all the Mite Hockey Practices is FUN! We want to teach all the kids to love the game of hockey. The curriculum used for the practice for the Mite has been in place for 4 years. The on ice curriculum has been repeated year after year, and it's proven to be effective. All the practices are a balance of skating drills, puck handling, competition drills, small area games, and, most importantly, pond hockey. All of these practices are led by qualified and certified parent coaches.
Are the coaches certified and have they passed background checks?
All coaches who participate in the program for the California Heat DYNAMITES are background checked and a minimum of USA Hockey Level 1 Certified.
What are the fees for Mite Hockey?
New Mite (Mini-Mite): $50 due at registration.
Mite or U8 House: $250 due at registration. The Mite House program will be divided into Mite 1 and Mite 2 (boys) and U8 House (Girls) for teams and practices, however the fee structure is the same for both levels. Whenever possible our U8 program will skate together (house and travel) in a separate U8 practice with all girls.
Mite Travel (Also referred to as Mite 3 and U8 Travel): $450 or 2 payments of $237.50 due at registration and November 15, 2016.
All families are also required to register with USA hockey. The fee for USA Hockey is $50 per player, unless your child was born in 2010 or later, at which time USA hockey waives the fee, but membership is still required.
What does my Mite Hockey Season Fee Include?
Your fee for the season includes:
1. Registration with California Heat DYNAMITES
2. Game Jerseys and Socks for All Players
3. Free Rental Equipment for First Year Families
4. Mite Jamboree Participation
What obligations/commitments are parents required to make to the program?
All first year families are not required to commit to any volunteer (DIBS) hours. New families are encouraged to volunteer within the association as they are able, but are exempt from the requirement that they do so. This exemption is for first year new families only (first year registered with USA hockey) and does not apply to players coming from other associations or families with older players already in the program.
All returning families are required to commit to volunteering for the association throughout the year. (referred to as DIBS) For one player in the program, you are required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours, and for 2 or more players 25 hours. DIBS availability is on the website and is continually updated, and can include, concession stands, tournament score keeping, locker room monitoring. Also coaching can satisfy up to 20 hours of your volunteer requirements. If you have questions about the volunteer requirements please contact the volunteer coordinator at @caheathockey.com. You may also buy out your volunteer hours for a $500 payment at the beginning of the season.
The association also has one mandatory fundraiser each year (holiday wreath sales). Players are required to sell a minimum of 12 items, or may buy out the fundraiser obligation by paying $75 for one player or $100 for 2+ skaters.
Will my child be on the same team with other children from his/her school?
Each level practices together on one sheet of ice. Therefore, regardless of what team they are placed on, they will be with their classmates and friends for all practices. Teams are selected with the goal of making each team with even skill level, so that the kids can enjoy playing games against each other.
Because the entire level practices together, we do not accept buddy requests.
Do I need the players’ birth certificate to register?
Yes, according to USA Hockey rules, we cannot complete a registration without a copy of your child’s official birth record. Hospital or baptismal certificates cannot be used.
If you registered your child with California Heat in previous years and submitted a birth certificate, we will have that on file and you do not need to provide it again. If you are new to the program, USA Hockey requires us to get and retain a copy of the child’s birth certificate before processing the registration forms.
What Equipment does my player need?
Mite Players are required to wear the following equipment. Any color equipment is allowed for Mites. A white helmet and red breezers are required once they get to the U10/Squirt level. Keep this in mind if you buy new equipment you plan to use after Mites.
• Certified Helmet
• Shin Pads
• Elbow Pads
• Mouth Guard
• Cup or pelvic protector
• Breezers/Hockey pants
• Shoulder Pads
• Hockey Gloves
• Hockey Socks
• One Piece cup/sock holder shorts
• Neck Guard
• Hockey Bag
• Skate Guards
Why are fees higher for Advanced Mites?
The amount of ice time is increased at each Mite level. Advanced mite levels also
participate in games and occasionally tournaments each season.
Are there Scholarships available?
There are limited scholarship funds available for families needed special financial consideration. Please see the scholarship link on the website for more information and application