USA Hockey

2018 USA Hockey Parent Handbook

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Youngsters Young players typically enter the game through learn-to-skate and learn-to-play programs, advancing into 8U hockey. The emphasis should be on constant activity, fun and skill development. Pre-Teens As players move beyond the beginner stage, they enter 10U hockey and then advance to 12U hockey. This is when sport-specific skill development begins ramping up, along with the transfer of skills and concepts from practice to games. Early Teens At this age, players begin placing a heightened focus on hockey. While the emphasis on individual skill development remains high, increased attention is also given to group tactics. More games begin appearing on the schedule, and in the boys' game, body- checking begins. Later Teens At 16 years of age, players are typically competing for their high school teams or club teams. Boys also become eligible to compete in junior hockey (there is no junior hockey classification for girls, who instead continue to compete for their schools and/or with 16U club teams, or later, with 19U club teams). As a result, this is when the hockey path begins branching into multiple paths. Many players continue their development locally; some boys will play with USA Hockey's National Team Development Program or other teams in the USHL (America's top junior league). Still others play in the Tier II NAHL or Tier III leagues. College-Aged Beginning, typically, at 18 years of age, players have many great options. They can continue their junior hockey experience, finish their high school careers or move into college hockey. Within the college hockey ranks, the highest-level players usually compete in the NCAA structure, while the ACHA provides collegiate club hockey opportunities for thousands of other players each season. Additionally, the collegiate intramural hockey circuit is a great way to continue competing with friends while pursuing a degree. Adult Professional players aren't the only ones who get to keep playing aer college. Hockey is a great game for life. It's low- impact, invigorating and fun. Cities all across America offer adult hockey leagues, lunch leagues and drop-in opportunities for men and women. In many parts of the country, there's also a vibrant outdoor hockey scene. Plus, USA Hockey hosts several adult championship tournaments to keep the competitiveness and camaraderie flowing. HOCKEY PATH HOCKEY PATH The U S A H O C K E Y PA R E N T H A N D B O O K 1 6

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