How to Start Playing Hockey – Guide for Parents and Kids

kids-hockeyCongratulations, you are about to begin playing the most exciting sport on earth, this will be a long, challenging and rewarding path for you. My name is Jeremy and I am here to make your journey to hockey as easy and straightforward as possible. This website will serve as a guide for you to go from clueless rookie to respectable novice. In each article I will include tips for parents starting their kids in hockey, and adults taking up hockey for the first time. Let’s get started on how to start playing hockey

How to Start a Child in Hockey

Starting a child in hockey is fairly easy. Most communities have a minor hockey association that divides children first by age level, and then by skill level. A child at any skill level and almost any age can play house league hockey, as long as they have the proper equipment and pay their registration fee on time.

Search for your town name and then add “minor hockey” and you should find your towns minor hockey association.

What if You’re not Sure if Your Child is Ready For Hockey

public-skatingHouse league hockey is very welcoming, they accept any skill level of player (although the more skilled players usually play travel / rep hockey). If you would like to get your child some experience before starting them in hockey you can sign them up for a number of different programs.

  • Learn to skate – Programs set up by local arenas and skating associations
  • Power Skating – Usually set up through minor hockey organizations
  • Stick and Puck sessions – Usually set up through the local arenas
  • Mom and Tots – Set up through the local arenas
  • Public Skating – Anyone can show up and skate
  • Outdoor rinks – If it’s cold enough where you live
  • Road Hockey – Get a net and some sticks so your kids can play hockey in the driveway

Equipment needed for a child to play on a hockey team

We go into more detail in our hockey equipment guide for kids, but here is the requirements for children to play hockey.

$740 is an average $280 is the starting price. Thanks to CBC for the sweet picture below

  • Jock (or jill for girls)price-of-hockey-equipment
  • Shin pads
  • Hockey socks
  • Hockey Pants
  • Skates
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Elbow Pads
  • Neck Guard
  • Helmet
  • Mouth Guard
  • Jersey for practice
  • Hockey stick

If you’re child just wants to play recreational hockey (at an out door hockey arena, or during stick and puck sessions at the arena) less equipment is required. For outdoor hockey all you really need is skates, a helmet and a stick (although new players should wear elbow pads and shin pads for more protection)

Winnwell currently has a kit for only $123

The kit comes with gloves, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, shin pads, and a hockey bag. It’s almost everything you need to start a child in hockey.

Quick tips for parents starting their children in hockey

  • Make sure their equipment is comfortable and fits them properly
  • Save money by buying equipment used, you can ask parents of older players or look online
  • The kids don’t need $200 hockey sticks, focus on skill development
  • Kids grow out of their equipment quickly, so don’t spend too much on something that will need to be replaced

That should give you a good start, if you need more help with equipment we have fitting guides for almost every piece of equipment, visit our hockey equipment guide for kids to learn more. You can also learn about skating, shooting, stickhandling and more skills over at How To Hockey


Coach Jeremy