What is Learn to Play: Here at OYHA, our Learn to Play program involves two main components – 1) teaching kids how to skate and 2) an introduction to hockey skills and games. The Learn to Play program is for kids who are generally 4-6 yrs. old whether they have experienced skating before or never stepped on the ice. (We have allowed some consideration for older kids who start in the middle of the season to learn how to skate with this group depending on timing of the season, the numbers already in the program, how much coaching staff is available, etc.)
What is the Schedule and Structure of Learn to Play: players skate on Saturday & Sunday mornings. Your player will skate for 45 minutes each morning. We have had groups of 65+ players for the past 3 years so we break that up into 2 groups to allow kids to skate with like skilled players. We have the first session of 45 minutes (9:15am - 10:00am) for the advanced group of skaters who are usually 2nd or 3rd year players. Immediately following (10:00am - 10:45am, no ice resurfacing), the 2nd group of beginner skaters has their 45 minute session.
On Ice: The first half of the season the kids go through stations (4-6 stations) that teach a different skating or hockey skill or play a fun small area game that is also teaching them skills. As the season progresses and depending on how many internal teams we have, a schedule is set up and the weekend schedule becomes a skills practice on Saturday and game day on Sundaywhere teams play a cross ice hockey game.
Costs and Equipment: We understand the importance of giving kids an opportunity to try skating and playing hockey at a reasonable rate and in a safe environment before investing money into fees and equipment. We have made it a goal to keep Learn to Play fees low while also trying to provide equipment to everyone who needs it. For the 2019-20 season Learn to play fees will be $275. In addition, OYHA has a limited number of bags that can be rented that have all the equipment needed except for skates and sticks. These are first come first serve and are available starting with first year Learn to Play skaters. There will be a non-refundable bag fee of $30 (this helps us replace the bags after a few years) and a deposit of $80 that will be returned to you at the end of the season pending the return of all equipment. Kids will try on equipment to ensure proper fit and the process can take 20-30 minutes. In the event that we run out of bags, each family would be responsible for purchasing or finding proper equipment for their players. Rental skates from the rink can be used without any fee, but need to be returned after each use so they can be used at the rinks open skating sessions throughout the week. We will provide jerseys and socks as the season starts and as the kids get separated into the 2 groups.
Registration: If you are interested in registering your kids in our Learn to Play program, please register online during registration period or at the start of the season. Information is available on the Registration tab on the left hand navigation panel. We ask that anyone who knows they will be registering to do so online prior to the start of the season if possible.
Other Events: Every year we have an opportunity for the kids to go to an Admiral’s game at the UW Milwaukee Panther Arena. This is very exciting event where the kids usually get to play on the ice during the day for about an hour and then later that evening play at one of the intermissions of the Admiral’s game. This is also a fundraiser as we sell tickets that help offset costs for Learn to Play and sometimes the Admiral’s allow those that sell the most tickets an opportunity to go out on the ice for the national anthem with the players! Also, there might be chances for us to play games against other clubs that are close by where we would play at their rink for 1 game and play at home for 1 game, but your coaches will inform you during the season if that is scheduled.
Coordinator: Caitie Bowers leads our Learn to Play program. All related questions should be directed to Caitie.
The Wisconsin Amatuer Hockey Association (WAHA), the governing body of youth hockey in Wisconsin, requires that all players must play for the district in which they reside. This includes the Learn to Play program. Please be aware that you will not be allowed to register at OYHA unless you reside in Ozaukee County.