New to Hockey? Beginner Programs
AVON HOCKEY DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'M NEW TO HOCKEY, WHERE DO I START?
If your child has never skated before, or is making the transition from figure skates to hockey skates, we recommend starting in our Learn to Skate (LTS) program. If your child is comfortable on hockey skates, but has never played hockey, we recommend starting in the Developmental Program (DP).
WHAT IS USA HOCKEY AND WHY DO I NEED A USA HOCKEY NUMBER TO REGISTER FOR ONE OF AVON HOCKEY'S DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMS?
Avon Hockey is a member of USA Hockey and the Connecticut Hockey Conference (CHC) which consists of 38 youth hockey organizations throughout Connecticut.
These organizations oversee and support the development of grassroots hockey programs. USA Hockey's cutting-edge American Development Model, which was launched in January 2009, provides associations nationwide with a blueprint for age-appropriate athlete development. Always a leader in safety, USA Hockey furthered the enhancement of those efforts by advancing the USA Hockey SafeSport Program in June 2012.
All members of Avon Hockey are required to register with USA Hockey prior to completing their Avon Hockey registration.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL WE NEED TO BRING?
Participants in our Learn to Skate program must have skates, a helmet (with a valid HECC sticker), and hockey gloves. No additional equipment is required for LTS. We do recommend that LTS participants wear comfortable clothing, ideally gym pants or joggers and a long sleeve warm, breathable top. Base layers may be worn underneath to provide additional warmth if needed.
Participants in our DP, MIH, and Combined IH must have the following equipment: skates, helmet (with a valid and current HECC sticker), unmodified BNQ Certified neck laceration protector, gloves, shin guards, elbow pads, shoulder pads, hockey pants, jock or jill, hockey socks, and a stick. A jersey will be provided.
WHERE DO I PURCHASE EQUIPMENT?
Equipment can be purchased from many local sporting goods stores listed below including or through online retailers. There is no exclusive brand or style that is required for In House program participants. Used equipment can also be a great fit for younger children who typically put less wear-and-tear on equipment. Please inspect all new and used equipment prior to use to ensure all items are undamaged and the correct size. If you have purchased or been given a used helmet, please check the HECC sticker on the back to make sure it is still valid.
WHEN DO WE START?
Registration for the Fall 2023 Learn to Skate program is not currently open. The 2023-2024 season for the Development Program, Mite In House, and Combined In House begins on October 2023, registration opening later on
To be added to our LTS interest list for future sessions, please contact the Communications Director.
WHERE ARE THE DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAMS HELD?
All LTS, DP, and MIH programs are held at Avon Old Farms (AOF), Jennings Fairchild Hockey Rink. The Combined IH Program skates at AOF and other local rinks. When visiting AOF, please enter the Avon Old Farms campus through the Fisher Meadows entrance and park in the designated ice rink parking on the west side of the rink.
When you enter the rink, the locker area is on your right side. Participants should put on their gear and skates in the locker area. Please use ONLY the locker room that has been assigned to your team/program. Locker room assignments can be found on the TV screen above the door to the locker area. Benches are also available rinkside for adjusting skates and gear.
If your child enjoyed Learn to Skate and would like to continue with ice hockey, they can move onto the Developmental Program where they will continue to develop their skating ability and begin to learn hockey skills.
At the conclusion of the In House season (for all levels, DP, MIH, and Combined IH) players should discuss their placement for the following season with their coaches or the Development Director.
IS PRACTICE EVER CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER?
Practice is very rarely cancelled due to weather. If extreme conditions prevent the rink from being open, an email will be sent to all program participants.