What is the Learn to Play program?
The National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association have identified the need for a unified growth strategy as a priority for the sport of hockey. As a result, the Learn to Play Initiative (LTP), a joint (NHLPA/NHL) grassroots hockey initiative was created to offer more families an opportunity to see what makes youth hockey great. For potential first time participants to the sport, this program changes the way hockey is offered to inspire new families to join the hockey community and provide an age-appropriate program based on the latest child development research.
With certified coaches, led by NHL Alumni, the on-ice program will provide a fun and safe atmosphere for learning the basic skills of ice hockey.
Who is eligible to register for the Learn to Play Hockey program?
The program is offered to new, first-time participants (boys and girls) between the ages of 4-8. First-time participants are those participants who have not previously been registered to a USA Hockey or Hockey Canada sanctioned minor hockey program. Programs scheduled to begin from September 2016 through March 2017 are open to participants born between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2012. Programs scheduled to begin from April 2017 through March 2018 are open to participants born between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013.
Does my child need to know how to skate before they sign up for the Learn to Play Hockey program?
It is recommended for a child who has no prior ice skating experience to enroll in a “learn to skate” program, but not required. Most rinks also have regular ice skating sessions which are open to the public and a great way to gain experience and confidence on the ice.
Where will the Learn to Play Hockey be offered?
A list of locations offering Learn to Play in your area can be found on this page.
How much do the Learn to Play Hockey sessions cost?
The program provides FREE head-to-toe equipment, however, there is a participation fee associated with the program which offsets ice and coaching expenses. The participation fee may vary by facility.
What do these costs include/cover?
These costs cover ice time and other associated fees.
What equipment is included/required for the Learn to Play program?
Upon being accepted into the Learn to Play program, each participant will receive FREE head-to-toe equipment. The equipment package includes; a helmet with cage, shoulder pads, elbow pads, hockey pants, shin guards, hockey skates, a hockey stick, jersey, socks and an equipment bag. We also recommend a mouth guard and athletic supporter for all participants. All equipment is required to be worn during each on-ice session. Participants may keep the equipment upon graduating from the Learn to Play program.
Can I register my child for multiple years?
Unfortunately not. The LTP program is offered to only new, first-time participants. Host facilities/organizations will provide participants with direction on transitional, next-step programming available in your market.
What is USA Hockey (USAH) / Hockey Canada (HC)?
The National Governing Bodies for youth hockey in the United States and Canada, respectively.
Does the National Governing Body membership expire?
Yes, the membership is valid for the current youth hockey season. Upon enrolling in your next hockey program beyond the current playing season, standard fees will apply.
Why does my child have to be registered with the National Governing Body?
The Governing Body provides a number of resources for the Learn to Play program, including; age-appropriate training modules and practice plans, coaching certification, background screening and insurance for all Learn to Play participants.
What is the Governing Body fee for the Learn to Play program?
Registration with the Governing Bodies is included for the Learn to Play program. Should you elect to enroll in a future hockey program upon graduating from the Learn to Play Program, standard Governing Body fees will apply.
What time should I arrive at the arena?
You should arrive a minimum of 60 minutes prior to start time for your first on-ice session to provide enough time for your child to check-in and get dressed before taking to the ice.
I want to register my child for the Learn to Play Hockey program, but it is sold out, is there a waiting list?
Yes. In the event that the session that you are attempting to register for is sold out, you will automatically be added to a waiting list and contacted should a spot become available.
How will I know if my child has been accepted into a Learn to Play Hockey session from the waiting list?
If you have been moved off the waiting list and have been placed into a Learn to Play Hockey session, you will be contacted via email by a NHL Club/program representative. In the event that no spots become available, you will be contacted by a NHL Club representative to discuss future Learn to Play program opportunities.
What is the next step after the Learn to Play Hockey program?
You will be provided with an overview of next step/transition programs by your host facility/organization prior to graduating from the Learn to Play program. Additional information will be available for families at the LTP Graduation Event.