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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get my child into playing hockey?

Skating is the key to success at hockey. We recommend the child has a solid foundation in skating before picking up a stick. Kids can start skating very early, some start as early as 2 years old. Most ice rinks have starter and developmental skating programs. Our home rink The Pond has many options to choose from.
Please  see The Pond Website for details.

What age should my child start playing hockey?

Once your child has basic skating skills, they can start in developmental hockey programs. This can be at any age. Kids have started playing hockey their freshman year of high school and had  success. Like any sport the earlier you start the better. For  developmental hockey the kids usually start at 4 to 5 years of age, some sooner. Once your child has some basic skills of hockey and skating ability, they can move on to organized league play. We like most of our 8u players to be at least 5 years old before  committing to league play.

How does a youth hockey determine teams?

First teams are broken down into age groups like other sports. Hockey uses birth year to determine the placement. Team age groups are Mite (8u), Squirt (10u), PeeWee (12u) and Bantam (14u). After Bantam level the player can move onto high school or elite hockey 16u and 18u programs. For each age group there is a set of tryouts where players are evaluated by coaches and placed on teams with kids that have a similar skill level. This allows coaches to have balanced practice plans that will develop the players together.

What does a youth hockey season look like?

Team practices will start in mid-August. Teams will practice 2 times a week with some extra skills sessions by age group. Practice times vary by age group. Usually, mites are early evening and 1-hour practices. The older 14u kids will be in the later evening and have practices the last close to 2 hours. Our goal at Geauga is to get kids 60-80 ice hours of practice each season. Preseason game play will start mid-September and run to the end of October. The number of games played in preseason is determined by the coaches and managers. Teams can play up to 10 preseason games and have a tournament or other scrimmages mixed in. After preseason teams are ranked by an RPI system that will place them with a group of teams in the Cleveland area of the same skill set to have a competitive regular season. Squirt and higher teams are ranked into divisions (AA, A1, A2, A3, B1, B2). Teams usually play each team in their division 2 times in the regular season. Most divisions are 6-7 teams. All teams in the CSHL are in or near Cleveland so
overnight trips are not requires for league play.

In addition to regular season games teams will play a few tournaments throughout the season. Some will be weekend travel tournaments. Most tournaments are a 4-game series. Some teams will also play several scrimmages with local and out of town teams.

How expensive is hockey?

There are multiple factors that will determine your cost to play hockey.

First equipment – Players must have helmet, skates, shin pads, elbow pads, shoulder pads, groin protector, gloves, and a stick to play. There are many sources for used gear which will lessen the cost. Buying new is an option but for growing kids you can end up buying skates every year. Practice jerseys are lent to players each season. Coaches like to organize their players by different color jerseys. Players are responsible for practice socks.

Sticks and Skates,  Please consult a coach or professional at a Hockey store before purchasing sticks and skates.  There are many variables to get the correct fit. The wrong stick or skates can make for a bad experience.

League fees – our league fees vary each year and age level. Currently we are between $1100 and $1600 for the season depending on age.

Game Jerseys – each player must purchase a set of game jerseys which includes home and away color jerseys and socks. These can be worn for multiple seasons. Currently our jersey cost is $320 for a full set of home and away.