New to Hockey

Why Hockey?

Did you hear about the sport from a friend or neighbor and want to find out more? 

First, you're in the right spot. We offer programs for boys and girls at the youth level as well as high school aged players.

If you have a child that is interested in hockey regardless of age, or program, have them check out one of our free intro to hockey resources located in the right-hand column. Can't find what you are looking for? Just email us and we'll be happy to chat with you. Hockey is one of the fastest growing youth sports in the country right now. Don't worry if your kid has never played, our high-level coaches and practice environment will allow them to learn how to skate and stick handle in no time. A lot of kids have only picked up a hockey stick in the last year to two, and every year we add more new kids to our program

How does my child get started?

Most children start with Learn to Skate lessons, which are offered to kids starting around age 3 at South Metro Sports. After, or along with that, they can participate in a Learn to Play program. After a year or two of Learn to Play, depending on the child's age, they will move to a House or B Level team. They can stay at that level, or if they want a more challenging experience, they can try out for an A level or Travel team. Most USA Hockey organizations organize teams into 2-year age groupings, referred to as 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U. To qualify for 8U, a child must still be 8 years old on December 31 of the current playing season. For 10U, they must still be 10 years old on December 31, and so on. For that reason, you will often hear parents refer to the age of their child as the year in which they were born. For example "My child is a 12" means their player was born in 2012.

Once they reach High School, several of the schools in the area offer ice hockey as a Varsity High School Sport, including Alter, Beavercreek, Centerville, Mason, Troy, and Springboro. The Youth Hockey organizations also offer a High School program for kids who do not attend a high school with a varsity team.

If you have questions on what is the appropriate place for your child to play, and what options are available, feel free to ask us.

Doesn't my child need a bunch of expensive equipment?

There is quite a bit of protective equipment required to play ice hockey. We make it easy to get started by offering a rental equipment package for our Learn to Play players that includes everything they need except for Skates, Ahtletic Supporter/Cup, and Mouthguard. In addition, used beginner equipment can be found at Play It Again stores in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas. We have a full discussion of equipment on our How to Dress a Hockey Player page.

Is the sport of hockey safe for my child?

Yes. Hockey players wear more protective equipment than any other sport. A study has shown that ice hockey injuries ranked after both basketball and soccer in emergency room visits related to sport and recreational activities. Youth hockey is a different game than the NHL. With a different set of rules in place, youth hockey places a stronger emphasis on sportsmanship and friendly competition. Checking is not allowed prior to the 14U level, and even then, there is NEVER TOLERANCE FOR ANY MANNER OF FIGHTING.

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