Your kid has the hockey bug, now what? Check out our Hockey for New Families explainer!

Q: At what age can my kid start playing hockey?
A: Any age! Most skating programs offer lessons for kids age 3 and older. Kids can start Learn to Play programs in the year they turn 5. Older kids and tweens can start playing hockey, too.

Q: How do I get my kid started?
A: The first step for any hockey player is learning to skate. Several area rinks have Learn to Skate programs. Some offer Hockey Skating as a follow-up to basic skating. Your child should master basic skills like starting, stopping, turning, and (obviously), falling and getting up before they move to the next step.

Once your child has basic skating skills, they can start a Learn to Play (LTP) Hockey program. These are weekly classes over an 8-10 week session. Players learn basic hockey skills like passing, shooting, stick handling and positioning, in addition to improving their hockey skating. Players usually complete 1-3 sessions of LTP before joining a seasonal hockey program. Click here for a list of area rinks offering LTP.

Q: My kid has finished LTP. How do I get them on a team?
A: Regular season usually runs September-February, with registration opening in June or July. The Ice Dogs also offer spring hockey programming March-May. The 8U program can usually accept new players mid-season as they finish up their LTP programs. Contact us at to learn more.

Q: What gear do we need?
A: Check out this equipment Checklist and Buying Guide from Hockey Monkey.

Hockey stores like Pure Hockey often have beginner gear packs, and can help your player get fitted.

The Ice Dogs try to hold a Gear Swap at least once a year. You can also ask around for any pieces you need: hockey families often have outgrown gear and are always eager to help new players out!

The Ice Dogs DO have goalie equipment to lend players who want to test themselves in the net!

Once you’ve got the equipment, check out this USA Hockey video about how to dress out properly and safely. And also, feel free to ask another parent or coach for help- we’ve all been there!

Still have questions? Contact us at