The 8U Developmental program follows the American Developmental Model of age-specific training. We utilize station based training which enables players to develop skills by remaining active and keeping repetitions high. At 8U, athletes are divided into 10-12 player skill similar teams. Practices consist of multiple teams on the ice progressing through drills to teach and grow the basic skills required of hockey players.
The 8U program is for 7 and 8 year old athletes (2015 and 2016 birth years), no matter their hockey background.
The 8U season starts late September/early October and runs until late February/early March with a two week holiday break included.
The 8U program mainly utilizes both the Big Dipper Ice Arena and Polar Ice Center for practices and games.
There are two, one hour long practices per week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Traditionally one has been at the Big Dipper and the other at Polar. Teams will be assigned times of either 5:30 or 6:45 for practices.
Each week consists of one game day, typically at the Big Dipper on Saturdays.
Game days consist of teams playing three different 18 minute cross-ice games.
Jerseys and socks are both included in the player fee and will be provided to players before their first practice.
Assessments are typically held in late August. This provides an opportunity to assess players in order to create skill similar teams before the season starts in September.
An important note is jerseys will not be provide for the assessment skates.
The player fee for the season is $450.
Extra costs will be incurred if families choose to participate in out of town tournaments and any ice that goes along with those tournaments.
Limited rental gear is available for families. For more information check out this link!
Frequently Asked Questions
I've heard of the red, white, blue USA Hockey model at 8U, what does that mean?
That model refers to creating teams that are skill similar, red players are the most experiences, blue have the least amount of experience and the white is the middle group. We will use assessments to create multiple teams of each group of skilled players. Each team will be names after an NHL team and team jersey color does not reflect the skill level of any particular team.
What if my child has is brand new to hockey?
Have no fear, our coaches have years of experience getting kids up and moving around the ice! However, we do recommend athletes participate in a Learn to Skate or have basic skating skills as it will provide a confidence boost and make for an easier transition to the ice.
How can I help?
The strength of our program is the number of volunteers we have both on and off the ice but we can always use more. Please reach out to the 8U Coordinator, Coaching Coordinator or Hockey Director if you are interested in helping. The more coaches we have on the ice, the better the experience will be!
My child wants to be a goalie?
That's great! At the 8U age we still emphasis developing a complete hockey player which includes the skating skills required by a goalie and want to provide goalie opportunities to every player. Each coach at 8U has a bag of goalie gear they are able to distribute through their team, giving every child who wants an opportunity the chance to play for a week. This provides a balance between giving multiple players the opportunities and promoting the skating development for future goalies.
Why does 8U play cross-ice?
The cross-ice model for youth hockey emphasizes skill development and player participation. Research has shown that players involved in smaller area games (cross-ice or half-ice games) get more puck touches, shots, passes, change of directions and puck battles. These scenarios better replicate hockey as it is played at the older age groups. Not only does it better develop players, every player is more engaged during the play on a smaller surface. More engagement during games for all skill levels leads to more fun and builds the passion for hockey!
The 8U Developmental Registration module is for boys & girls who wish to play at the 8U level (birth years 2015 & 2016) for the upcoming season. This division is for 7 & 8 year old boys and girls making the next step in their hockey development. The emphasis is on skill development for all athletes and building a lifelong passion for the game of hockey.
8U Player assessments were in August.
Rental gear may be available for 8U players based on a first come first served basis. If you wish to rent gear, please choose that option as you go through registration (rental gear does not include skates or a stick).
Registration is closed for the 2023-24 season, however if you recently moved to town or missed assessments please reach out to email@example.com and we MAY be able to place you on a team.