How do I register my child?
Registration for all players, returning and new, is to be completed on the website via the ACYHA registration page. The registration period opens July 15, 2018 for all players. We ask that returning Mite players register by September 10th, so that we can plan our teams and levels.
New mite players may register from July 15, 2018 through November 17, 2018.* All New Mite players will complete registration by registering as a "New Mite". Most new players will practice with the Mini-Mites, however some older players, or players with previous skating ability may be moved to an appropriate level for their development needs.
*If you missed the registration deadline and your child wants to play hockey, please contact one of the Mite Coordinators.
How old does my child have to be to play hockey?
We ask that your child be four years old by October 1, 2018. Studies show that players who start to young, frequently do not return the following season. Your child must be born AFTER July 1, 2009 to be eligible for our Mite program. Players born before July 1, 2009 should contact our Travel Coordinator for proper registration and placement.
Is my child too old to start hockey?
No! It is never “too late” to try hockey! The Mite program runs through age 9 (Third Grade). There are many Mite players who did not start playing until they were in second or third grade. Players at this age quickly catch up to their peers without difficulty! This fall we have four FREE Try Hockey Mite Clinics being offered before the start of the season. If your child wants to play hockey for the first time at age 4 or age 8, we will get them out on the ice and enjoying the great tradition of hockey!
In addition we are excited to be able to offer our learn to skate program. This program will be open to all new to hockey players of any age. The fee for the program is $50 for a four week learn to skate clinic, with one session each Saturday from October 20th through November 10th. The goal of this program is to help new players prepare for the hockey season by getting comfortable being upright and moving on skates! If you participate in the Learn to Skate Clinic we will apply a $50 credit to your season registration (meaning that first year Mite players will be able to register for the full season for FREE if they participate in Learn to Skate!)
Is Mite Hockey for Boys, or can Girls play too?
The answer is BOTH!! Girls make up a significant number of ACYHA's Mite program. We encourage participation of any player, boy or girl, who wants to learn to skate and play hockey. We are excited that our Girls program, referred to as U8, is GROWING! Last year we had over 30 girls in our U8 program! Our girls practice together in a separate practice from the boys as much as possible. The U8 program also has many “off ice” events throughout the season that girls in the program love!
Does my child have to know how to skate to start hockey?
NO! ACYHA Mite program is a development program, designed to teach all kids the fundamental skills necessary to play the game of hockey. We will also introduce the beginning concepts of the game itself. Skating is the most fundamental skill of hockey, and teaching the kids to skate is a major focus of the Mite Program. We are excited to offer the Learn to Skate program at the beginning of the season to help everyone be comfortable on their skates going into the Mite season!
How long does the season run?
The season runs from Mid-October (Mite 1-3) and November 17th (Mini-Mites) through the first weekend in March. The last weekend of the season is always the Mite Jamboree, which highlights the Mite program and lets the kids have a full weekend to enjoy all of the new skills they have developed throughout the season. All practices are voluntary. There is no attendance taken in Mini-Mite through Mite 2. Your child will benefit from maximum ice time, but there is no penalty for missed practices.
How often do they practice?
Mini-Mites- They will have at least one hour of ice time each weekend from November 19th through the end of February. Some weekends the Mini-Mites will have ice time on both Saturdays and Sundays. The ice times will vary. There will also be Outdoor Games, one weekday evening (normally Wednesdays), as soon as outdoor ice becomes available. There is no requirement that your child attend every practice, but the more ice time they kids have, the more improvement you will see.
Mite 1 & 2 – 1-2 indoor practices or games on the weekends, along with 1 outdoor game each week as soon as the outdoor rinks are available.
Mite 3- Teams form and games played against other District Three teams. Generally 5-6 games in 3 v. 3 format on half ice, and then an additional 6 games of 5 v. 5 on full ice after January 1, 2019. Generally two hours of ice on the weekends and outdoor ice during the week once available, (usually Thursdays).
At what Mite level do I register my child?
All players new to hockey ages 4-8 should register as a "New Mite Skater". In general all new mite skaters will be assigned to our "Mini-Mite" Level. If you child is new to hockey, and older, or has prior hockey experience, please contact a mite coordinator for a recommendation of which level practice to be assigned to. Your child cannot be older than nine (born after July 1, 2009) to register for Mites. If you have a new child to hockey who was born before July 1, 2009, please contact the squirt coordinator for information about registration.
Players may be moved up a level after the beginning of the season, based upon team needs and registration levels. Parents will be notified prior to moving the child up to a new level. If players are moved from house to travel mite hockey, they will be asked to pay the registration fee associated with the level where they are placed.
If I am new to Hockey or my child is; how do we learn more?
At the beginning of each year we have a Parent Meeting for all the families. We introduce all the new families to the program and give them an overview. If you need more info before the season starts, attend any of the four Try Hockey for Free Events this fall, and we will have representatives there that can answer all of your questions!
Where are all the Mite Hockey Practices?
Most of the ice is at New Hope Ice Arena with some practices also at the Plymouth Ice Center, Breck Ice Arena, and Hat Trick Ice Arena (in St. Louis Park).
What is the goal of the Mite Hockey Season?
The ACYHA prides itself on the development of its coaches, players, and its hockey curriculum. Our goals are to teach all kids to skate, introduce them to the game of hockey, and most importantly have FUN. We do this in an environment that fosters the individual development of each player. We place kids at the most appropriate level based on their skill, allowing them to develop as hockey players at their own rate.
What are the Mite Hockey Practices like?
The overall emphasis in all the Mite Hockey Practices is FUN! We want to teach all the kids to love the game of hockey. The curriculum used for the practice for the Mite has been in place for 4 years. The on ice curriculum has been repeated year after year, and it's proven to be effective. All the practices are a balance of skating drills, puck handling, competition drills, small area games, and, most importantly, pond hockey. All of these practices are led by qualified and certified parent coaches.
Are the coaches certified and have they passed background checks?
All coaches who participate in the program for the ACYHA are background checked and a minimum of USA Hockey Level 1 Certified.
What is Pond Hockey?
Pond Hockey is the way Mite Hockey Players learn the game the best. The rink is divided in 1/2 or 1/3’s with Border Patrols. The kids are split by skill level and then play a game of 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 hockey. There is no coaching and no stoppages of play. The pond hockey game teaches kids to score quickly and then get back on defense, just like we used to do at the Parks and Frozen Ponds of years past. This free flowing game teaches the kids to handle the puck, play with teammates, all in an unstructured environment. All kids in the ACYHA Mite program get an exposure to Pond Hockey beginning at Mini Mites and all the way to our highest level.
What are the fees for Mite Hockey?
New Mite (Mini-Mite): $50 due at registration.
Mite or U8 House: $250 due at registration. The Mite House program will be divided into Mite 1 and Mite 2 (boys) and U8 House (Girls) for teams and practices, however the fee structure is the same for both levels. Whenever possible our U8 program will skate together (house and travel) in a separate U8 practice with all girls.
Mite Travel (Also referred to as Mite 3 and U8 Travel): $450 or 2 payments of $237.50 due at registration and November 15, 2018.
All families are also required to register with USA hockey. The fee for USA Hockey is $50 per player, unless your child was born in 2012 or later, at which time USA hockey waives the fee, but membership is still required.
What does my Mite Hockey Season Fee Include?
Your fee for the season includes:
1. Registration with ACYHA
2. Game Jerseys and Socks for All Players
3. Free Rental Equipment for First Year Families
4. Mite Jamboree Participation
What obligations/commitments are parents required to make to the program?
All first year families are required to commit 5 volunteer (DIBS) hours. This reduction is for first year new families only (first year registered with USA hockey) and does not apply to players coming from other associations or families with older players already in the program.
All returning families are required to commit to volunteering for the association throughout the year. (referred to as DIBS) For one player in the program, you are required to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours, and for 2 or more players 25 hours. At least five (5) of those hours must be completed at one of the four association sponsored tournaments. DIBS availability is on the website and is continually updated, and can include, concession stands, tournament score keeping, locker room monitoring. Also coaching can satisfy up to 20 hours of your volunteer requirements. If you have questions about the volunteer requirements please contact the volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also buy out your volunteer hours for a $500 payment at the beginning of the season.
The association also has one mandatory fundraiser each year (holiday wreath sales). Players are required to sell a minimum of 12 items, or may buy out the fundraiser obligation by paying $75 for one player or $100 for 2+ skaters.
Will my child be on the same team with other children from his/her school?
Each level practices together on one sheet of ice. Therefore, regardless of what team they are placed on, they will be with their classmates and friends for all practices. Teams are selected with the goal of making each team with even skill level, so that the kids can enjoy playing games against each other.
Because the entire level practices together, we do not accept buddy requests.
Do I need the players’ birth certificate to register?
Yes, according to USA Hockey rules, we cannot complete a registration without a copy of your child’s official birth record. Hospital or baptismal certificates cannot be used.
If you registered your child with ACYHA in previous years and submitted a birth certificate, we will have that on file and you do not need to provide it again. If you are new to the program, USA Hockey requires us to get and retain a copy of the child’s birth certificate before processing the registration forms.
What is the refund policy of my child doesn’t like it?
Refunds are available through December 1st. The fee will be prorated for ice time skated. All refund requests should be submitted in writing to the Mite Coordinator.
What Equipment does my player need?
Mite Players are required to wear the following equipment. Any color equipment is allowed for Mites. A white helmet and red breezers are required once they get to the U10/Squirt level. Keep this in mind if you buy new equipment you plan to use after Mites.
Is there equipment available to use?
ACYHA has equipment available to first year players on a first come, first serve basis. We anticipate having enough equipment available this year to expand this program to include returning families if possible. We will offer equipment rental pick up at the beginning of the season and the equipment will be returned at the end of the mite jamboree. There is NO cost for the equipment rental, however we do request a $150 deposit check which will be shredded upon return of the equipment. If you need equipment for your child, please contact a mite coordinator.
The association provides in rental bags:
Certified Helmet (we have some available)
The familiy must still provide:
Certified Helmet (if not provided in Mite Bag)
Cup or Pelvic Protector
Do I need to live in the Robbinsdale School District ?
Minnesota Hockey requires us to ensure that all players are currently enrolled in a public/private school within the Robbinsdale 281 district OR live within the district boundaries. ALL registrations will be checked against district boundaries before being processed.
Open enrollment and private school enrollment within District 281 attendance area will require school verification to be submitted to ACHYA registrar before registrations will be accepted.
Why are fees higher for Advanced Mites?
The amount of ice time is increased at each Mite level. Advanced mite levels also
participate in games and occasionally an outdoor tournament each season.
Are there Scholarships available?
There are limited scholarship funds available for families needed special financial consideration. Please see the scholarship link on the website for more information and application
What and When is the Mite Jamboree?
The Mite Jamboree is an end of season celebration for the Mite Hockey Players. Each team plays at least three pond hockey games over the course of three days. All players receive a program, t-shirt, and a participation medal. The three-day event is filled with fun activities for the kids and the families like face painting, chuck-a-puck, and of course the games. This event is designed to celebrate the year and the success of each child’s development in hockey, and of course, get them excited for next year. The Jamboree usually takes place the beginning of March.
Mite Program Director - Operations Coordinator