Welcome to Gillette Hockey Association. We're here to answer any questions you might have about the sport and help you get started. Here are the answer's to the the most basic question-
Hockey is a fantastic exercise—Hockey is one of the best cardiovascular games your child could play. Players are alternating between skating and rest at very rapid rates, which makes hockey one of the best cardiovascular interval training sports. This training improves the speed at which your child's body brings oxygen to their muscles while burning tons of calories. Hockey requires a high level of coordination; regular play can develop a child's gross motor skills, which leads to improvement with the more difficult fine motor skills, and improves hand-eye coordination, which can translate to a better understanding of spatial relationships.
Hockey builds character - Since hockey is a team sport, kids learn the value of working with others. They will learn really quickly to rely on teammates and understand that cooperation is the key to success. Kids on hockey teams experience a team spirit that encourages trust, responsibility, sportsmanship and a strong sense of accomplishment. These skills are essential as teammates turn into colleagues.
While the reasons above talk about why your child should play hockey, we as an association are dedicated to the cause of improving our youth and making them feel excited to play a sport that they will love. We hope you'll join us next season and below we'll talk about how to get started.
Learn To Skate Participants
It is never too late to start your child in hockey, but an earlier than later start is recommended. We find that third grade and younger is ideal. Previous skating experience is helpful, but is not required. The lower levels, 8U, do not have a "Tryout", however the upper levels, 9U+ do have a "tryout". The goal of these tryouts is to place your skater on a team with other skaters with similar abilities, allowing them to work with kids that are at a relatively same level of play. There are no "cuts".
If you have not skated before, we encourage you to take advantage of the spring and fall "Learn to Skate" program offered through the Campbell County Recreation Center. Information for this program can be found at their website. We think you will find it to be a great way for your child to learn the basics of skating, which in turn, will help your skater in their hockey play.
Now, let's discuss where your child's level is. The hockey season runs from about October until March. Our younger teams will start a bit later, and each team has "age appropriate" practice times. -- GHA has teams divided by their age level.
If you are new to hockey, we recommend you head to a local hockey outfitter. They will be sure to get you a package that has all the safety gear your child will need and they'll make sure all the sizes fit to ensure your child is safe. Please contact our Equipment Coordinator if you have any questions or need more information as to local outfitters.
-- Don't worry, your coaches will be ready to help make sure your child's gear is fitting properly and to help educate parents to recognize when kids have out grown their equipment.
Sign-ups start in July and run through August 30th. Feel free to sign-up on our website during this time. If you have any questions, contact our Registrar.
We're looking forward to having you join us next season!