Learn To Play Goals & Focus

Program Goals:

  • to develop a fun and learning environment
  • offer a safe and positive experience for a child's first contact with hockey
  • to have fun playing hockey
  • to learn the fundamental skills
  • to be introduced to the concepts of cooperation and fair play

Program Focus:

  • Develop basic hockey skills
  • Skating, Passing, Puck Handling, Turning, Stopping and Shooting
  • Each skill is introduced and practiced in a progressive, "one step at a time manner"
  • The goal is to build a foundation for future years

The Affton Hockey Association offers a comprehensive program that introduces children of all skill levels into the game of ice hockey. Program cost is $150 per session. The Learn To Play Program will focus on skill development without the pressures of competition. This program is a progressive learn to play teaching curriculum designed to introduce beginners to the games basic skills. Participants are introduced to the skills of skating, passing, puck control and shooting in a progressive one step at a time manner. 

Participant Ages: Open to players 3-10 years 

Equipment: Full hockey gear is required. Rental Equipment is included and available to all LTP participants. A deposit is required and will be returned after the session is over and the equipment is returned.

How Do I register?

It takes two Steps:

Step 1: All players must register with USA Hockey annually for insurance purposes.

Go to https://www.usahockeyregistration.com/ and follow the online instructions to register with USA Hockey.

Step 2: Register with Affton Ice Rink

Go to http://afftonhockey.org/ and click on registration

How do you dress for Hockey ?

How to get dressed Video

COMMON MYTHS ABOUT YOUTH HOCKEY

Hockey is too expensive?
Affton’s Learn-to-Play (LTP) program is $150 for both the Fall and Spring session with ice times each Sunday afternoon.

- Fall Session = October thru mid-March
- Spring Session = mid-March thru June

As the player’s skills develop, there are different programs that vary in both time and monetary commitment.

Hockey is dangerous?
Players today are required to wear equipment that protects them from head-to-toe, including face-mask and mouth guards, resulting in hockey ranking safer than perceived “noncontact” sports such as baseball and soccer, which have a higher rate of injuries per 1,000 participants. (See USA Hockey table below)



Practice times are too early in the morning?

LTP practices are scheduled for early afternoon on Sunday’s. As your young player gets older and plays on a team, it is rare for an early morning (prior to 8:00 AM) ice time because Affton has two ice rinks.

FREQUENTLY ASK QUESTIONS

I am new to hockey; does my child need to know how to skate?
No, Affton’s Learn-to-Play (LTP) program is designed to teach the fundamentals of hockey, especially skating. The LTP program is intended for new skaters interested in giving a hockey a try on a small scale.

As they progress, Affton offers distinct programs that cater to their progression.

What about equipment?
Affton will loan all LTP players the majority of the equipment (see chart below) 

Rental equipment includes:

Equipment Purchased by parents:

Helmet w/cage
Shoulder pads
Elbow pads
Pants
Shin guards
Gloves
Hockey bag
Practice Jersey

Ice Skates
Socks
Mouth Guard
Athletic Supporter
Garter Belt
Stick
Tape
Neck Guard (not required, but recommended)

 

Do I have to travel to play?
No, LTP is solely conducted at Affton Ice Rink. Once your hockey player advances past LTP, the next step is the Mite Development which is primarily at Affton and Fenton Ice Rink with an occasional game against local organizations (Kirkwood, Webster Groves, etc.).

As my child gets older, are there different levels for them to compete and have fun?
As your young player grows and develops, Affton offers three distinct programs to cater to their skill and competitive desire:

  • House: Kids interested in playing the game in a less competitive environment competing with other local organizations (Kirkwood, Chesterfield, Meramec, etc.) as well as an occasional out of town tournament.
  • Travel: Kids interested in a playing in a more competitive competing with other local organizations as well as 1-2 out of town tournaments.
  • Central States: Kids interested in playing at the highest competitive level of hockey competing with teams from surrounding cities, primarily Chicago.

Can you explain the different age levels of hockey?
Youth hockey is based on calendar year birthdates and breakdown as follows:

  • LTP: open to all kids, generally 3 -10 years old
  • Mite Development: (8 & under) that are not yet ready to commit at the travel/house level
  • Mite / U8: ages 7 & 8
  • Squirt / U10: ages 9 & 10
  • Pee Wee / U12: ages 11 & 12
  • Bantam / U14: ages 13 – 14
  • Midget Minor / U16: ages 15 & 16
  • Midget Major / U18: ages 17 & 18

I've heard you have to play for a club near where you live, how do we know what club is near us?
Missouri Hockey is the USA Hockey affiliate that governs hockey in the St. Louis area and they have districted affiliate clubs by ZIP code. Players are required to register with the appropriate club based on their primary residence ZIP code.

Affton ZIP codes consist of:
- 63109, 63110, 63111, 63116, 63123, 63125, 63126, 63127, 63128, 63139


Open ZIP codes consist of:
- 63019, 63026, 63028, 63103, 63104, 63106, 63107, 63113, 63115, 63118, 63120, 63121, 63137, 63140, 62236

Other Informative Links:
Below is a link to equipment sizing chart.
http://www.hockeymonkey.com/sizingcharts.html

USA Hockey Link
http://www.usahockey.com/

Hockey Retails Stores
Johnny Macs - http://www.johnnymacs.com/
Total Hockey - http://www.totalhockey.com/
Play it again Sports - http://playitagainsportsstlmo.com/

On-Line Hockey Stores
Hockey Monkey - http://www.hockeymonkey.com/
Hockey Giant - http://www.hockeygiant.com/
Discount Hockey - http://www.discounthockey.com/