What is the goal of the SYHA Mite program?

The goal for our Mite Hockey Players is to pickup basic skills and have fun playing hockey.  They will learn skating forward and backwards, stick handling, puck control, passing and shooting, teamwork and the basics of hockey.  And they'll have a blast.

At What age can my child start playing hockey?

In SYHA requires kids to be at least four years old to register. Kids that start hockey before they are physically and mentally ready are more likely to have a negative experience. Spend those early years skating and just having fun!

It is never too late to start playing hockey.  Players have joined hockey programs at 12-13 years old and still made varsity hockey teams.

What level should my child be playing at?

SYHA follows the Minnesota Hockey rules for participation levels. Note that Minnesota Hockey has a summer date cut off, rather than the Jan. 1st cut off used by USA Hockey.  The primary reason for this difference is our effort to more consistently align our programs with school age levels, allowing kids to play with their friends from school.

Does My Child Need To know how to skate?

No. Many of our first year skaters have never even been on the ice. 
SYHA coaches are trained and certified to work with the youth on their skating ability, stick handling, puck control, passing and shooting. Most of all, we want the kids to have fun and they will quickly pick up the basics of skating.

what should we bring to practice?

First, be sure to arrive to practice at least 20 minutes early to allow time to get your child dressed and ready for practice. Arriving last minute can cause anxiety and we don't want their time on ice to be stressful! 

Bring all of your child's protective gear (see the Gear Up tab), don't forget the mouthguard!  Also bring a water bottle labeled with your child's name. 

How often should I sharpen my child's skates?

This is individual preference; however, based on the level of your player and how much time they spend on the ice, you may want to consider a bi-weekly sharpening. Sharpening is available at SCHEELS Athletic Complex or local sports retailers. 

Do I need to stay at the rink during practice?

Mite hockey is not a "drop off” sport. Your child may need your assistance with their gear or may have to go to the restroom. Supervision is not provided off-ice, so parents should stay at the rink during practice until the Squirt level. 

Do girls and boys play on the same team?

Early mites are mixed teams, but as players get older we offer girls-specific teams and we strongly encourage girls to play on those teams. The Central MN Riverblades Hockey program starts at the U10 level and combines players from Sartell, Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud.