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New Player Resource

New Parent Overview

How do I get my child started in ice hockey?

The Learn-To-Play program is a good place to start.  The description of the session is located on the front page.  


What to get / what size to get:

Internet references for equipment sizing:

The hockey shop -

Hockey monkey -

Mandatory equipment:

Skates – Properly fitting skates have a maximum of about ½” (width of adult finger) of movement when the player’s toe is touching the front of the skate. Skate size is usually 1 to 1.5 sizes lower than shoe size. Example size 9 youth shoe = ~size 8 skate. Once the skater is comfortable on the ice, skates should be sharpened right away if purchased new. We recommend a 1/2” diameter sharpen (tell this to the skate sharpener) for starting out. (1/2” = diameter of stone used to sharpen, use a smaller stone 3/8” = sharper skate. Skates too sharp make it very slippery and hard to stop). If your player will be walking off the ice on any hard surface with skates on, you will need skate guards, or the skate blades will become dull, immediately. DO NOT WALK ON CONCRETE, TILE, METAL, BLACKTOP, ETC. WITH SKATES ON! THIS WILL DULL (POSSIBLY DAMAGE SEVERELY) THE SKATE BLADES AND THEY WILL NEED TO BE RESHARPENED!

Stick – Length of stick should be approximately the distance from the ground to the skater’s chin, with skates on. If you are unsure if your child is a righty or lefty for hockey (often different than throwing and writing), purchase a straight stick and let him or her choose. Most players will have their strong hand on top of the stick.

Helmet with facemask – Head sizes of children vary greatly. Measure the hat size or circumference of your child’s head and use that when determining the size helmet to purchase. Ensure the helmet is certified by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council (HECC).

Elbow pads – Ensure that the straps secure the pad firmly to the elbow. Elbow pad size is intended to be the length from the end of the shoulder pad to the cuff of the glove. It is important that elbow pads aren’t too big, as they will slide off of the elbow.

Shin pads – Sizes are measured from the center of the knee cap to the top of the boot.

Average size four year old may be 8 or 9”.

Hockey gloves – Gloves sizes are measured from the tip of the finger to the elbow. Size for a four year old is about 8 or 9”.

Additional recommended equipment

Breezers / hockey pants – Pants should reach from the top of the knee up to the lowest ribs. Pants should also not rotate or slip down when tightened. Suspenders may also be used to hold pants up.

Shoulder pads – Should be snug around the chest when tightened.

Mouth guard – Heat and fit or mold to mouth (used only when players start checking or hitting)

Cup – Not necessary at this age, but if you have one, wear it. Another good alternative is special shorts that hold the cup and have Velcro patches for holding the socks up.

Garter Belt- Used to hold up hockey socks if players doesn’t use Velcro patches.

Hockey socks – Either hockey socks or sweat pants over shin pads. This adds another layer of protection to the player’s legs.

Hockey Bag – Not needed, but makes it easier for parent to carry the equipment around.

It is not necessary to get the most expensive hockey equipment, but it is very important to make sure the equipment fits properly. Equipment that does not fit correctly is prone to falling off, sliding around, and making it uncomfortable, or possibly even unsafe for the skater.

Where to get equipment:

*JAX Outdoor -

*JT’s Slapshot -

Hockey Monkey -

Play It Again Sports –

*Preferred Vendors


Before practice:

You may get your player dressed before you get to the rink, or players may dress at the rink.

After practice:

Make sure the pads are left out to dry after each use. You may also want to clean the pads occasionally by putting it in the washing machine (for those pads that can go in) or by using Lysol, Febreeze or a swimming pool chlorine + water solution.

Competitive Teams

Squirts (9 and 10)

PeeWees (11 and 12)

Bantams (13 and 14)

Hockey Fees

AMHA registration and skater fees cover ice time, game jerseys, insurance, referees, publication costs, mailing expenses, and club equipment. Parents must also register each skater with USA hockey. Current costs for this are $48 per skater (free for all players ages 6 and under).

Locker Rooms

Skaters should always dress in the locker rooms at the arena.  Please remind your skater of their important responsibility to pick up their trash and tape to help keep the locker rooms clean.

Volunteer Coaches

AMHA depend on our dedicated volunteers.  If you are interested in helping out, please see the coaching corner section of the website, and contact your Age Level Director or coach. 

All coaches must be USA Hockey registered, trained and certified, as well as pass a background screening.  The organization gladly covers these costs, or you can donate the fees (keep your receipts)