To get started in hockey, try out our FREE GOAL (get out and learn to skate) program. This will give your skater an opportunity to try out staking before they commit to the season. More information can be found on our GOAL page.
The first time a skater plays hockey, they are put in beginners until they can demonstrate proficiency with the required skills to move on to the next level. In the second year, the player is placed based on their age level.
The Chippewa Youth Hockey Association is a volunteer run association meaning that all funding and operations associated with the rink are done by families in the association. This means that all families are required to work during their home games and tournaments. This includes concessions, running the score clock, keeping score, announcing and playing music, and working the penalty box. Don't worry if you don't know how to run a score board or work the penality box. Training is provided at the beginning of each season. Driving the Zamboni is optional and requires additional training.
Families are also required to work assessment hours throughout the year. The number of hours are based on the age group of the skaters in your family. These hours can be completed a variety of ways including working concessions during certain tournaments and during games where the ice is rented by outside renters, working fundraising events through the year, and being involved throughout the rink. These hours are crucial to ensure the rink continues to operate.
Lastly, teams can work two bingos throughout the year and in return, the association will pay for two tournaments for the team, saving the parents $50-$75 per tournament.
Like any organized sport, there are registration fees and equipment needed to play hockey. The fees range from $25/season to $225/season depending on the level of your skater. Each family will also have fundraising they will need to do. The checks are collected and the materials are provided to the family to sell. Some families sell the items to recoup their cost and some just keep the items. These items are currently raffle calendars, pizza coupons, and Beer Fest tickets. If families would rather pay out their work assessment hours rather than working them, they may which adds expense to the year, but allows families to decide if they want to work the hours or buy them out.
Equipment can normally be found used at local sporting goods stores like Play it Again Sports in Eau Claire. They also sell new gear as do many other stores and websites. You can normally purchase everything needed for a new skater for around $50-$75 if you purchase used gear. You can also elect to purchase skates from a store and then rent the rest of the equipment from the association for $25/year until your skater becomes a Squirt (9 year olds).
As your skater gets older and the games become more competitive, you will likely want to purchase higher quality equipment, which can be expensive if you purchase it new. You can normally find used gear, but you do have the option based on the needs of your skater. Hockey can be as expensive as you want it to be. Normally there are many families throughout the association who have gear that they are willing to sell at a greatly reduced rate or give to a family in need.
The other main expense related to hockey is travel. Once the skater is in Squirts (9 years old), they start to travel on some weekends to games and to two tournaments a year. Parents are responsible to pay for all related travel expenses including gas, hotels, and food. There is no cost to play in the games and two tournaments are covered those are covered through working bingo twice a year. Staying with friends/family where possible, packing food for the weekend and looking for inexpensive hotels helps keep the cost down.
If you have additional questions about your kids joining hockey, please reach out to a board member. A list of board members can be found here.