Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers...
Q) How old must a child be to start hockey?
A) Many children start at age 4 or 5 but don't let that stop you if your children are a bit older. Children may start at any age right up to High School. Coaches for very young children may ask the parent to step out on the ice to help the child in some instances.
Q) What are the different age levels?
- 6U/Intro - Age 6 and under
- 8U - Age 8 and under
- Squirt - Ages 9-10
- Pee Wee - Ages 11-12
- Bantam - Ages 13-14
- Tiger Boys JV High School
- Tiger Boys Varsity High School
- Girls U-12 - Ages 7-12*
- Girls U-14 - Ages 13-14*
- Tiger Girls High School Team*
*Girls only teams.
Q) Do boys and girls play on the same team?
A) Boys and Girls can play on the same teams from Mite age all the way through High School. Girls over Mite age may opt to join girls-only U-12, U-14 and Tiger Girls teams.
And contrary to other sports in the Marshfield area, in hockey EVERYONE CAN MAKE THE TEAM!
Q) Will hockey take up a lot of my time?
A) At the U-6/U8 age, practices are one or two times a week. Parents are encouraged to stay and watch their children. As the child moves though the different levels, they may practice 2 to 3 hours per week and have 1 to 3 games on the weekends. People associated with youth hockey have found that the time involved whether it is in the car traveling, or the time spent in the sport itself encourages families to spend quality time together. Friendships are abundantly made by both child and parents. These friendships and memories last a lifetime.
Q) Is hockey safe?
A) Absolutely! Advancements in equipment and proper training by licensed coaches and referees have kept the game safe. For one thing, the equipment used by youth leagues is virtually identical to that worn by the pros. All sports have an element of risk as far a personal injury is concerned. Hockey ranks fourth for minor injuries in the 7 to 17 age group trailing football, soccer and snowboarding.
Q) How much does hockey cost?
A) Probably not as much as you might think. Although it can be expensive in other parts of the US, hockey is relatively inexpensive in our surrounding area. At the Mini-Mite and Mite levels equipment is rented for a nominal fee. As skaters progress there are options for purchasing good used equipment and much of it may be used for several years. When time spent playing hockey is factored in, the sport is very competitive on a cost per hour basis. The total cost is also dependent on what your child participates in during the off season and the extra training you opt to do. Some skaters opt to continue on special teams throughout the summer months. The majority does not. Marshfield Youth Hockey offers a SCRIP program that can be used to help pay for equipment and registration fees and also has a financial assistance program to help individuals participate in the sport. When the cost is broken down by the time spent on the ice, it is clear that hockey is one of the best values in sports!
Q) Is there a lot of traveling?
A) Most games are within a 60 mile radius of Marshfield. Many people carpool. Hockey families feel that the travel time is well spent family time. Tournaments are one or two per year and may require an overnight stay. Home games vs. travel games are about fifty/fifty.
Q) What equipment do we need to get started?
A) Click HERE to view a full list of required equipment. First year skaters can rent equipment for free. After that it's $25 per season. All skaters need to provide their own skates, a stick, jersey and mouth guard. Beginning parents need patience and a camera. When kids are Pee Wee age, they usually have acquired their own equipment.
Q) Where do kids put their gear on?
A) When children are beginners it is sometimes easier to get their gear on at home, bringing them to the rink dressed. As they get older most kids like to get dressed on their own at the rink. There are several locker rooms to get dressed in and each team is assigned a locker room for a given practice. The camaraderie is good to build a bond in the team, but up through Squirts most parents will need to be in the locker room with their child to help them get dressed or at least tie their skates. Once they hit Peewee's they take care of everything themselves. It is often said by the age of Peewee's the coaches don't allow the parents in the locker room but the fact is the smell generated by those kids hockey gear would render most of us unconscious!
Q) How long is the season?
A) Hockey has a longer season than most sports but it sure seems to make the winter go faster. Open skating and practices start in early October and games start in mid-November. The season wraps up in late February and may go on a few weeks longer depending on your team parents, tournaments and state championships.
Q) How many games do we play?
A) The amount of games played each season is determined by the age classification, game scheduler, coaches and parents. Squirt, Pee Wee and Bantam age skater’s play from 20 to 25 games with additional tournament games. The ratio of home games to travel games is about fifty/fifty.
6U/Intro skaters stay home to play. 8U skaters will play modified cross-ice games at the Marshfield Ice Arena. There will be an opportunity for 8U's to travel to surrounding communities 5 to 6 times to play modified cross-ice games against other associations later in the season.
Q) Do I have to volunteer?
A) As a hockey parent you are expected to help out at your child's home games by working in the penalty box, helping in the announcing booth or operating the Zamboni occasionally, all have training sessions at the beginning of the season. Beyond that everything else is voluntary. Most parents help out with Fundraising Events, Saturday Night Open Skating, Arena Maintenance Projects, Working Tournaments (Invitational, Regional, State), or Concession Sales to earn required work hours during the season. Buy-out options are available that cover required work hours. Volunteering keeps you "in touch" with the activities at the rink and it is also a great way to meet other people that have similar interests. MYHA is a non-profit volunteer based organization. This helps keep costs down.
Q) How many hours of volunteering are required?
A) First year families at any level are required to put in 8 hours per family per season. Returning families of older skaters are required to put in 15 hours per family per season. This helps ensure that all the work that needs to be done during the hockey season is done by the all the association members.
Q) Do I have to participate in fundraising?
A) The Fundraising requirement for first year families is $60. The Fundraising obligation for a returning family is $200 per year. There are several fundraising options available including Blades Cards, Subway Cards, Festival Cards etc.
Q) How do I sign my child up for hockey?
A) Registration is on-line. You must sign up for an account on our website to register. Click the Sign-Up link from the top of the page to do so. Once registration for the season has opened, there will be links made available for the Learn to Skate and Youth Co-Ed programs under the Programs section. You can also find any programs which are open for registration from the Participants page located on your Account page. On the Participants page, click the +Register button at the top right of the page and you will see a listing of the programs that are open for registration.
Q) Is there financial assistance available?
A) Yes, Marshfield Youth Hockey Association offers a financial assistance program. Please contact our President or Vice President of the Board of Directors. Contact info can be found on the Board of Directors page under the About section.
Q) How do I rent a billboard sign in the rink?
A) Well it's pretty easy actually. We have spaces that are open. You pick a space and get a 4' X 8' sign or banner made to your specifications. We will hang the sign for you and bill you around the middle of August for that season. The cost for a year is $150. (Ads on the Zamboni cost more, but are more visible.) It doesn't get any simpler and you help out MYHA's kids. The sign will be there for several events in the summer, dog shows, a trapper show etc. It will be visible for the fair and also the entire hockey season. Email Robert Grassel : firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) How does a Zamboni work?
A) "Now ever since I was young, it's been my dream / That I might drive a Zamboni machine." So goes the Gear Daddies song heard at hockey games as the Zamboni cleans up the ice. This huge, oddly named machine clearly has a special place in many people's hearts.
Before the Zamboni, ice rinks were resurfaced by a tractor fitted with a scraper that shaved the surface. Next three or four workers scooped away the ice shavings, cleaned the surface, and added more water to re-freeze. The process took over an hour, and Frank Zamboni thought this could stand improvement. After several years of experimentation, he built the first Zamboni in 1949.
How does it work? First, a sharp blade shaves the surface of the ice, and a horizontal screw gathers the shavings. Then a vertical screw propels the shavings into a snow tank. Water is fed onto the ice from a wash-water tank, and a squeegee-like system flushes dirt out of any indentations in the ice. Next, the dirty water is vacuumed up, filtered, and returned to the tank. Finally, clean hot water is spread on the ice? Why Hot Water? The hotter the water, the more even a surface you'll get –the hot water melts that top layer when the Zamboni cuts across the ice! This is one piece of equipment where studded tires are mandatory!
You can learn to drive it too. We have training classes.